Campus Activities

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Research Interests

  • Fire Behavior

  • Fire Meteorology

  • Fire Weather Education

  • Radar Meteorology (notably dual-polarization radar )

  • Cloud Physics

  • Pre- and Post-Fire Soil Biogeochemistry

  • Mesoscale Meteorology and Issues in Complex Terrain



  • Synoptic Meteorology I and Lab

  • Synoptic Meteorology II and Lab

  • Remote Sensing Lab

  • Wildfire Meteorology



Select Publications and Presentations

Clabo, D.R. and M.J. Bunkers, 2011: Using variable column precipitable water as a predictor for large fire potential. 9th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology, Palm Springs, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

Bunkers, M. J., D. R. Clabo, and J. W. Zeitler, 2009: Comments on “Structure and Formation Mechanism on the 24 May 2000 Supercell-Like Storm Developing in a Moist Environment over the Kanto Plain, Japan.” Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 2703-2712.

Clabo, D. R.  2009: Remote Sensing of Precipitation: A Look at Radar Now and in the Future. 2009 Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference.

Clabo, D. R. 2009: Polarimetric Radar Signatures of Hydrometeors Observed within Mature Convective Storms. Masters Thesis. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 82 pp.

Clabo, D. R., P. L Smith, and A. G. Detwiler, 2009: Polarimetric Radar Signatures of Hydrometeors Observed with Mature Convective Storms. Preprints, 34th Conference on Radar Meteorology, Williamsburg, VA, American Meteorological Society, Boston, CD-ROM, P13.5.

Clabo, D. R. and D. Zrnic, 2007: Observations of three-body scattering signatures with a polarimetric and conventional WSR-88D radar. Preprints, 87th AMS Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, American Meteorological Society, Boston, CD-ROM, JP2.2.

Schuur, T. J., A. V. Rhyzkov, and D. R. Clabo, 2005: Climatological analysis of DSDs in Oklahoma as revealed by a 2D-video disdrometer and polarimetric WSR-88D radar. Preprints, 32nd Conference on Radar Meteorology, Albuquerque, NM, American Meteorological Society, Boston, CD-ROM, 15R.4.

Essay regarding Coal Canyon dryline passage.

University Activities

Dr. Clabo is a Research Scientist the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at SDSM&T. He is also teaches courses within the Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Program.


State Activities


Dr. Clabo is State Fire Meteorologist for South Dakota and works directly with the SD Department of Agriculture, Wildland Fire Suppression Division. He is also the IMET (incident meteorologist) on the state's Type-II Incident Management Team, which is part of the Rocky Mountain Coordination Group. He is carded to work directly on wildfire lines and can deploy meteorological instrumentation where necessary.


Fire Meteorology Instrumentation (pictures soon)

Two portable RAWS stations supported by the NIFC in Boise, ID. These packages include temperature, dewpoint (RH), 1 hr fuel moisture, pressure, soil moisture, precipitation, solar radiation and wind (sonic) measurements. Both of these stations are portable and easily deployable.

Davis Weather Station with Weatherlink software. This station will be placed on the hill with the winds turbines at SDSM&T as soon as the weather allows us to. We are hoping to study log wind law relationships with wind energy output as soon as the station is active.

Coastal Environmental WeatherPak MTR Weather Station. This all-in-one sensor suite includes temperature, RH, wind (sonic), GPS, and pressure measurements. This system is also designed to be compatible with the NOAA Aloha/Cameo plume modeling software for hazardous material incidents. This system is deployable in under 1 minute and is capable handling extreme environments and can be brought through decontamination if needed. Considering incident meteorology has gone all-hazards, this system is expected to see much use.

Onset Weather Stations (4). Include 2 m tower, wind speed/direction, temperature, dewpoint, pressure, and solar radiation. Connect to Onset HOBO datalogger.


Darren R. Clabo * State Fire Meteorologist/Instructor * Institute of Atmospheric Sciences

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology * 501 East Saint Joseph Street * Rapid City, SD 57701 * (O) 605-394-1996 * (C) 605-381-9253