William “Bill” Mason Gray was born on October 9, 1929, and died on April 16, 2016.
He was Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU), and the former head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences.
William M. Gray was widely regarded as a pioneer in the science of forecasting hurricanes and one of the world’s leading experts on tropical storms.
He issued his first seasonal forecast during July 1983, which used the statistical relationships between tropical cyclone activity, the El Nino Southern Oscillation, Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and Caribbean basin sea-level pressures.
Then, after he issued forecasts ahead of the start of the Atlantic hurricane season in May and before the peak of the season in August.
William M. Gray was noted for his forecasts of Atlantic hurricane season activities.
He pioneered the concept of “seasonal” hurricane forecasting—predicting months in advance the severity of the coming hurricane season.
William M. Gray and his team (including Christopher W. Landsea, Paul W. Mielke Jr., and Kenneth J. Berry, among others) has been issuing seasonal hurricane forecasts since 1984.
During his career, Gray published more than 80 papers and 60 research reports.
And, Klotzbach referred to him as “one of the greatest minds in hurricane research”.
Following the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, William announced that he was stepping back from the primary authorship of CSU’s tropical cyclone probability forecasts, passing the role to Philip J. Klotzbach.
Gray showed that he would be devoting more time to the issue of global warming.
William does not attribute global warming to anthropogenic causes and is critical of those who do.
William M. Gray passed away at 86 yrs old.