Lourdes B. Avilés
Lourdes Avilés has been a professor of meteorology for two decades, during which she has taught a large number of courses, engaged in various topics of research, written books on atmospheric phenomena, and given a large number of presentations for general and technical audiences.
Lourdes Avilés has been a professor of meteorology for two decades, during which she has taught a large number of courses, engaged in various topics of research, written books on atmospheric phenomena, and given a large number of presentations for general and technical audiences. She is currently a meteorology and physics professor and department chair, as well as the director of the Computational, Applied, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences (CAMPS) Academic Unit at Plymouth State University. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Atmospheric Sciences and Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, respectively. Dr. Avilés is a trustee for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and has also served in a variety of UCAR and AMS committees, including the (formerly named) AMS Board on Women and Minorities, the AMS Board on Higher Education, and chairing the AMS History Committee. She is also currently an academic ambassador for the AMS Committee on Hispanic and Latinx Advancement (CHALA). Additionally, she is a trustee of “the home of the worst weather,” the Mount Washington Observatory in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Dr. Avilés has done research in tropical meteorology, air quality, and historical meteorology, as well as the interdisciplinary connections of atmospheric phenomena. She currently teaches courses in dynamic and physical meteorology. She has written an AMS-published book about the science and history of the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 that won the 2013 Atmospheric Science Librarians History Choice award, and for the past few years has been working on an introductory-level textbook about the Optics of the Atmosphere (blue skies, rainbows, halos, auroras, etc.). She is happy to chat and write about general meteorology, hurricanes, severe weather safety, the physics of the atmosphere, snowflakes, the science of fall colors, the many optical effects in the atmosphere, and any other atmospheric phenomenon, and enjoys sharing fascinating information with audiences of all levels.
- July 13, 2023
- Invisible Rainbows: Secrets of the Sky's Most Colorful Phenomena
Rainbows captivate us with their colorful beauty, formed by sunlight interacting with raindrops. Double rainbows and the dark band between arcs add to the excitement. Primary rainbows feature red on top, while the secondary rainbow displays fainter, inverted colors, and occasionally, pastel-colored supernumeraries enchant our sight. Rainbows hold hidden wonders, even for those familiar with their formation, inspiring us since ancient times.
- By Lourdes B. Avilés, Ph.D.