Colorado State University


Our primary research interests are in tropical weather and climate with expertise in field experiments, remote sensing, and numerical modeling. A central focus of our research is studying the structure and intensification of tropical cyclones throughout their life-cycle from genesis to extratropical transition. This research is accomplished through the collection and analysis of research quality observations in conjunction with high-resolution numerical weather prediction. A significant component of our research effort is also aimed at improving meteorological analysis techniques, open source software tools, and weather and climate forecasting from daily to seasonal timescales.


Dynamics, Thermodynamics, and Microphysics of Extreme Rainfall observed during PRECIP


Extreme rainfall is a high impact weather phenomenon that profoundly affects people around the world, but our fundamental understanding and quantitative forecast skill for these events remains limited. To address these important scientific and forecast challenges, PRECIP in summer 2021 over Taiwan will be conducted to improve our understanding of the multi-scale dynamic, thermodynamic, and microphysical processes that produce extreme precipitation.

Acknowledgement: NSF AGS-1854559


Heating, Cooling, and Rapid Intensity Change in Tropical Cyclones


The central objectives of this research are to improve our understanding of diabatic heating and cooling during TC rapid intensification (RI). The proposed research will accomplish these objectives through an analysis of field observations in conjunction with high-resolution numerical modeling. The central hypothesis of this research is that RI is caused by high efficiency diabatic heating and associated potential vorticity generation that requires cooperation across multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Acknowledgement: ONR N000142012069


Improvement of sub-seasonal to seasonal Atlantic basin hurricane forecasts

TC Forecasting

CSU has been issuing seasonal Atlantic hurricane forecasts since 1984. These forecasts have evolved since their inception and now include sub-seasonal (e.g., two-week) forecasts issued during the peak months of the hurricane season. While these forecasts have shown skill when issued in real time, there remains significant room for improvement. Current research involves a better understanding of the drivers of sub-seasonal to seasonal variability driving hurricane activity, with a focus on vertical wind shear.

Acknowledgement: G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation and our project sponsors -- Liberty Mutual Insurance, Insurance Information Institute, Weatherboy and Evex


Development of High Impact Weather Research Tools and Technology

Remote Sensing

Remote sensing observation tools such as radar, lidar, and satellite provide important data to better understand and forecast various aspects of high impact weather. This project will assist in developing new technology and tools such as APAR and LROSE to address community needs, as well as utilize machine learning in tandem with satellite multi-spectral infrared and passive microwave brightness temperatures to address scientific hypotheses and develop new forecasting tools.

Acknowledgement: NSF SI2-LROSE OAC-1661663, NOAA APAR NA19OAR4590245, NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, United States Air Force -- Air Force Institute of Technology


Impacts of convective and stratiform processes on tropical cyclone intensity change


This study is investigating convective and stratiform processes in TC intensification through analysis of mesoscale observations, with a focus on aircraft and Doppler radar data. Recent studies have suggested that the radial location of deep convective bursts and stratiform precipitation relative to the RMW may play an important role in intensification efficiency. Testing new hypotheses using observations is needed to diagnose the physical processes responsible for TC intensity change and forecasts.

Acknowledgement: NSF AGS-1701225


Multiscale Interactions in Tropical Cyclone Structure and Intensity Change


The proposed research will improve our understanding of the multiscale interactions that result in TC genesis, rapid intensification, and weakening through an analysis of field observations collected during the Tropical Cyclone Intensity 2015 (TCI-2015) and Propagation of Intra-Seasonal Oscillations (PISTON) field projects in conjunction with numerical modeling. A better understanding of multiscale processes will enable improved environmental predictive capabilities for tactical planning and decision making.

Acknowledgement: ONR N000141613033