Rob Cifelli

Image of Rob Cifelli


Chief, Hydrology Applications Division


Hydrology Applications




(605) 646-3436


Dr. Cifelli is a radar meteorologist with extensive experience in precipitation research and focusing on advancing precipitation and hydrologic prediction in complex terrain regions. He is currently Chief of the Hydrology Applications Division (HAD) at the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory. A major focus of HAD is to improve physical process understanding and prediction of water availability and hydrologic extreme events.

Rob completed a detail with the Bureau of Reclamation in 2016 through the President's Management Council Interagency Rotation Program. He continues to work closely with the Reclamation Research and Development Office on developing improved weather, climate, and water forecasts of extreme events to better meet water management needs. Dr. Cifelli also works closely with the NOAA Office of Water Prediction (OWP) to advance NOAA's hydrologic prediction capabilities.

Research Interests

  • Radar Meteorology
  • Hydrology
  • Precipitation Processes


  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, May 1996
  • M.S., Hydrogeology, West Virginia University, Dec 1986
  • B.A., Geology, University of Colorado, May 1983

Professional Activities

Professional Memberships

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society Water Resources Committee

Honors and Awards

  • UCAR Award for Education Outreach, 2009
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, 2017 (Award to PSD for El Nino Rapid Response Field Campaign)
  • NOAA Administrators Award, 2017 (Russian River Habitat Blueprint)
  • CIRA Fellow