Dr. John H. Helsdon

Research Scientist, Adjunct Professor, and Professor Emeritus

Dr. John Helsdon

Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 East Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701-3995

Phone: 605-394-2291
FAX: 605-394-6061 
email: John.Helsdon@sdsmt.edu

 
Research Interests
 University Activities
Education / Background
Affiliations
Other Activities

Research Interests

Dr. Helsdon's major research interests are in the numerical modeling of cloud physics processes with a specialization in the modeling of cloud electrification mechanisms and lightning. He also is interested in the relationships of lightning to the dynamic, microphysical and chemical properties of clouds.  He has authored and coauthored papers dealing with lightning, coastal frontogenesis, and cloud electrification and lightning modeling.

A list of published and presented works is provided below.

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University Activities

Dr. Helsdon joined the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences in February 1979 and received an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in 1981, teaching courses in physical meteorology, cloud physics and dynamics, precipitation physics and weather modification, and atmospheric electricity. He also teaches a half-semester course in soccer for the Physical Education Department.  He served as Acting Head of the Institute's Numerical Modeling Group from February 1982 through February 1983.  He was promoted to full Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences in 1993, and served as Chairman of the Department from July 1994 until June 1997. He also served as the Director of the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and as Dean of Graduate Education before his official retirement in 2010. As the result of a successful award from the National Science Foundation, Dr. Helsdon has returned to work on the project that involves the study of lightning.

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Education and Background

Dr. Helsdon holds a B.S. degree (1970) in Physics from Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and M.S. (1973) and Ph.D (1979) degrees in Atmospheric Science from the State University of New York at Albany.

Affiliations

Dr. Helsdon is a member of
- American Geophysical Union
- American Meteorological Society
- Sigma Pi Sigma

He has served two terms on the American Meteorological Society Committee on Atmospheric Electricity, and currently serves on the American Geophysical Union Committee on Atmospheric and Space Electricity.

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Other Activities

Dr. Helsdon has served as a Head Coach with the Rushmore Soccer Club for 6 years, most recently coaching two teams - the U15 and U16 boys. Prior to that, he spent 5 years coaching on the girls' side. He holds a U.S. Soccer Federation "B" coaching license. He is also a USA Hockey Level 2 referee.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., and R. D. Farley, 1987a: A numerical modeling study of a Montana thunderstorm.  Part I: Model results vs. observations involving non-electrical aspects. J. Geophys. Res., 92, D5, 5645-5659.

Helsdon, J.H. Jr., and R.D. Farley, 1987b: A numerical modeling study of a Montana thunderstorm.  Part II: Model results vs. observations involving the electrical aspects. J. Geophys. Res., 92, D5, 5661-5675.

Helsdon, J.H., Jr., G.Wu and R.D. Farley, 1992: An intracloud lightning parameterization scheme for a storm electrification model. J. Geophys. Res., 97, No. D5, 5865-5884.

Boe, B. A., J. L. Stith, P. L. Smith, J. H. Hirsch, J. H. Helsdon, A. G. Detwiler, H. D. Orville, B. E. Martner, R. F. Reinking, R. J. Meitin and R. A. Brown, 1992:  The North Dakota Thunderstorm Project – A cooperative study of High Plains thunderstorms.  Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 73, 145-160.

Randell, S. C., S. A. Rutledge, R. D. Farley and J. H. Helsdon Jr., 1994: A modeling study on the early electrical development of tropical convection: Continental and oceanic (monsoon) storms.  Mon. Wea. Rev., 122, No. 8, 1852-1877.

Ramachandran, R., A. G. Detwiler, J. H. Helsdon, P. L. Smith and V. N. Bringi, 1996:  Precipitation development and electrification in Florida thunderstorm cells during CaPE. J. Geophys. Res., 101, No. D1, 1599-1619.

French, J. R., J. H. Helsdon, A. G. Detwiler and P. L. Smith, 1996: Microphysical and electrical evolution of a Florida thunderstorm.  Part I: Observations. J. Geophys. Res., 101, No. D14, 18961-18977.

Helsdon, J.H., Jr., S. Gattaleeradapan, R.D. Farley, and C.C. Waits, 2001: An examination of the convective charging hypothesis: Cloud charge structure and Maxwell currents.  JGR-Atmospheres, in press. (Link to abstract and full-size figures.)

Conference Papers Presented

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., R. D. Farley, and G. Wu, 1986:  A lightning parameterization scheme in a two–dimensional, time–dependent storm electrification model. Preprints, Joint Sessions, 23rd Conf. on Radar Meteorology and Conf. on Cloud Physics, Amer. Meteor. Soc., J273–J276.

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., R. D. Farley, and F. J. Kopp, 1988:  A simulation of ion–induced storm electric field reversal at Langmuir Laboratory. Proceedings, 8th Intl. Conf. on Atmos. Elect., Inst. of High Voltage Research, Uppsala, Sweden, 559.

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., R. D. Farley, and G. Wu, 1988:  Lightning parameterization in a storm electrification model. Proceedings, 8th Intl. Conf. on Atmos. Elect., Inst. of High Voltage Research, Uppsala, Sweden, 849–854.

Helsdon, J. H., Jr. and V. Vulcan, 1988:  Simulations of the New Mexico ion–wire experiments including the effects of surface point discharge. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 69, 1071.

Willemse, S., A. G. Detwiler, and J. H. Helsdon, Jr., 1988:  Electric field measurements with a T–28 aircraft. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 69, 1070.

Helsdon, J.H., H.D. Orville, R.D. Farley and F.J. Kopp, 1988: Moisture convergence as a source of explosive growth in modeled cumulus clouds.  Presented at 10th International Cloud Physics Conference, 15-20 Aug 1988, Bad Homburg, FRG, 612-614.

Detwiler, A. G., and J. H. Helsdon, Jr., 1989:  Electrical characteristics of a squall line from the North Dakota Thunderstorm Project. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 70, 1020.

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., 1989a:  Current status of numerical modeling related to thunderstorm electrification. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 70, 1023 (INVITED).

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., 1989b:  A modeling study of the 2 Aug 1984 thunderstorm at Langmuir Laboratory. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 70, 1027 (INVITED).

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., 1990:  Analysis of a high positive–flash frequency severe storm (28 June 1989) from the North Dakota Thunderstorm Project. Preprints, 16th Conf. on Severe Local Storms/Conf. on Atmos. Elect., Amer. Meteor. Soc., 744–747.

Helsdon, J. H., Jr., R. L. Opp, J. Peterson, D. A. Verburg, B. List, and J. Freeman, 1990:  LDAP V1.0: An interactive SUN–based system for the analysis of cloud–to–ground lightning data from the National Lightning Detection Network. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 71, 1241–1242.

Detwiler, A.G., J.H. Heldson, Jr., and D.J. Musil, 1990: Evolution of a band of severe storms.  Presented at the Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, Kananaskis Provincial Park, Alberta, Canada, 22-26 Oct 1990, 705-709. (AMS)

Detwiler, A. G., and J. H. Helsdon, Jr., D. J. Musil, R. Ramachandran, P. L. Smith, V. N. Bringi, and I. J. Caylor, 1993:  Observations of electrification in CaPE thunderstorms. Proc. Conf. On Atmos. Elec., Amer. Meteor. Soc., J8–J15.

Helsdon, J. H., C. C. Waits, R. D. Farley, 1996: Modeling investigation of lightning and Maxwell currents. EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, 77, F86.

Helsdon, J. H., X. Zhang, R. D. Farley, 1997: NOx production by lightning in a 2D Storm Electrification Model simulation. 1st STERAO Workshop, Boulder, CO, March, 19–20.

Helsdon, J.H., X. Zhang, and R.D. Farley, 1999: Lightning production of NOx in a 3D storm model. 11th Int. Conf. on Atmos. Elec., 7-11 June, 1999, Lake Guntersville, AL. (Sponsored by Int. Committee on Atmos. Electricity, co-sponsors: NASA, AMS, NSF sponsored).

Helsdon, J.H., S. Gattaleeradapan, and R.D. Farley, 1999: An examination of the convective charging hypothesis. 11th Int. Conf. on Atmos. Elec., 7-11 June, 1999, Lake Guntersville, AL. (Sponsored by Int. Committee on Atmos. Electricity, co-sponsors: NASA, AMS, NSF sponsored).
 

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To contact Dr. Helsdon: email: jhelsdon@ias.sdsmt.edu

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  (Page updated 12/12/2013)