Skip to main content

Media Advisory: A summer of extreme weather

July 27, 2021

From catastrophic floods in Germany to an early fire season and drought in the Western U.S., extreme weather reports have been relatively common this summer. Experts from UW–Madison can speak on a wide range of subjects relating to the topic.

More experts can be found on the Experts page.

Climate change impacts

Daniel Vimont is a professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and director at the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research. Vimont is available to discuss this summer’s extreme weather through the lens of climate change. He studies climate variation as well as climate change impact on Wisconsin and beyond.

Vimont can be reached at

Andrea Dutton, a professor of geoscience, is an expert on the Earth’s history of climate sea level.

“We know that the trend of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere means that our planet will continue to warm into the future,” Dutton says. “This means that we will look back on the ‘extreme’ heat waves, wildfires, coastal and inland flooding we are currently experiencing and think of it as mild in comparison to our future. Though this may sound bleak, the hope in this story lies in the fact that we are ready to deploy policies and technology that can stem the amount of suffering related to climate change in our future.”

Dutton can be reached at or on Twitter.

Water conservation and the California drought

Drought this summer in California is exacerbating an early fire season, hampering the agricultural industry and draining reservoirs. Manuel Teodoro is an expert on utility management and utility rate equity and affordability. Teodoro works on directly with governments and water sector leaders across the United States. He’s an assistant professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. He can discuss:

  • Water utility efforts to conserve through pricing and regulation
  • Regulatory decoupling as a conservation measure
  • Local and state politics of water conservation
  • Water utility policy lessons learned from 2014-2017 California drought

Teodoro can be reached via Ann Shaffer at the La Follette School:

Other experts from the LaFollette School

Denia Garcia, race and climate change:

Greg Nemet, climate change, technology, and energy policy:

Morgan Edwards, expert on climate change, fossil fuel phase out and state and local solutions:

Global climate change and extreme weather

Steve Vavrus is a senior scientist at the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research and an expert on extreme weather and climate change. He is available for interviews about this summer’s heat waves and floods, climate change and expected future conditions, and atmospheric circulation changes.

Vavrus says, “To the extent that climate change is playing a role in this summer’s extreme weather, most of the influence is probably coming from a simple shift toward generally warmer summers as a consequence of a warming climate (for heat waves) and more moisture in the atmosphere in a warming climate (for floods).  However, an interesting and potentially important secondary influence is that a warming summer climate may cause jet stream winds to generally weaken over middle latitudes and thus favor slower-moving weather systems.  That, too, can lead to extreme weather by causing more stagnation during times of intense heat or heavy rainfall.”

Vavrus can be reached at

Smoke from Western wildfires and air quality

Smoke this summer from wildfires is eroding air quality as it crosses the country. R. Bradley Pierce is an expert on global air quality forecasting and chemical data assimilation, and director of the UW–Madison Space Science and Engineering Center.

Pierce is available for interviews, at

Tags: media tips