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observations and numerical modeling of cloud & precipitation processes




The Cloud Microphysics Group was initiated by Prof. Sonia Lasher-Trapp in January 2003. The over-arching philosophy of the group is that advances are best made with observational and numerical modeling analysis done in unison thus using two approaches to investigate every problem. Our successes in the last decade 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, 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 Conferences and the International Conferences 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, including the Hallet-Mossop process and its importance in ice proliferation throughout the cloud, the details of cumulus entrainment processes, and improvement of visualization for high-resolution numerical cloud modeling. Our active projects link to the left discusses some of our current work.

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