2010 Physical Sciences Review » Biographies » Seth I. Gutman

Seth I. Gutman

Seth I. Gutman

Seth I. Gutman

Physical Scientist

Global Systems Division


I lead a team within the ESRL Global Systems Division that utilizes the radio signals broadcast by the satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) to monitor water vapor in the atmosphere. Our group provides accurate and reliable TPW measurements at approximately 400 locations around the world to operational weather prediction models, NWS forecasters, and researchers in NOAA and other organizations. The remainder of my time is divided between efforts to transfer these activities to National Weather Service, conducting research into new applications of GPS meteorology, and participating in WMO to develop and implement global observations and integrated observing systems.


  • B.S. Geophysics, University of Arizona, 1972.
  • M.S. Geological Sciences, University California, 1974 (abt).

Research Interests

From my perspective, the most surprising thing about GPS is that new and largely unanticipated applications for this remarkable technology are constantly being discovered. My current research interests focus on identifying and perfecting tools and techniques to quality control in situ upper air observations, calibrate & validate remote sensing observations, and verify weather and climate model predictions.


I believe my most important accomplishment was helping to raise my two step-children. I've had an opportunity to travel extensively and participate in cutting-edge science around the world. Overall, my contributions to the development of GPS Meteorology are probably my most significant accomplishment.

Recent Publications

  • Gutman, S.I., S.R. Sahm, S.G. Benjamin, B.E. Schwartz, K.L. Holub, J.Q. Stewart, and T.L. Smith, 2004: Rapid Retrieval and Assimilation of Ground Based GPS Precipitable Water Observations at the NOAA Forecast Systems Laboratory: Impact on Weather Forecasts. Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan, Vol. 82, No. 1B, pp. 351-360.
  • Birkenheuer, D. and S. Gutman, 2005: A comparison of GOES moisture-derived product and GPS-IPW data during IHOP 2002. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol., Vol. 22, No. 11, pp. 1840–1847.
  • Ralph, F. M., P. J. Neiman, G. A. Wick, S. I. Gutman, M. D. Dettinger, D. R. Cayan, and A. B. White, 2006: Flooding on California's Russian River: Role of atmospheric rivers, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L13801, doi:10.1029/2006GL026689.
  • Smith, T.L., S.G. Benjamin, S.I. Gutman, and S.R. Sahm, 2007: Forecast impact from assimilation of GPS-IPW observations into the Rapid Update Cycle. Mon. Wea. Rev., Vol. 135, No. 8, 2914–2930.
  • McMillin, L. M., J. Zhao, M. K. Rama Varma Raja, S. I. Gutman, and J. G. Yoe, 2007: Radiosonde humidity corrections and potential Atmospheric Infrared Sounder moisture accuracy, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D13S90, doi:10.1029/2005JD006109.