Robert Trapp

Profile picture for Robert Trapp

Contact Information

3062Natural History Building
Professor and Department Head, Department of Atmospheric Sciences


Dr. Trapp is a Professor with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining Illinois in 2014, he was a Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University from 2003-2014, and a research scientist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (through the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies) in Norman, Oklahoma from 1996-2003. Four years of his tenure with NSSL were spent as a visiting scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Research Interests

Dr. Trapp's research interests include the dynamics and observations of mesoscale convective systems, severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes; mesoscale modeling and predictability.


  • Ph.D. in Meteorology, The University of Oklahoma, 1994
  • M.S. in Meteorology, Texas A&M University, 1989
  • B.S. in Agriculture/Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1985

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Atmospheric Sciences
Head, Atmospheric Sciences

Recent Publications

Carroll-Smith, D., Dawson, L., & Trapp, R. (2019). High-resolution real-data WRF modeling and verification of tropical cyclone tornadoes associated with Hurricane Ivan (2004). Electronic Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, 14(1).

Marion, G. R., & Trapp, R. (2019). The Dynamical Coupling of Convective Updrafts, Downdrafts, and Cold Pools in Simulated Supercell Thunderstorms. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(2), 664-683.

Marion, G. R., Trapp, R. J., & Nesbitt, S. W. (2019). Using Overshooting Top Area to Discriminate Potential for Large, Intense Tornadoes. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(21), 12520-12526.

Mulholland, J. P., Nesbitt, S. W., & Trapp, R. J. (2019). A case study of terrain influences on upscale convective growth of a supercell. Monthly Weather Review, 147(12), 4305-4324.

Schlie, E. E. J., Wuebbles, D. J., Stevens, S., Trapp, R., & Jewett, B. (2019). A radar-based study of severe hail outbreaks over the contiguous United States for 2000–2011. International Journal of Climatology, 39(1), 278-291.

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