Hosmay Lopez

Staff page photo for Hosmay Lopez of AOML

Research Highlights

Research Interests

Investigating the role of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) on climate variability.

Analysing the occurrence of extreme weather events and under the influence of anthropogenic (human induced) forcing.

Researching the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dynamics and its remote teleconnections.

Hosmay Lopez, PhD.

Oceanographer, Physical Oceanography Division


4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149

“Extreme weather events are responsible for large mortality and vast economic impact in the U.S. with a yearly average of 569 fatalities and $19.9 billions in damage. Hence, there is a pressing need for extending the time frame of extreme weather forecasts beyond the 7-10 days. Improved forecasts serve to provide emergency managers, government officials, businesses, and the public in general better advance warning to minimize catastrophic loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure. This effort is crucial for informing public health security and impact mitigation strategies, filling that gap and developing effective extreme weather prediction to help communities be better prepared.”

Dr. Hosmay Lopez is an oceanographer at the Physical Oceanography Division at NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML). He is currently engaged in several research projects, which aim at studying the ocean-atmosphere interaction, climate variability, the occurrence of extreme weather events, and their economic and societal impact. One of Dr. Lopez’s recent studies involved assessing the relative role of anthropogenic (i.e., climate change) forcing versus natural variability in the occurrence of heat wave events in the U.S. In this study, he used the Intergovernmental Projection for Climate Change (IPCC) models to identify when we might expect climate change signals to emerge on top of naturally occurring heat waves into the 21st Century climate projections.

Dr. Lopez is also leading a project on inter-hemispheric variations of the Atlantic Ocean heat transport and its significant impacts on atmospheric circulation, climate, and extreme weather. He is also a team leader for a NOAA NGI (Northern Gulf Institute) project, which focuses on developing a seasonal outlook for U.S. landfalling hurricanes. Lopez is currently a member of several research communities, such as the NOAA-OAR-CPO-MAPP CMIP6-Trask-Force Team, the US-AMOC Science team for US CLIVAR, and the NOAA MAPP Subseasonal-to-Seasonal (S2S) Prediction Task Force.

Current Work

Investigating natural and anthropogenic influences of heat waves, and droughts over the United States: variability, predictability, and future projections.

Enhancing subseasonal severe weather predictions through the variable-resolution Unified Forecast System (UFS).

Enhancing the seasonal landfalling hurricane outlook.

Download Full CV

2009, B.S. Meteorology and Applied Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

2013, Ph.D. Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, RSMAS, U. of Miami, Virginia Key, FL

  1. Lee, S.-K., R. Lumpkin, F. Gomez, S. Yeager, H. Lopez, F. Tagklis, S. Dong, W. Aguiar, D. Kim, and M. Baringer. Human-induced changes in the global meridional overturning circulation are emerging from the Southern Ocean. Communications Earth & Environment, 4:69, https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00727-3 2023
    Ref. 4237
  2. Zavadoff, B.L., K. Gao, H. Lopez, S.-K. Lee, D. Kim, and L.M. Harris. Improved MJO forecasts using the experimental global-nested GFDL SHiELD model. Geophysical Research Letters, 50(6):e2022GL101622, https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL101622 2023
    Ref. 4239
  3. Balaguru, K., G. Foltz, L. Leung, W. Xu, D. Kim, H. Lopez, and R. West. Increasing hurricane intensification rate near the US Atlantic coast. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(20):e2022GL099793, http://doi.org/10.1029/2022GL099793 2022
    Ref. 4182

NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Employee of the Year Award 2022

For groundbreaking scientific research that evaluates how El Niño-Southern Oscillation events will evolve in all seasons as a result of anthropogenic climate change, with significant implications for future Atlantic hurricane season intensities and springtime tornado outbreaks in the United States.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator’s Award 2021

For outstanding research on assessing the variability, predictability, and future projections of extreme heat waves affecting the continental US.

Award of Academic Merit, University of Miami 2013