Hurricane wind expert available for comment on Harvey, Irma

Dr. Forrest Masters, a hurricane expert at the University of Florida, is available to discuss the impacts of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, as well as the long-term challenges of rebuilding after large-scale natural disasters. He is one of the most experienced storm chasers in the United States, having conducted more than 25 field deployments into named tropical cyclones since the late 1990s.

Just before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Masters lead a reconnaissance team to Rockport, Texas, 30 miles north of Corpus Christi, to gather hurricane data. His team successfully deployed two 50 ft. weather stations — each equipped with five precision ultrasonic anemometers – to capture synchronized, high-fidelity (10 Hz) data in the most extreme winds that cause structural damage.

Masters conducts experiments on land to monitor the intensity and structure of storms, in addition to conducting laboratory tests to simulate the effects of extreme winds and flying debris. He is a principal investigator for the NSF-funded Natural Hazard Engineering Research Infrastructure, NHERI.

A professor in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment at the University of Florida, Masters serves as Associate Dean for Research and Facilities in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. He also serves on the NIST National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction and the Board of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.

To arrange an interview with Dr. Forrest Masters, email

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