Leslie R. Lemon

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Les Lemon
Born (1947-01-19) January 19, 1947 (age 72)
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma
Known forRadar research and teaching on convective storms
Scientific career
InstitutionsNational Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA Commissioned Corps, National Severe Storms Forecast Center, Lockheed Martin, Unisys, Basic Commerce & Industries, Paramax, Baron Services, WDTB/CIMMS, L.R. Lemon Meteorological Services
InfluencesKeith Browning[1]

Leslie R. Lemon (born January 19, 1947) is an American meteorologist bridging research and forecasting with expertise in weather radar, particular regarding severe convective storms. Lemon is, along with Charles A. Doswell III, a seminal contributor to the modern conception of the supercell which was first identified by Keith Browning,[2] and he developed the Lemon technique to estimate updraft strength and thunderstorm organization (in highly sheared environments) also as a continuation of Browning's work.[3][4]


Lemon's interest in severe storms was triggered in earnest after he witnessed the F5 Ruskin Heights tornado on May 20, 1957 which caused light damage to his family's home and severe damage very nearby.[1] Lemon studied meteorology at the University of Kansas (KU) and the University of Oklahoma (OU), graduating with a B.S. from OU in 1970.

Lemon embarked on graduate school studies but being the Vietnam era he wasn't able to continue and he joined the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Afterward, in addition to developing the Lemon technique at the Techniques Development Unit (TDU) of the National Severe Storms Forecast Center (NSSFC) and his work on the supercell thunderstorm, Lemon was a major developer of the WSR-88D or "NEXRAD". In 1976 NOAA bestowed a Special Achievement Award for his co-discovery of tornado vortex signature (TVS).

He has since taught widely on the subjects of radar and severe convective storms throughout the United States and internationally. At Lockheed Martin, Lemon was a key developer of its microburst prediction radar. Lemon also worked at Unisys and other companies during his career and currently operates a forensic and consulting meteorology company.[5]

National and international[edit]

He was president of the National Weather Association (NWA) in 2001 and served on a National Academy of Sciences National Research Council committee on "Weather Radar Technology Beyond NEXRAD" that same year.

He also has expertise in storm damage surveying and surveyed the first documented tornado in Romania while doing radar work there.[6]


Lemon is married and has three children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b James Spann et al. (25 Jan 2010). "International Radar Expert". WeatherBrains. Episode 209.
  2. ^ Lemon, Leslie R.; C.A. Doswell (Sep 1979). "Severe Thunderstorm Evolution and Mesocyclone Structure as Related to Tornadogenesis". Mon. Wea. Rev. 107 (9): 1184–97. Bibcode:1979MWRv..107.1184L. doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1979)107<1184:STEAMS>2.0.CO;2.
  3. ^ Lemon, Leslie R. (July 1977). New severe thunderstorm radar identification techniques and warning criteria: a preliminary report. Kansas City, MO: Techniques Development Unit, National Severe Storms Forecast Center.
  4. ^ Lemon, Leslie R. (April 1980). New Severe Thunderstorm Radar Identification Techniques and Warning Criteria. Kansas City, MO: Techniques Development Unit, National Severe Storms Forecast Center.
  5. ^ Lemon, L. R. "L. R. Lemon homepage". StormEyes. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  6. ^ Lemon, Leslie R.; A. Stan-Sion (A. Bell); C. Soci; E. Cordoneanu (Jul–Sep 2003). "A strong, long-track, Romanian tornado". Atmos. Res. 67-68: 391–416. Bibcode:2003AtmRe..67..391L. doi:10.1016/S0169-8095(03)00063-2.

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