Department of Atmospheric Sciences | University of Illinois
Atmospheric Sciences | RESEARCH

Atmospheric Dynamics

Atmospheric dynamics investigates the causes of atmospheric motion in flows of meteorological importance, such as atmospheric waves, storms, jet streams, and global circulations. The goal of dynamical studies is to explain and understand these circulations on the basis of fundamental physical principles. Practically, studies within the discipline of atmospheric dynamics focus on improving numerical weather prediction, developing methods of predicting seasonal and interannual climate variations, and—especially important today—understanding implications of human-induced impacts on the global climate system.
Students in our department are meeting the challenges of atmospheric dynamics problems by conducting an array of investigations to understand dynamical processes on a variety of scales. Research on global problems includes topics related to climate change and climate variability, stratospheric dynamics, and the general circulation of the atmosphere. Research on the synoptic scale and mesoscale emphasizes structures and instabilities within extratropical cyclones, storm tracks, arctic and sub-arctic phenomena, gravity waves, boundary layer dynamics, and thunderstorm and tornado flows. These problems are attacked with a combination of observational analyses, theory, and numerical simulation. The next generation of scientists will be pioneering new ways to address these important problems as prediction of atmospheric processes becomes evermore critical to society. Will you be among this generation?

Want to learn more? See these faculty websites:

Brian Jewett Steve Nesbitt Michael Schlesinger
Bob Rauber John Walsh Zhou Wang
Bob Wilhelmson