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BILL GRAY: A FORCE OF NATURE
APRIL 16, 2016, was a sad day for Colorado State, as the University lost two of its most influential faculty members: William Mason (Bill) Gray, a pioneer in the field of hurricane forecasting, and Richard G. (Gay) Israel, founder of the heart disease prevention program.
Bill Gray passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at age 86.
Gray was famous for his seasonal Atlantic Basin hurricane forecasts and his strong disagreement with the scientific basis of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.
Gray was a faculty member in the Department of Atmospheric Science from 1961 through his formal retirement in 2005. After retirement, he continued his hurricane and climate research.
In 1984, Gray initiated the now eagerly anticipated seasonal hurricane forecasts. Over his long career, Gray graduated 70 master’s and Ph.D. students, and many of his former graduate students have become prominent leaders in the field of tropical meteorology.
His last graduate student, Phil Klotzbach, has very successfully continued these seasonal forecasts since 2006.
After his active Air Force duty ended in 1957, Gray obtained an M.S. (Meteorology) and Ph.D. (Geophysical Sciences) from the University of Chicago. He joined the newly formed Department of Atmospheric Science at CSU in 1961.
Gray worked many years with the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, organizing the first WMO International Workshop on Tropical Cyclones in Bangkok in 1985.
He traveled the world and maintained collaborations with prominent researchers in the field of tropical meteorology throughout his career, receiving many professional awards.