Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

Director of Meteorology

Jeff Masters

Jeff Masters grew up in suburban Detroit, and attended the University of Michigan, where he received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology in 1982 and 1983, respectively. While working on his Masters degree, he participated in field programs studying acid rain in the Northeast U.S. and air pollution in the Detroit area.

In 1986, he took a position teaching weather forecasting to undergraduates at SUNY Brockport in New York, then later that year moved to Miami to join the Hurricane Hunters as a flight meteorologist for NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center. You can see him on the 1988 PBS documentary NOVA show titled "Hurricane!", flying into Hurricane Gilbert, the strongest hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic at that time. He co-authored several technical papers on wind measurement from aircraft during his four years flying with the Hurricane Hunters.

After nearly getting killed flying into Hurricane Hugo, Jeff left the Hurricane Hunters in 1990 to pursue a Ph.D. degree in air pollution meteorology from the University of Michigan. His 1997 Ph.D. dissertation was titled "Vertical Transport of Carbon Monoxide by Wintertime Mid-latitude Cyclones." The University of Michigan College of Engineering awarded him their 2006 Merit Award as the Alumnus of the year from their Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences Department, and Jeff remains active with the Department, offering guest lectures on hurricanes, and managing a Weather Underground undergraduate scholarship program.

While working on his Ph.D., he co-founded The Weather Underground, Inc. in 1995. He wrote much of the software that ingests and formats the raw NWS data used on the website, and created most of the imagery on the tropical page. Jeff currently serves as Director of Meteorology and on the Board of Directors for the company.

Jeff lives in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area with his wife and daughter. He and his wife are active in managing a 32-acre natural area owned by their neighborhood association. They spend a lot of time killing invasive plants such as garlic mustard, glossy buckthorn, and Asian bittersweet, and planting native species to take their places. Jeff enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, vegetarian cooking, and meditation. His favorite places are Havasu Canyon in the Grand Canyon and the Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park. His favorite book is Autobiography of a Yogi, and his favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He enjoys listening to Tangerine Dream, Loreena McKennitt, Anugama, and Beethoven. He occasionally picks up his trombone, but hasn't played much since freshman year in college, when he played with the University of Michigan Marching Band.

You can email Jeff at