William M. Gray has worked in the observational and theoretical aspects of tropical meteorological research for more than 40 years, much of this effort going to investigations of mesoscale tropical weather phenomena. He has specialized in the global aspects of tropical cyclones for his entire professional career. He studied under Professor Herbert Riehl, who arranged his early reconnaissance flights into hurricanes in 1958. Gray has been involved with studies of broad-scale cumulus interactions and has extensively studied the processes associated with tropical cyclone structure, development, and movement. Numerous satellite-based studies of tropical weather systems also have been accomplished.
His current areas of research include tropical cyclone structure, movement, and intensity change; seasonal prediction; meso-scale tropical weather systems; diurnal variability of tropospheric vertical motions; and ENSO variability. Gray has made Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts for the past 23 years. He was a pioneer in developing these types of forecasts.