Convective Storm Dynamics Group

School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma

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Congrats to Emily on her successful M.S. defense!

Last week, Emily Luschen successfully defended her M.S. thesis, titled “The Stratiform Radiation Effect on Tropical Organized Deep Convection.” She hit it out of the park with a super clear presentation and handling Q&A with style. Congrats, Emily, and we’re excited to see where you’ll continue taking this work!

This also marks a major milestone for our group, with Emily officially being the first grad student to defend as a Ruppert advisee!

Congrats to CSD students on their awards!

A massive moment for Emily Luschen’s career: she is now the recipient of a prestigious NSF GRFP fellowship! Her research proposal focused on understanding how cloud–radiation feedback affects and accelerates the formation of tropical cyclones, which she will also investigate in relation to climate change during her PhD research. Congrats to Emily!!

Our sophomore Andrew Muehr also received a major nod for a major career milestone: his first lead-authored manuscript, which is on the role and influence of midlevel shear on supercells. While impressive on its own for his career stage, this manuscript earned him the Mark & Kandi McCasland Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper from the SoM. Congrats to Andrew!! This paper is now out for peer-review, so stay tuned.

A double-congrats to our new addition: junior Robby Frost. Robby was just awarded the Edwin and Lottie Kessler Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Meteorology from the SoM for outstanding work as an undergraduate researcher. Robby was also awarded a NOAA Lapenta internship to spend this summer working at the Earth System Research Lab in Boulder, CO. Robby is living a double-researcher life, one on tropical cyclones with our group and another on boundary layer dynamics with Prof. Scott Salesky’s group. Congrats to Robby!!

Major congrats to our other new addition, junior Colin Welty, who just found out he received an OU Provost’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (UReCA) Fellowship. This award funds Colin to spend his summer on a research topic that he proposed, which will look at the role of the diurnal cycle in the overland intensification of Tropical Storm Erin, which intensified over Oklahoma in 2007. A remarkable case to study and a fantastic award. Congrats to Colin!!

Summer of fieldwork

This summer was a rare opportunity in which ALL group members got to be out in the field to support the collection of observations, across a range of meteorological contexts.

James Ruppert, Theresa Lincheck, and Emily Luschen participated in the PRECIP 2022 field campaign (Prediction of Rainfall Extremes Campaign in the Pacific). Theresa traveled to a small island called Yonaguni, Japan, while James and Emily were supporting operations in Taiwan. PRECIP’s mission is to use radar and radiosonde observations to sample and better understand extreme rainfall, which comes to this region in the form of typhoons, afternoon downpours, and the southwesterly summer monsoon (the “Mei-yu”). Read more about our PRECIP involvement here and here.

Heavy thunderstorms over Taiwan’s high terrain viewed from the S-Pol radar in Hsinchu, Taiwan

Emily West traveled to Kigoma, Tanzania and Nsumbu National Park in Zambia help collect wind and temperature measurements. These measurements are critical for characterizing lake upwelling and nutrient transport, which helps sustain the local fishing industry. This fieldwork is led by the research group of Dr. Michael Soreghan of OU’s School of Geosciences.

Andrew Muehr traveled around the Great Plains as part of the TORUS field campaign (Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells). Andrew served on the crew of one of the windsond vehicles (shown below). TORUS is trying to answer the question of what specific details about a supercell’s behavior promotes the development of a tornado.

Finally, Hrag Najarian is headed to Cape Verde this August as part of the CPEX-CV field campaign (Convective Processes Experiment – Cabo Verde). This NASA campaign intends to study tropical convection and associated processes that affect the dynamics of the tropical North Atlantic.

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