Currently working on HMT-Southeast, Kelly performs research on extreme precipitation process understanding and forecast improvement, and also coordinates the many unique parts of the upcoming HMT-Southeast Pilot Study. She also works half-time in PSD's Climate Analysis Branch, studying flood events and extreme rainfall in a changing climate, and works with water resources decision-making groups to achieve research outcomes that meet stakeholder needs.
In 2009, Kelly graduated from North Carolina State University where she earned a B.S., M.S. and PhD in Atmospheric Science. While at NC State, she worked on a number of collaborative research projects with the National Weather Service; it was this work that first got her hooked on research-to-operations ("R2O"). Her master's research was supported by the CSTAR program and focused on topics such as quantitative precipitation forecasting and numerical forecast model representation of severe thunderstorms. Her dissertation work focused on model representation of convective momentum transport, with a larger goal of improving forecasts of organized, warm-season convective systems and the prediction of damaging surface winds.
Kelly came to Boulder as a UCAR-PACE postdoctoral fellow funded jointly by NOAA and the US Bureau of Reclamation, and through her appointment with CIRES, she now enjoys working on extreme precipitation forecasting on both weather and climate timescales in various regions of the U.S.