New NSF Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Grant Awarded to Zhang and team
A joint OU-NSSL team composed of Dr. Guifu Zhang (OU School of Meteorology), Dr. Jidong Gao (National Severe Storms Lab) and Dr. Jacob Carlin (Cooperative Institute for Severe and High-Impact Weather Research and Operations), has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program. According to the NSF’s website, “Physical and Dynamic Meteorology supports research involving studies of cloud physics; atmospheric electricity; radiation; boundary layer and turbulence; the initiation, growth, and propagation of gravity waves; all aspects of mesoscale meteorological phenomena, including their morphological, thermodynamic, and kinematic structure; development of mesoscale systems and precipitation processes; and transfer of energy between scales. The program also sponsors the development of new techniques and devices for atmospheric measurements.”
The grant, totaling $655,096, is to conduct “Hybrid Ensemble Variational Analysis of Polarimetric Radar Data to Improve Microphysical Parameterization and Short-term Weather Prediction.” The national network of operational WSR-88D radars has been upgraded to dual-polarization capability, yielding 4D, high-resolution, multi-parameter polarimetric radar data (PRD) that provide real-time information of flow kinematics and cloud microphysics nationwide, allowing for better understanding and parameterization of storm physics and improving short-term weather prediction. However, the high expectations for assimilating PRD into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models for improving short-term weather forecasts have not yet been realized as there are still many issues to be resolved to successfully assimilate PRD. This project seeks to tackle the fundamental and practical issues that stand in the way of PRD assimilation, and to advance our understanding of and improve microphysical parameterization and prediction of severe weather through hybrid ensemble variational analysis of the newly available nationwide PRD with NWP convection-resolving models.
Zhang, Gao, and Carlin are scientists committed to collaboration and effective mentorship. The project will allow for a graduate research assistant and a postdoc to work on the research. Interested students with a strong background in mathematics, physics and programming can contact Dr. Guifu Zhang at firstname.lastname@example.org.