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ATMOS Briefing - Summer 2020 Issue

For inquiries about the UIUC Atmospheric Sciences briefing, contact Rebekka Delaney. (rebekka2@illinois.edu) 

Notes from the Head

Despite all of the uncertainties during spring and summer about the fate of the Fall 2020 semester, we are now fully underway in this new–and admittedly strange–academic year. Social distancing, instructional modality, and Zoom meetings are now common terms in our vocabulary; twice-weekly saliva-based testing and “masking up” are routine practices. The virtual orientation for our 12 new graduate students felt surprisingly natural, and even allowed us to learn some fun facts about the ATMS faculty. As I witness the adjustment of our faculty to the use of face shields, lapel mics, and webcams in our face-to-face classrooms, and to the use of Zoom breakout rooms and polling in our virtual ones, I am struck by an overwhelming sense of pride in their ability to adapt and innovate.

Our students are likewise showing their versatility, creativity, and resilience. SCAMS participated in the virtual Quad Day and is entraining the 12 new undergraduate students into their activities. DASSO is holding a virtual coffee and cookie hour prior to the departmental seminars. The student-organized and student-run Midwest Student Conference on Atmospheric Research (MSCAR) in 2020 will feature an all-online format, complete with new workshops and virtual poster sessions.

In spite of the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, we continue to move forward with new and exciting initiatives. Proposals for an online graduate certificate and M.S. degree in Weather and Climate Risk and Data Analytics have been submitted to the university, and new Teaching Assistant Professor Alicia Klees is leading the development of the corresponding courses. Equipment for a new broadcast meteorology lab has been ordered and will soon be available for students to use during the Intro to Broadcast Meteorology class taught by Prof. Jessie Choate. An announcement of new observing facilities is forthcoming soon, and plans for a major investment in departmental computational facilities have been initiated. And finally, new efforts to better promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department have been launched with the help of guidance provided by the ATMS graduate students.

Have a great September, and be safe!

- Jeff Trapp, Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences


Chase, R., Nesbitt, S., McFarquhar, G., 2020: Evaluation of the Microphysical Assumptions within GPM-DPR Using Ground-Based Observations of Rain and Snow. MDPI Atmosphere. 619. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060619

Chug, D., and Coauthors, 2020: Observed Evidence for Steep Rise in the Extreme Flow of Western Himalayan Rivers. Geophys. Res. Letters. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL087815

Ding, S., McFarquhar, G., Nesbitt, S., Chase, R., Poellot, M., Wang, H., 2020: Dependence of Mass–Dimensional Relationships on Median Mass Diameter. MDPI Atmosphere. 756. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070756  

Dong, Y., Armour, K., Zelinka, M., Proistosescu, C., Battisti, D., Zhou, C., Klein, S., 2020: Inter-model spread in the sea-surface temperature pattern effect and its contribution to climate sensitivity in CMIP5 and CMIP6 models. J. Climate. 7755-7775. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-1011.1

Hayhoe, K., Wuebbles, D., 2020: John Houghton (1931-2020): An IPCC founder and tenacious advocate for climate action. Nature, 581. https://media.nature.com/original/magazine-assets/d41586-020-01365-x/d41586-020-01365-x.pdf

Hong, Y., and Di Girolamo, L., 2020: Cloud phase characteristics over southeast Asia from A-Train satellite observations. Atmos. Phys. Chem., 20, 8267-8291, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-8267-2020.

Kumjian, M. R., R. Gutierrez, J. S. Solderholm, S. W. Nesbitt, P. Maldonado, L. M. Luna, J. Marquis,
K. Bowley, M. A. Imaz, and P. Salio, 2020: Gargantuan hail in Argentina. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,
101, E1241–E1258, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0012.1 

Mulholland, J., Nesbitt, S., Trapp, R., Peters, J., 2020: The influence of terrain on convective environment and associated convective morphology from an idealized modeling prospective. J. Atmos. Sci., in press, https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-19-0190.1.

Parsons, L., Brennan, M., Wills, R., & Proistosescu, C., 2020: Magnitudes and spatial patterns of interdecadal temperature variability in CMIP6. J. Geophys. Res., 47, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086588

Proistosescu C., and Wagner, G., 2020: Uncertainties in Climate and Weather Extremes Increase the Cost of Carbon. One Earth. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.06.002

Sherwood, S., M. J. Webb, J. D. Annan, K. C. Armour, P. M. Forster, J.C. Hargreaves, G.
Hegerl, S. A. Klein, K. D. Marvel, E. J. Rohling, M. Watanabe, T. Andrews, P. Braconnot, C.S.
Bretherton, G. L. Foster, Z. Hausfather, A. S. von der Heydt, R. Knutti, T. Mauritsen, J. R. Norris,
C. Proistosescu, M. Rugenstein, G. A. Schmidt, K. B. Tokarska, M. D. Zelinka, 2020: A combined
assessment of Earth’s climate sensitivity. Review of Geophysics. Early online release.

Stechman, D., McFarquhar, G., Rauber, R., Jewett, B., Black, R., 2020: Composite in Situ Microphysical Analysis of all Spiral Vertical Profiles Executed within BAMEX and PECAN Mesoscale Convective Systems. J. Atmos. Sci., 148, 1363-1388. https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-19-0317.1

Sessa, M. F., and R. J. Trapp, 2020: Observed Relationship between Tornado Intensity and Pretornadic Mesocyclone Characteristics. Wea. Forecasting, 35, 1243–1261, doi:10.1175/WAFD-19-0099.1. https://doi.org/10.1175/WAF-D-19-0099.1.

Trapp, R. J., K. A. Kosiba, J. N. Marquis, M. R. Kumjian, S. W. Nesbitt, J. Wurman, P. Salio,
D. A. Hence, P. Robinson, and M. Grover, 2020: Multiple-platform and multiple-Doppler radar
observations of a supercell thunderstorm in South America during RELAMPAGO. Mon. Wea. Rev.,
148, 3225–3241, https://doi.org/10.1175/MWR-D-20-0125.1

Trapp, R. J., 2020: Potential Effects of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Non-Synoptic Wind Storm Hazards. The Oxford Handbook of Non-Synoptic Wind Storms, H. Hanagan and A. Kareem, Eds., p. 25 https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0623.1

Wang, Y, G. M. McFarquhar, R. M. Rauber, C. Zhao, W. Wu, J. A. Finlon, D. M. Stechman, J. Stith,
J. Jensen, M. Schnaiter, E. Järvinen, F. Waitz, J. Vivekanandan, and M, Dixon, B. Rainwater and D.
W. Toohey, 2020: Microphysical Properties of Generating Cells over the Southern Ocean: Results
from SOCRATES. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmospheres., https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD032237 

Wang, Z., G. Zhang, T. Dunkerton, and F. Jin, 2020: Summertime Stationary Waves Integrate Tropical and Extratropical Impacts on Tropical Cyclone Activity, Proceedings, National Academy of Sciences, 202010547; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2010547117

Wang, Z., and Coauthors, 2020: Recent Advances in Research on Tropical Cyclogenesis, Tropical Cyclone Research and Review, 9, 87-105.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: Health concerns from combined heat and pollution in South Asia. EOS, https://eos.org/editor-highlights/health-concerns-from-combined-heat-and-pollution-in-south-asia.

Wuebbles, D., Kotamarthi, R., Sharma, A., Drewniak, B., Calvin, K., Catlett, C., Jacob, R., 2020: Report on the workshop: Workshop on Urban Scale Processes and their Representation in High Spatial Resolution Earth System Models. An interagency report to the U.S. Department of Energy, Army Research Office, NASA, and NOAA.

Zhang, J., Wuebbles, D., Kinnison, D., Saiz-Lopez, A., 2020: Revising the Ozone Depletion Potentials metric for short-lived chemicals such as CF3I and CH3I. J. Geophys. Res., https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JD032414.

Zhao, G., Yang, M., Gao, Y., Zhan, Y., Lee, H., and Di Girolamo, L., 2020: PYTAF: a python tool for spatially resampling Earth observation data. Earth Sci. Informatics, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12145-020-00461-w.


Di Girolamo, L., 2020: “COVID-19, Air Quality, and Climate”, Illinois Foundation, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL. May 27, 2020.

Nesbitt, S., Singh, I., Mulholland, J., Trapp, R., Varble, A., Chandrasekar, V., 2020: “Convective mode transitions in the lee of mesoscale terrain as observed during RELAMPAGOCACTI”. Invited keynote presentation, AMS Conference on Mountain Meteorology, Online.

Proistosescu, C., 2020: “Climate Sensitivity controls regional warming uncertainty”. Reading University, Department of Meteorology. May 4, 2020.

Singh, I., Nesbitt, S., Davis, C., 2020: “Processes Controlling the Location of Convection Initiation over Complex Terrain in a Sheared, Conditionally Unstable Environment.” 19th Conference on Mountain Meteorology Virtual Meeting. 13-17 July 2020.

Wang, Z, J. Walsh, M. Peng, S. Szymborski, and C. Chang, 2020: “Cross-latitude Teleconnection via Rossby Wave Breaking and Its Impacts on Arctic Variability and Prediction”, ONR Arctic Cyclone Workshop.

Wang, Z., T. Jensen, D. Miller, W. Li, D. Fillmore, D. Adriaansen, and C. Kalb, 2020: “Developing a Community Suite of Process-oriented Model Diagnostics for the Unified Forecast System”, First UFS Users' Workshop

Wuebbles, D., Di Girolamo, L., Sharma, A., 2020: “Covid-19, Climate Change and Health”. Webinar on Covid-19 and Climate for UI Foundation and NCSA, May 19, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: “Climate Change in the Chicago Region”. Webinar on Climate Impacts & Hazards in Chicago Region, Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus, May 29, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., Di Girolamo, L., Sharma, A., 2020: “Covid-19, Climate Change and Health”. Webinar for State of Illinois Climate Working Group, Illinois State Government, June 9, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: the Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability. Webinar on the Big Ten and Cities, June 29, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: “Australia: Climate Change and Wildfires”. Webinar for ORCHSE, July 14, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: “The Earth’s Changing Climate: A View from Central Illinois”. Webinar for the Bloomington-Normal Rotary Club, July 16, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: “Why Climate Change Matters”. Invited presentation for the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, August 10, 2020

Wuebbles, D., 2020: The Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability. Presentation for the Walder Foundation, July 8, 2020.

Wuebbles, D., 2020: “The Changing Climate in a Changing World”. Webinar for Oak Ridge National Laboratory STEM Camp, July 8, 2020.

Awards and Activities

Larry Di Girolamo, Bob Rauber, and Steve Nesbitt, along with a number of ATMS graduate students were awarded the NASA Group Achievement Award-CAMP2EX (2020).

Cristian Proistosescu organized a series of virtual Mini Symposiums on Climate Sensitivity and Cloud Feedbacks. https://sites.google.com/tamu.edu/ecs-symposium

Cristian Proistosescu was awarded a 1-year fellowship to study Climate Risk through the University of Illinois Gies College of Business, Office of Risk Management and Insurance Research Fellowship (ORMIR).

Cristian Proistosescu was awarded a grant for: Process-level metrics for evaluating the realism of CMIP6 models’ climate sensitivity based on multiple lines of observational evidence. NOAA Modeling, Analysis, Prediction, and Projections (MAPP) program. Co-PI

Cristian Proistosescu was awarded a grant for: Collaborative research: Quantifying the sea-surface temperature pattern effect for LGM and Pliocene constraints on climate sensitivity. NSF Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change (P2C2) program. Co-PI

Itinderjot Singh was awarded first prize in Student Posters at the 19th Conference on Mountain Meteorology Virtual Meeting on 13-17 July 2020.

Sonia Lasher-Trapp was the 2020 Recipient of the American Meteorological Society Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award.

Zhou Wang was co-chair for the US CLIVAR Predictability, Predictions, and Applications Interface Panel annual meeting.

Zhou Wang was co-chair for the WMO Working Group on Tropical Meteorology (WGTMR) annual meeting.

Zhou Wang is planning of the Seventh WMO International Workshop on Monsoons (IWM-7).

Outreach Activities

Don Wuebbles was interviewed on WGN radio in Chicago on July 18, 2020.

Don Wuebbles was interviewed for a future PBS special on climate change on August 14, 2020.

Don Wuebbles was interviewed for many newspapers and magazines over this past summer.

Jeff Frame was interviewed for this CNN article about the slow Great Plains tornado season. One of our Atmospheric Sciences undergraduates, Max Claypool, was working as a CNN weather intern this summer and co-wrote it. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/30/weather/tornado-alley-record-low/index.html

Jesse Loveridge received the NASA FINESST fellowship for his proposal "3D tomographic reconstruction of cloud properties from satellite multi-angle imaging systems."


Congratulations to the following ATMS teachers ranked as excellent by their students during the Spring 2020 semester: https://citl.illinois.edu/docs/default-source/teachers-ranked-as-excellent/tre-2020-spring.pdf

Jessie Choate: 201 

* Jeff Frame: 313,314,505 

Sonia Lasher-Trapp: 306 

Steve Nesbitt: 597 

Nicole Riemer: 304,591 

Puja Roy (TA): 304 

Ryan Sriver: 404

 * - The instructor ratings were outstanding.


Note from the 2020 MSCAR Committee: Co-Chairs David Lafferty, Max Grover, and Divyansh Chug.

"The 4th annual Midwest Student Conference on Atmospheric Research (MSCAR) will take place on September 26-27. This year’s conference will be held entirely virtually and is free to all participants. We received 35 abstract submissions and over 90 registrations from all over the country, including a large number of undergraduate students. Our keynote speakers this year will be Sandra Cauffman (NASA Earth Sciences Division) and Dr. Victor Gensini (Northern Illinois University). We are also grateful to faculty members Steve Nesbitt, Jeff Frame, and Ryan Sriver for agreeing to lead hands-on workshops that have proven very popular. Although the online format this year has brought new challenges, MSCAR is shaping up yet again to be another fantastic experience for students and faculty. We look forward to seeing you all in attendance on September 26-27."




Welcome to the Department of Atmospheric Sciences!

Undergraduate Students:

Lauren Beard   

Harrison Feick                                                

Emily Glenn                                                         

Isaac Hopkins                                       

Emma Jilek                                                      

Anay Patel                                          

Trevor Scott

Delilah Smithey

Jared Stickney

Leyla Turkoglu

Jake Vile

Claudia Lynne

Graduate Students:

Kevin Boyd

Antonio Elizondo

James Goodnight

Spencer Guerroro

Tyler Hanke

Scott James

SeungUk Kim

Alfonso Ladino Rincon

Sophie Orendorf

Michael Ragauskis

Michael Rehnberg


Alicia Klees, Teaching Assistant Professor

Seminar Schedule

9/8 - Marysa Lague, University of California - Berkeley

9/15 - Craig Lundstrom, UIUC Deptartment of Geology

9/22 - Will Cantrell, Michican Tech. University

9/29 - Claire Pettersen, University of Wisconsin - Madison

10/6 - Alison Nugent, Unversity of Hawaii

10/13 - Javier Villegas Bravo, ATMS Student

10/20 - Logan Dawson, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC

10/27 - Randy Chase, ATMS Student

11/10 - Sarah Brooks, Texas A&M University

11/17 - Doug Miller, ATMS Student

12/1 - Rebecca Morss, NCAR

12/8 - Matt Parker, North Carolina State University

September Birthdays


Graduate Students:

Alfonso Ladino Rincon

Geoffrey Marion

Max Grover


Atul Jain

Joe Jeffries

Alicia Klees

Steve Nesbitt

Cristi Proistosescu

Tammy Warf

Contact Us At

PHONE: 217-333-2046


EMAIL: atmos-sci@mx.uillinois.edu 


WEBPAGE: www.atmos.illinois.edu 



Department of Atmospheric Sciences, 3070 Natural History Building, 1301 West Green St. MC-104, Urbana, IL 61801