William R Burrows

Research Scientist - Cloud Physics and Severe Weather Research Section (Downsview), Hydrometeorology and Arctic Lab (Edmonton)

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment Canada's mandate to provide timely and accurate forecasts of daily weather and severe weather

  • Design and development of models for weather element prediction using advanced statistical methods, to be used as guidance for meteorologists in Canadian Weather Centres
  • Forecasts and climatology of lightning, convection, blizzards, fog/stratus, ground-level ozone and stratospheric ozone/UV Index
  • Development of web-based winter and summer severe weather prediction fields derived from NWP (numerical weather prediction) (GEM) model output
  • Convective initiation over the Canadian Prairies
  • Forecast verification

Professional activities / interests

International Lightning Meteorology Conference oral presentation and Session Chair at International Lightning Detection Conference "Safety Warning Systems" (April 2008, Tucson, AZ)

PERD research grant for 1999-2007 1-km2 resolution lightning climatology for Canadian wind farm locations and for southern Canada in general

Past member Probability and Statistics Committee, American Meteorological Society

Peer reviews of several papers annually for various journals at the request of journal editors

Education and awards

“All Seasons Research Award” in 1995 presented by the Director of the Meteorological Service of Canada's Air Quality Research Branch in Downsview, ON

Ph.D., Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University; M.Sc., Department of Physics, University of Toronto; B.Sc.(Hons), Department of Physics, University of Alberta

Key publications

Burrows, W.R., C. Price and L.J. Wilson. 2005. Warm season lightning probability prediction for Canada and the northern United States. Weather and Forecasting 20: 971-988.

Burrows, W.R., P. King, P.J. Lewis, B. Kochtubajda, B. Snyder and V. Turcotte. 2002. Lightning occurrence patterns over Canada and adjacent United States from lightning detection network observations. Atmosphere-Ocean 40(1): 59-80.

Wilson, L.J., W.R. Burrows and A. Lanzinger. 1999. A strategy for verification of weather element forecasts from an ensemble prediction system. Mon. Wea. Rev. 127: 956-970.

Burrows, W.R., M. Benjamin, S. Beauchamp, E.R. Lord, D. McCollor and B. Thomson. 1995. CART decision-tree statistical analysis and prediction of summer season maximum surface ozone for the Vancouver, Montreal and Atlantic regions of Canada. J. Appl. Meteor. 34: 1848-1862.

Burrows, W.R., M. Vallée, D.I. Wardle, J.B. Kerr, L.J. Wilson and D.W. Tarasick. 1994. The Canadian operational procedure for forecasting total ozone and UV radiation. Met. Apps. 1: 247-265.

Stanski, H.R., L.J Wilson and W.R. Burrows. 1990. Survey of common verification methods in meteorology, 1990. World Weather Watch Tech. Rep. 8, WMO Tech. Doc. 358. 114 p.


Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta

Member, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society