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Calling ‘Dr. Phil’

News Feature

News & Events

September 12, 2017

When people want to talk hurricanes – be they fellow meteorologists or members of the media – often they’ll call on Philip J. Klotzbach, ’99.

Or, as many refer to him since he received his PhD from Colorado State University: Dr. Phil.

Dr. Klotzbach graduated from BSU with a degree in geography. He was active during his time on campus with the GeoGraphics Lab. Today, is one of the nation’s preeminent experts on hurricanes. Part of his job as research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, is to publish an annual hurricane forecast.

This year, he’s been especially busy. Members of the media have been ringing him up almost constantly, as hurricanes Harvey and Irma have wrought wide-spread devastation. More than a hundred national newspapers, television and radio stations, including National Public Radio, have all sought his expertise and commentary over the past week. As for his Twitter feed, he can boast of nearly 30 million impressions and a half million profile visits -- numbers Beyoncé might envy. (@philklotzbach)

(See below for links to some recent stories. Listen to a Q and A with Dr. Klotzbach here.)

Dr. Klotzbach retains connections to his alma mater. He still visits campus (he’s a native of Plymouth), and BSU’s GeoGraphics Lab is home to the server on which all historical data regarding hurricanes is kept. He uses this information when creating the annual forecast, and recently it informed his comments on National Public Radio.

"When it comes to the historical U.S. landfalling information, it is the same data that is stored at BSU," he said. "My primary goal with all these storms is to try and frame them into historical context. In the case of Irma, I was trying to compare it to historical storms for Florida, as well as the rest of the United States to see how it compared with these events."

Such comprehensive information, along with spot-on insights about storms -- present and future -- are why so many members of the media keep Dr. Klotzbach in their Rolodex.

“Dr. Phil” in the media:

New York Times: How Hurricane Irma Became So Huge…

NPR: Hurricane Irma Blasts Into the Record Books

CNBC: Here Are Some of the Records Hurricane Irma Set

NBC: Hurricane Irma Winds Down

Tampa Bay Times: Irma Forecast Wasn’t as Far Off…

(Story by John Winters, G '11, University News & Media)

Dr. Phil Klotzbach, '99