Texas Tech University

Eric Bruning

Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science

Department of Geosciences

Email: eric.bruning@ttu.edu

Phone: (806)834-3120

Fax: (806) 742-3446

MS 41053
Lubbock, TX 79409-1053

Current CV:Eric Bruning CV

Research Interests:

  • Atmospheric electricity, lightning, cloud physics and dynamics, radar meteorology, severe storms meteorology

Professional Positions:

  • June 2010 – present: Assistant Professor, Texas Tech University
  • June 2008 – May 2010: Research Associate, University of Maryland (Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate & Satellites)
  • May 2003 – May 2008: Graduate Research Assistant, Dave Rust, National Severe Storms Laboratory(NSSL)
  • November 1999 – May 2003: Undergraduate Research Assistant, Dave Rust, NSSL 


  • Ph.D. in Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, May 2008,
  • M.S. in Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, December 2005,
  • B.S. in Meteorology, Summa Cum Laude, Minor in Mathematics, U. Oklahoma, May 2003

Professional Service:

  • Instructor, AMS Short Course: Climate Data Access, Use, And Tools, 2010 Annual Mtg.
  • EUMETSAT Lightning Imager Science Team (2009-2010) and Science Review Panel (2011, 2013) GOES-R Algorithm Working Group – Lightning Team (2008-2010)

Dr. Bruning uses observations of the atmosphere to study how thunderstorm meteorological processes influence the development of lightning. These include electrification's dependence on cloud microphysical conditions, including the impact of environmental thermodynamics and entrainment, the distribution of flash sizes and electrical energy, and the role of turbulent kinematic trajectories in organizing the texture of charge within the cloud. He received his education at the University of Oklahoma where he worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Before starting on the Atmospheric Science faculty at TTU in 2010, he had a postdoctoral research appointment at the University of Maryland working in the area of space-based lightning mapping.

Recent Funded Research Projects: 

  • VORTEX-SE: Improving Understanding and Predictability of Tornadic Storms in the Southeastern U.S.
  • Using Intensive Observations and High-Resolution Modeling. PI: Christopher C. Weiss, Funding Agency: NOAA, $249,942, 1 September 2015 31 August 2017, 1/1 month per year 
  • Texas Tech University Support to GOES-R GLM Validation. PI: Eric Bruning, Funding Agency: NOAA/NASA-MSFC, $224,998, 2/2/1.75 months per year, 22 December 2011 - 22 December 2015
  • Collaborative Research: Thunderstorm Influences on Lightning and Atmospheric Chemistry in Oklahoma and North Texas during the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) Project. PI: Eric Bruning, Funding Agency: NSF, $271,732, 1 month per year, January 1 2012 31 December 2015
  • Thunderstorm electrical energy structure, dissipation, and visualization. PI: Eric Bruning, Funding Agency: NSF, $738,576, 0.25/1/1/1/1 months per year, 1 May 2014 30 April 2019 
  • Establishment of a Joint Atmospheric Sciences- National Wind Institute Research Electronics Lab at Texas Tech University PI: Eric C. Bruning, Co-I: Jennifer K. Vanos, Funding Agency: Texas Tech University National Wind Institute Discovery Program, 2 weeks support, $39,714.00, 1 May 2015 31
  • Operational Trials of Total Lightning Data and Training at the NWS Lubbock Forecast Office. PI: Eric Bruning, Funding Agency: COMET/UCAR, $14,934, 0 months per year, 1 May 2011 31 Aug 2013
  • Risk Reduction Research for the GOES-R Geostationary Lightning Mapper, PI: Phil Arkin, Funding Agency: NOAA, $135,000, 1 month per year, 1 October 2010 - 30 September 2011

Recent Publications:

  • Bruning, E. C. and R. J. Thomas, 2015: Lightning channel length and flash energy determined from moments of the flash area distribution. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1002/2015JD023766
  • Barth, M., C. A. Cantrell, W. H. Brune, S. A. Rutledge, J. H. Crawford, H. Huntrieser, L. D. Carey, D. MacGorman, M. Weisman, K. E. Pickering, E. Bruning, B. E. Anderson, E. Apel, M. Biggerstaff, T. Campos, P. Campuzano-Jost, R. C. Cohen, J. Crounse, D. A. Day, G. S. Diskin, F. Flocke, A. Fried, C. Garland, B. Heikes, S. Honomichl, R. Hornbrook, L. G. Huey, J. Jimenez, T. Lang, M. Lichtenstern, T. Mikoviny, B. A. Nault, D. O'Sullivan, L. Pan, J. Peischl, I. Pollack, D. Richter, T. Ryerson, H. Schlager, J. S. Clair, J. Walega, P. Weibring, A. Weinheimer, P. Wennberg, A. Wisthaler, P. Wooldridge, and C. Ziegler, 2015: The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field campaign. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in press, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00290.1
  • Behnke, S. A. and E. C. Bruning, 2015: Changes to the turbulent kinematics of a volcanic plume inferred from lightning data. Geophys. Res. Lett., in press, doi:10.1002/2015GL064199
  • Fuchs, B. A., S. A. Rutledge, E. C. Bruning, J. Pierce, T. J. Lang, D. R. MacGorman, P. R. Krehbiel, and W. Rison, 2015a: Environmental controls on storm intensity and charge structure in various regions of the United States. J. Geophys. Res., accepted, pending minor revisions
  • Bruning, E. C., S. A. Weiss, and K. M. Calhoun, 2014d: Continuous variability in thunderstorm primary electrification and an evaluation of inverted-polarity terminology. Atmos. Res., 135–136, 274-284, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres. 2012.10.009
  • Bruning, E. C. and D. R. MacGorman, 2013: Theory and observations of controls on lightning flash size spectra. J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 4012–4029, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-12-0289.1
  • Lu, G., S. A. Cummer, J. Li, L. Zigoneanu, W. A. Lyons, M. A. Stanley, W. Rison, P. R. Krehbiel, R. J. Thomas, S. A. Weiss, W. H. Beasley, R. J. Blakeslee, E. C. Bruning, D. R. MacGorman, K. Palivec, T. Ashcraft, and T. Samaras, 2013: Coordinated observations of sprites and in-cloud lightning flash structure. J. Geophys. Res., 118, 6607–6632, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50459
  • Emersic, C., P. L. Heinselman, D. R. MacGorman, and E. C. Bruning, 2011: Lightning activity in a hail-producing storm observed with phased-array radar. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 1809–1825, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3574.1
  • Bruning, E. C., W. D. Rust, D. R. MacGorman, M. I. Biggerstaff, and T. J. Schuur, 2010: Formation of charge structures in a supercell. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 3740–3761, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3160.1
  • Mansell, E. R., C. L. Ziegler, and E. C. Bruning, 2010: Simulated electrification of a small thunderstorm with two-moment bulk microphysics. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 171–194, doi:10.1175/2009JAS2965.1
  • MacGorman, D. R., W. D. Rust, T. J. Schuur, M. I. Biggerstaff, J. M. Straka, C. L. Ziegler, E. R. Mansell, E. C. Bruning, K. M. Kuhlman, N. R. Lund, N. S. Biermann, C. Payne, L. D. Carey, P. R. Krehbiel, W. Rison, K. B. Eack, and W. H. Beasley, 2008: TELEX: The Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment. Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 89, 997–1013
  • Weiss, S. A., W. D. Rust, D. R. MacGorman, E. C. Bruning, and P. R. Krehbiel, 2008: Evolving complex electrical structure of the STEPS 25 June 2000 multicell storm. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 741–756
  • Stolzenburg, M., T. C. Marshall, W. D. Rust, E. C. Bruning, D. R. MacGorman, and T. Hamlin, 2007: Electric field values observed near lightning flash initiations. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, doi:10.1029/2006GL028777
  • Bruning, E. C., W. D. Rust, T. J. Schuur, D. R. MacGorman, P. R. Krehbiel, and W. Rison, 2007: Electrical and polarimetric radar observations of a multicell storm in TELEX. Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 2525–2544, doi:10.1175/MWR3421.1
  • Rust, W. D., D. R. MacGorman, E. C. Bruning, S. A. Weiss, P. R. Krehbiel, R. J. Thomas, W. Rison, T. Hamlin, and J. Harlin, 2005: Inverted-polarity electrical structures in thunderstorms in the Severe Thunderstorm Electrification and Precipitation Study. Atmos. Res., 76, 247–271
  • MacGorman, D. R., W. D. Rust, P. R. Krehbiel, W. Rison, E. C. Bruning, and K. Wiens, 2005: The electrical structure of two supercell storms during STEPS. Month. Wea. Rev., 133, 2583–2607
Eric Bruning