CW3E Welcomes Dr. Nora Mascioli

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Nora Mascioli

February 20, 2018

Dr. Nora Mascioli joined CW3E as a Post-Doctoral Scholar in February of 2018, after completing her PhD in Earth and Environmental Science from Columbia University. At Columbia, Nora worked with Dr. Arlene Fiore and Dr. Michael Previdi studying aerosol impacts on regional climate. Using a global climate model, Nora demonstrated that aerosols have a significant effect on the frequency and magnitude of extreme temperature and precipitation events in the U.S. historically, and that future declines in aerosol emissions will likely have a large impact on temperature extremes. Using a combination of observations and a suite of CMIP5 models, Nora demonstrated that aerosols contributed to the southeastern U.S. “warming hole” in summer, although internal variability also played a large role. Nora also found that aerosols drove changes in atmospheric stagnation, a meteorological phenomenon associated with extreme temperature and pollution events, and that impacts on stagnation were largely independent of the aerosol source region. At CW3E, Nora will be studying the impacts of ice-nucleating aerosols (e.g. dust) on extreme wintertime precipitation in California. Ultimately, she hopes to help design and implement an improved representation of aerosols in West-WRF to support better forecasts of extreme precipitation events.

CW3E Graduate Student Attends the RIKEN International School on Data Assimilation Workshop

CW3E Represented at the National Council for Science and the Environment National Conference and Global Forum

February 2, 2018

Third year PhD student, Meredith Fish, was accepted to attend the RIKEN International School on Data Assimilation for a workshop in 2018 in Kobe, Japan on full scholarship. RIKEN is Japan’s largest research institute and houses its K computer, ranked number one for 5 consecutive years on the Graph500 supercomputer ranking. Research at the Advanced Institute for Computational Science at RIKEN focuses on weather forecasting, earthquake/tsunami forecasting, space science, drug discovery and manufacturing development.

During the workshop students attended lectures and participated in hands-on sessions lead by top leaders in data assimilation such as Stephen Penny (NCEP), Eugenia Kalnay (U. of Maryand), Gregory Hakim (U. Washington), Sebastian Reich (U. Reading) and Henry Abarbanel (UCSD). Lecture topics included the mathematical background of data assimilation, geoscience applications, data assimilation within a toy model, machine learning and coupled human-earth systems.

This workshop has prepared Meredith to use data assimilation in her research and actively participate in the AR Recon field campaign, which is attempting to leverage data assimilation techniques to quantify uncertainties in forecasts using targeted observations.

Meredith standing in from of the Advanced Institute for Computational Sciences at RIKEN in Kobe, Japan.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Ali Hamidi

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Ali Hamidi

December 20, 2017

Dr. Ali Hamidi has joined CW3E at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a Postdoctoral Scholar in December 2017. Ali earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at the City University of New York under the supervision of Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi. His dissertation focused on the spatial-temporal variation of extreme rainfall and its effects on urban infrastructure systems. For this work he analyzed high-resolution radar rainfall data along with the other remote sensing and observational climate data. Ali has experience in many areas including: hydrological modeling, machine learning, GIS, and remote sensing. His Ph.D. research provided seasonal classification of extreme rainfall patterns and employed them in improving the uncertainty estimation in urban hydrological modeling of New York City. To help support agricultural planning, he also developed a seasonal forecasting model for the extreme rainfall in the northeast United States that relied on the teleconnection patterns.

As a post-doc at CW3E, Ali plans to improve hydrologic model performance associated with extreme events based on data assimilation of in-situ soil moisture observations and remotely sensed observations, as well as examining atmospheric forcing for hydrologic model applications. The research is part of the Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) project at CW3E and will support the development of tools and information for operational decision making.

CW3E Graduate Student to Participate in United Nations Convention Next Month

CW3E Graduate Student to Participate in United Nations Convention Next Month

October 23, 2017

Tashiana Osborne, a graduate student within CW3E, will be attending the 23rd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany next month. During the convention, Tashiana will lead a press conference centered on oceanic and atmospheric phenomena with another Scripps student. Her attendance at the Convention along with two other Scripps graduate students was highlighted in a recent San Diego Union Tribune article. Tashiana was interviewed about atmospheric rivers and their importance to California’s water supply as well as their potential to lead to flooding. Read more here about Tashiana and other graduate students heading to the Convention on Climate Change.

CW3E Graduate Students Complete Advanced Study Program in Colorado

CW3E Graduate Students Complete Advanced Study Program in Colorado

June 29, 2017

CW3E graduate students Meredith Fish and Tashiana Osborne were selected to participate in the competitive Advanced Study Program on the Interaction of Precipitation with Orography. The program is a two-week colloquium held at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab in Boulder, Colorado.

Osborne and Fish, along with 24 other students from around the globe, heard dynamic talks from professors, researchers, academics, and professionals from federal agencies such as NCAR and NOAA and universities such as the University of Washington, the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Miami, as well as many others. The lectures focused on precipitation in the world’s mountainous regions. One of the speakers was CW3E post-doc Nick Siler, who spoke about his research on orographic rain shadows. Talks addressed a variety of topics including the dynamical flow and physical science, challenges in weather and climate modeling around these regions and interactions of between the atmosphere, land and ocean, as well as professional development.

Students visit the Mountain Research Station where researchers focus on advancing the study of mountain ecosystems; Elevation: ~9500 feet. Photo credit: Richard Neale, Project Scientist at NCAR

Students also grew through hands-on practical sessions analyzing observed precipitation datasets, such as PRISM and TRMM, and running the NCAR Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and Community Earth System Model (CESM). CW3E has designed a version of WRF that is tailored for West Coast atmospheric rivers, with an aim to enhance understanding of precipitation processes. Following this colloquium, students are able to bring the practical expertise gained at NCAR back to Scripps and CW3E to further enhance scientific understanding of precipitation over orography. During the last week of the colloquium, students applied new skills and knowledge to design and complete their own research project incorporating WRF and CESM modeling techniques to present on the last day.

Fun group photo of the students participating in the colloquium; featuring NCAR Project Scientist, Richard Neale. Photo Credit: Valerie Sloan, Director of GEO REU Network and Internship Specialist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Aneesh Subramanian

CW3E welcomes Dr. Aneesh Subramanian

June 29, 2017

Dr. Aneesh Subramanian started at CW3E in April 2017 as a Project Scientist. Aneesh graduated from the Climate Research Division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego with a Ph. D. in 2012. His research interests are mainly focused on climate dynamics, predictability, data assimilation and geophysical fluid dynamics. During his thesis work, he showed that the Community Climate System Model, version 4 (CCSM4) is one of the few coupled climate models, which accounts for the MJO reasonably well. His thesis work was one of the first modeling studies to demonstrate that the MJO tends to amplify with global warming, consistent with previous studies, which used observations and reanalysis data. He has also worked on assimilating ship and satellite observed data into a regional eddy-permitting ocean model of the South East Pacific to better understand mesoscale (10-1000 km) ocean processes in this region using a regional ocean model. He also studies nonlinear data assimilation techniques to improve upon the Ensemble Kalman Filter and adjoint based methods in data assimilation.

More recently, he pursued his postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford primarily focused on studying predictability on weather to seasonal timescales using a novel probabilistic forecasting system with stochastic physics. The main focus of his current work is in gaining a better understanding of the predictability of the climate system on subseasonal and seasonal timescales (S2S) especially over the Western US region and for phenomena such as atmospheric rivers, atmospheric blocking, extratropical cyclones and heat waves. He is also focused on better understanding the Madden-Julian Oscillation and its extratropical teleconnections using global and regional climate models. Another focus of his work is on data assimilation and stochastic physics parameterization in regional and global climate models. Dr. Subramanian will be leading the Subseasonal-to- Seasonal forecasting effort at CW3E.

CW3E Welcomes Dr. Liza Diaz-Issac

CW3E welcomes Dr. Liza Díaz-Issac

June 19, 2017

Dr. Liza Díaz-Issac has joined CW3E at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a Postdoctoral Scholar in April 2017. Liza earned her Ph.D. in Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University under the direction of Dr. Kenneth J. Davis and Dr. Thomas Lauvaux. Her dissertation was focused on evaluating the impact of atmospheric transport errors on both CO2 concentrations and meteorological variables over the Midwestern United States, using an ensemble of different simulations developed with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Her work helped to identify the different physical processes, such as land-surface, planetary boundary layer and convection, that are responsible for the transport errors on CO2 . In addition, she was able to generate an ensemble that efficiently represented transport errors using a smaller number of member models. Her research will help to improve transport model error estimates to support more accurate estimates of greenhouse gas emissions. She is excited to work with her colleagues at CW3E in the Megacities Project in collaboration with Dr. Ralph Keeling and other partner organizations to improve the estimates of carbon emissions over the city of Los Angeles (LA). In her new position, she will evaluate the atmospheric transport errors over the city of LA and how these errors may influence the estimates of the greenhouse gases emissions over LA; especially, under challenging weather scenarios (e.g., Catalina Eddy, Santa Ana winds).

Atmospheric Rivers: Recent Developments and Applications in California

Atmospheric Rivers: Recent Developments and Applications in California

May 19, 2017

In Sacramento on Tuesday, May 23rd, CW3E director, F. Martin Ralph will be presenting a seminar about atmospheric rivers and their impacts to California legislative and agency staff. The seminar, Atmospheric Rivers: Recent Developments and Applications in California, will provide updates on the impacts of ARs on the current water year and the ongoing research to better understand and better forecast ARs. Dr. Ralph is looking forward to sharing all of the exciting research being done at CW3E with the group.

CW3E Outreach at Local Elementary School

CW3E Outreach at Local Elementary School

May 15, 2017

CW3E’s Brian Kawzenuk, Chad Hecht, and Anna Wilson recently visited La Costa Meadows Elementary School to discuss some of the unique observations and tools that meteorologists use to study the atmosphere. Over 1000 students from kindergarten to fifth grade joined to observe and discuss meteorological ground instrumentation and a weather balloon launch. Discussion focused on how the instrumentation works, what they measure, how the observations can be useful to understanding the atmosphere, and how this knowledge and research can be used to improve forecasting and water resource management. During the demonstration students were actively engaged, asked numerous questions, and two assisted in releasing the weather balloon.

After the balloon launch, fourth and fifth grade students were invited to a more in depth discussion and presentation on meteorology, which focused on several aspects that are related to their science curriculum. Topics covered included data gathered from radiosonde launches, radar and satellite observations, storm systems and fronts, and forecasting and atmospheric models. This discussion gave students the opportunity to discuss and ask more questions about the atmosphere and how it is studied. Overall, the event proved to be a valuable experience for both students and staff.

Left: Anna Wilson and Chad Hecht prepare a radiosonde and weather balloon at La Costa Meadows Elementary School. Right: Brian Kawzenuk describes the process of performing a weather balloon launch while Chad and Anna prepare to hand off the balloon and radiosonde to two students.

Graduate Student Tashiana Osborne Represents UCSD at the California State Capitol

Graduate Student Tashiana Osborne Represents UCSD at the California State Capitol

May 3, 2017

CW3E graduate student, Tashiana Osborne, and Communication graduate student, Jahmese Fort, were selected to represent the University of California San Diego (UCSD) at the California State Capitol for the eighth annual UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day on April 19, 2017.

During their day at the state capitol, Osborne and Fort met face-to-face with several state senators, assembly members, and their staff. UC President Janet Napolitano addressed student representatives gathered from all 10 UC campuses during the event. Students engaged with legislators representing both major parties about ways their research projects contribute to making a difference for the lives of Californians and beyond.

Osborne highlighted implications of her research with CW3E, which focuses on investigating and enhancing forecasts of the atmospheric freezing level, the elevation where the air temperature is zero degrees Celsius. Frozen precipitation typically melts to become rain about 200-300 meters below this elevation. Freezing level, therefore, is key in determining the type and amount of precipitation, and ultimately, the amount of runoff generated during and after precipitation events. Freezing level is especially critical in California’s mountainous regions, where precipitation has a unique interaction with the complex and varied topography.

Her work supports the University’s goal to demonstrate the value and impact of UC research and graduate education for California. This research emphasizes the lead role California can have in western weather prediction and monitoring, water resources management, flood safety, and drought preparedness.

Fort and Osborne were also named as the inaugural recipients of the Jane and Jiao Fan, PhD ’94 Prize for Best Advocate for Graduate Studies through the Graduate Division. This prize honors graduate student representatives who are successful in marketing and communicating their own research efforts.

UC President, Janet Napolitano, and graduate student, Tashiana Osborne, at the California State Capitol. Photo credit: Denise Serrano; UCSD Director of Public Affairs.