Time series of 3D cloud simulationView of cumulus cloud from aircraftPhotorealistic Cloud ModelingSunset over Ocean




Professor Lasher-Trapp performing outreach

Blue Waters Professor
Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
Univ. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
fax: 217-244-1752




NEW GRaduate

Group member Daniel Moser successfully defended his Ph.D., in November 2017.  Daniel has taken a position on the high performance computing team at the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.  Congratulations Daniel! 

NEW GRoup member

We welcomed Emma Scott, a graduate of North Carolina State University, to our group in Fall 2017.  Emma will be participating in the SOCRATES field campaign, and performing high-resolution idealized numerical modeling of mixed phase clouds in that region to understand their longevity and the persistence of supercooled liquid water in that region.

Recent Publications

We have been completing our work based on the COnvective Precipitation Experiment (COPE) field campaign in Southwest England.  Several publications have been submitted, and will be announced here when published.  Topics include investigating the effects of cloud spacing within a convective line upon entrainment and precipitation, and investigating different microphysical pathways leading to convective precipitation.

Daniel Moser's first paper, a numerical modeling study on the effects of successive thermals in a cumulus cloud upon its entrainment and dilution, in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences (JAS).  It is available here.  

Our observational analysis of ice nucleation in maritime cumulus clouds (based on data collected during the ICE-T field campaign) has been published in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences (JAS). Former graduate student Alexandria Johnson's initial work with the small ice detector (SID-2H) during the field campaign was published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology (JAOT).  

Based upon her experience in the ICE-T field campaign, Prof. Lasher-Trapp was invited to participate in an international workshop on secondary ice production, which resulted in a chapter in the AMS Monographs.


Group Overview

Our group uses numerical modeling with observational analysis to investigate research problems associated with the development of clouds and precipitation. Our successes in the last decade, often with other collaborators, include demonstrating when giant aerosol particles are (or are not) important in warm rain formation, how the productivity of the warm rain process may change in a future warmer climate, the importance of variability resulting from entrainment and mixing upon accelerating or preventing warm rain formation, the influence of a strong warm rain process upon ice production in oceanic cumuli, and the behavior of clouds as shedding thermals that thus entrain air through their leading edges. We have published multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals and regularly present our work at the AMS Cloud Physics Conference and the International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation.

We have also contributed to the development of tools for visualization of ground-based and airborne radar data and high-resolution numerical simulations of clouds, evaluated the performance of aircraft-mounted cloud microphysical probes, and tested microphysical parameterizations in larger-scale cloud models. Finally, we have contributed to science education through studies on improving undergraduate understanding of the nature of science, and the development and evaluation of research-based laboratories for undergraduates in atmospheric science.


Our Future

We continue to shift our emphasis toward the interaction of warm rain and ice processes in mixed-phase cumuli.  New projects include using very high-resolution simulations on the Blue Waters supercomputer to investigate the effects of entrainment in thunderstorms and its effect upon precipitation (NSF award), and microphysical effects upon convective outflow and its generation of new convection (DOE- ASR award with lead PI Jeff Trapp). In Jan/Feb 2018, we'll also be participating in an NSF-funded study of clouds in the Southern Ocean, the Southern Ocean Clouds Radiation Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES), to collect data and numerically model the persistent supercooled liquid clouds there that are important for understanding and predicting global climate.


Current Activity Links

                  NSF logo

             SOCRATES logo 



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