Weather Processes and Atmospheric Dynamics Scientist

Opportunity ID 19255

Opportunity URL

Location Langley Research Center Hampton, VA 23681

Field of Science Earth Science

Advisor Kristopher Bedka,


Requirement · U.S. Citizens Accepted · Lawful Permanent Residents Accepted · Foreign Nationals Accepted – NASA Langley Research Center is a Federal facility. Access to the campus and IT tools is subject to security and visitation clearance. Foreign Nationals must contact the advisor prior to starting the application to gain a mutual understanding that arrangements can be made to allow for efficient execution of the research project. Please note that applications by foreign nationals from Designated Countries will be subjected to added level of scrutiny. The “Designated Country List” can be found at the NASA Export Control website:

Description This opportunity focuses on use of innovative new airborne measurements and climatological datasets for studying weather processes and atmospheric dynamics. The NASA Langley Research Center Doppler Aerosol Wind Lidar (DAWN), High Altitude Lidar Observatory (HALO) instruments and dropsondes have recently collected a wealth of high vertical and horizontal spatial resolution profiles of wind vectors, aerosol intensive and extensive properties, clouds, water vapor, and temperature (in locations where dropsondes were released) from the NASA DC-8 flying laboratory. The NOAA GOES-17 satellite collected observations of the DC-8 flight domains at 1-minute intervals which adds spatial context to the lidar vertical profile datasets and enables retrieval of high-resolution cloud properties and atmospheric motion vectors from visible, infrared, and water vapor imagery. The DC-8 also flew beneath the European Space Agency Atmospheric Dynamics Mission (ADM) Aeolus satellite, which carries the first-ever doppler wind lidar in space. There is a need to combine these observations with data from cloud resolving models and atmospheric reanalyses to answer key questions such as 1) what meso- and cloud-scale processes are being resolved by these airborne profiling instruments?, 2) how do airborne and space-borne doppler wind lidars perform with varying amounts of aerosol?, 3) what are the sources of aerosols being observed by these airborne instruments?, 4) how do these airborne datasets compare with and complement numerical model analyses?, and 5) how can we combine these datasets to create an improved four-dimensional representation of the atmospheric state?

In addition, we also seek to understand how automated satellite-derived methods for detecting convective storms can be used to develop climatological assessments of severe weather risk. Hail is generated within storms by strong updrafts. These updrafts exhibit unique signatures in NASA and other agency satellite observations, offering new opportunities for hailstorm analysis. Historical imagery from satellites such as GOES, Meteosat, TRMM, SSMI, and GPM, and reanalysis data will be used to detect hailstorms, estimate their severity, and develop hailstorm climatologies over regions without robust severe weather reporting or weather radar networks.

An opportunity exists for qualified candidates to participate in these and related research tasks pertaining to weather processes and atmospheric dynamics. Candidates with prior experience analyzing aircraft or space-borne lidar and satellite datasets are preferred.

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