New DOE Grant

We have recently been awarded a research grant from the Atmospheric System Research Program of the U.S. Department of Energy to investigate the pools of cold air that form beneath precipitating convective clouds when the precipitation melts and evaporates.  These surface cold pools exert strong controls on the initiation and characteristics of subsequent convection, and thereby on the fundamental convective dynamics and thermodynamics.  More broadly, cold pools impact the radiative forcing of convective clouds, modulate their role in the water cycle, and influence their ability to process atmospheric constituents.

In our collaborative project entitled A Bottom-up Approach to Improve the Representation of Deep Convective Clouds in Weather and Climate Models, Prof. Sonia Lasher-Trapp, Prof. Steve Nesbitt, and I will use a combination of highly complementary data analyses and numerical model experimentation to address the influences of cumulus entrainment, wind shear, atmospheric stability, microphysical processes, and land surface on: (i) cold pool development and intensity, (ii) the role of the cold pool as an upscale feedback mechanism, and (iii) the characteristics of the cold-pool triggered convection.