I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth System Science. I am an atmospheric scientist interested in the feedbacks between severe weather events and climate. The connections between multiscale severe events (including tornadoes, hurricanes, midlatitude snow storms) and the climate in which they occur is of importance to meteorologists, climate scientists and planetary scientists. In a changing climate, it is critical to accurately predict how the extremes to which we are accustomed will change in the future. The past and present climates of Earth, as well as those of other planets in our solar system, serve as physical laboratories in which we can observe a range of extreme phenomena. My work focuses on separating the physics that are fundamental to extreme events from the conditions imposed by a variety of climates. My prior research focused on applying tropical meteorology theory to giant planet dynamics. I am now increasingly interested in terrestrial problems, with an emphasis on the physics and fluid dynamics of severe convective storms.
The tools that my group uses to address these questions are varied, from simple theory to complex numerical models that simulate realistic atmospheric phenomena. Because of the impossibility of recreating all the complexities of the atmosphere in a laboratory, my laboratory is a hierarchy of numerical models that approximate the equations of motion. Ultimately these models are tested against observations from current and past climates on Earth and other planets. My research group focuses on the fluid dynamics and moist thermodynamics of vortical stratified flows, with an emphasis on tropical cyclone and supercell type storms.
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