In Memoriam: Stanley Louis Barnes

In Memoriam: Stanley Louis Barnes

Dr. Stanley Louis Barnes died peacefully on May, 14 2019 at the age of 87.

Dr.Barnes was one of the six founding members of our School of Meteorology nearly 60 years ago. Before that, he earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in meteorology from Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State University). He was then one of the first students to earn a Ph.D. in meteorology from OU and served as an instructor before the foundation of the School of Meteorology.

Stan’s career in meteorology was expansive and included weather observer, forecaster, researcher and project leader at both the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)  in Norman, Oklahoma and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado.

When Barnes worked for the NSSL, he was instrumental in explaining why storm super cells have rotation, and it is now a major part of meteorology education. In the meteorology community, Barnes is well known for his objective analysis technique, the Barnes interpolation. He was the first to suggest that a possible source of vorticity for low-level mesocyclones/tornadoes in supercells is vertical shear in the boundary layer (Barnes, 1970, JAS) and received very little recognition. He was also credited in a 2013 textbook written by our own Dr. Howard Bluestein, Severe Convective Storms and Tornadoes (pp. 242 – 243 and 258).

His contributions to the University of Oklahoma, the School of Meteorology and the meteorology community are unmeasurable.

Per his obituary:

“Stan was a constant learner, as well as a teacher, and shared his passion and love of weather, the environment and the mountains with his daughters and many others. He was an avid sailor, enjoyed snow skiing, backpacking and hiking the Rocky Mountains. Stan was a dedicated volunteer with The Colorado Trail system for more than 20 years, working with the U.S. Forest Service to help maintain the 485 miles of trails. He was also an enthusiast for his cats, gardening, photography and music. Stan is survived by his wife, Ruth (Runge) Barnes; daughter Caryn Odgers and her husband, Ed; daughter Tracey Barnes; and their mother, Richa Barnes; his sister, Myrna Dahlstrom; sister, Nancy Hamilton; and brother Bill Barnes, and his wife, Trixy; along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, James Barnes, and sister-in-law, Oleta Barnes; and brother-in-law,Ray Dahlstrom.”

You can read his full obituary here.

Photo provided by Dr. David Parsons