Martin Ralph is a synoptic and mesoscale Research Meteorologist focused on understanding the physical processes that create extremes in precipitation ranging from flood to drought, and on advancing associated observations, predictions, climate projections, and decision support tools. A primary topic has been atmospheric rivers and their role in mid latitude precipitation. From 2001-2013 he was Chief of the Water Cycle Branch at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory in Colorado where he led the development of the Hydrometeorology Testbed. He also managed NOAA's Science, Technology and Infusion Program, Chaired NOAA's US Weather Research Program Executive Committee, and led the creation of NOAA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program. In 2013 he moved to the University of California San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography where is is developing the "Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes."
A major goal through is career has been to better understand, monitor, and predict key elements of the global water cycle including water vapor transport, precipitation, and runoff. Ralph has published over 75 peer-reviewed scientific articles, roughly 25 as the lead author. He has helped lead the establishment of testbeds as a method to accelerate the development and infusion of new science and technology into weather and climate forecasting operations. He has developed new projects, experiments and teams on several subjects, most having to do with observations, physical understanding, precipitation extremes, predictions and decision support tools.
Ralph earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in atmospheric sciences form the University of California and his B.S. in meteorology from the University of Arizona.