Dr. David Sills, PhD

Professional ​
Severe Weather Scientist,
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Adjunct Professor, York University

Research Interests
  • Summer severe weather (including tornadoes and lightning)

  • Low-level mesoscale boundaries (including Great Lakes lake-breeze fronts and Alberta drylines)

  • Severe weather nowcasting

Research and Projects

Contributing to Environment Canada’s mandate to protect the lives and property of Canadians against severe and extreme weather

  • Low-level convergence boundaries (lake-breeze fronts, thunderstorm gust fronts, drylines) and their relationship to severe weather (heavy rain, hail, damaging wind and tornadoes) and hazardous levels of air pollutants (ozone and particulate matter)

  • Tornadoes and their climatology

  • Total lightning (Southern Ontario Lightning Mapping Array, GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper)

  • Development of advanced prototype tools and techniques for severe weather nowcasting such as the interactive Convective Analysis and Storm Tracking prototype

  • Bridging the gap between meteorological research and operations

Professional activities / interests
  • Serve as Environment Canada representative on the ASCE EF-Scale Standards Committee

  • Provide scientific reviews of journal manuscripts (e.g. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Weather and Forecasting, Atmosphere-Ocean, Atmospheric Environment, Atmospheric Research, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Hydrological Processes, Journal of Climatology, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Alternatives)

  • Transfer of science knowledge to operational meteorologists through dynamic presentations (e.g., change of season workshops, damage survey training sessions) and real-time interactive learning

  • Supervise and serve on defence committees for graduate students: York University, University of Manitoba, McMaster University

  • Scientific committee for various professional meetings (e.g., 2017 CMOS Congress in Toronto, ON; 2016 and 2010 Great Lakes Operational Meteorology Workshops, Toronto, ON; 2007 UNSTABLE Science Workshop, Edmonton, AB; 2006 BAQS-Met Science Workshop, Toronto, ON; 2005 3rd MSC Forecasters Forum, Montreal, PQ)

Key Publications
  • Alexander, L. S., D. M. L. Sills and P. A. Taylor, 2018: Initiation of summer convective storms at mesoscale boundaries in southwestern Ontario. Weather and Forecasting, 33, 583-598, DOI: 10.1175/WAF-D-17-0086.1
  • Brunet, D. and D. Sills, 2015: An implicit contour morphing framework applied to computer-aided severe weather forecasting. IEEE Signal Processing Letters, 22, 1936-1939, 10.1109/LSP.2015.2447279.

  • Cheng, V. Y. S., G. B. Arhonditsis, D. M. L. Sills, W. A. Gough and H. Auld, 2015: A Bayesian modeling framework for tornado occurrences in North America. Nature Communications, 6, 6599, 10.1038/ncomms7599.

  • Sills, D. M. L., J. R. Brook, I. Levy, P. A. Makar, J. Zhang, and P. A. Taylor, 2011: Lake breezes in the southern Great Lakes region and their influence during BAQS-Met 2007. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 11: 7955-7973.

  • Taylor, N. M., D. M. L. Sills, J. M. Hanesiak, J. A. Milbrandt, C. D. Smith, G. S. Strong, S. H. Skone, P. J. McCarthy, and J. C. Brimelow, 2011: The Understanding Severe Thunderstorms and Alberta Boundary Layers Experiment (UNSTABLE) 2008. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 92: 739-763.

  • Sills, D. M. L.. 2009: On the MSC Forecasters Forums and the Future Role of the Human Forecaster. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 90: 619-627.

  • Sills, D.M.L., J.W. Wilson, P.I. Joe, D.W. Burgess, R.M. Webb and N.I. Fox. 2004. The 3 November tornadic event during Sydney 2000: storm evolution and the role of low-level boundaries. Weather and Forecasting. 19:22-42

  • Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, York University, 1998

  • Cerificate in Meteorology, York University, 1993

  • B.Sc. Atmospheric Science, York University, 1993

  • CMOS Rube Hornstein Medal in Operational Meteorology, 2016

  • Geoff Howell Citation of Excellence for Innovation, 2016

& Awards

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