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AOSC Seminar by Dr. Zhaoxia Pu, 3/31/2022

AOSC Seminar

Dr. Zhaoxia Pu

University of Utah


Title: Cold Fog Amongst Complex Terrain (CFACT): Observations, Modeling, and Prediction of Cold Fog


Cold Fog Amongst Complex Terrain (CFACT) is an NSF-funded field campaign and science project that investigates cold fog formation in mountain valleys. Fog forms in high-elevation complex terrain as frequently as over water bodies but is less understood and hard to predict. The overarching goals of the CFACT project are to 1) investigate cold fog development and environmental conditions in complex terrain with the latest observation technology, 2) improve microphysical parameterizations and visibility algorithms used in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, and 3) develop data-assimilation and analysis methods for current and next-generation (e.g., sub-kilometer scale) NWP models. The field project was conducted in Heber Valley, Utah, during January and February 2022, with support from the NSF Lower Atmospheric Observing Facilities (LAOF), managed by NCAR’s Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL). The deployment of a network of ground-based in-situ instruments and remote sensing platforms helped obtain comprehensive measurements of thermodynamic profiling, cloud microphysics, physical and chemical properties of aerosols, and dynamics of the environment. Comprehensive data analysis, data assimilation, modeling, verification and validation, and predictability studies are in process following the field campaign. The mesoscale community Weather Research and Forecasting model at sub-kilometer scale and coupled land-atmosphere data assimilation capabilities have been planned to facilitate studies for improved fog prediction with NWP models. We anticipate the project efforts will result in improved understanding of cold fog processes in complex terrain and enhanced mesoscale and microscale numerical simulations and prediction of cold fog over complex terrain. The seminar will introduce the science objectives, field campaign activities, project research, and expected outcomes. The related research results for numerical simulations of fog events with mesoscale, sub-kilometer, and large-eddy simulations will be detailed. The concepts and outlooks for planned data assimilation work will be discussed.



Dr. Zhaoxia Pu is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Utah, a fellow of the American Meteorological Society and Royal Meteorological Society, and a member of the NOAA Science Advisory Board. Her research covers broad areas of numerical weather prediction, data assimilation, numerical modeling, and predictability, with specific focuses on satellite and radar data assimilation, high-impact weather systems and extremes, land-atmosphere interaction and coupled land-atmosphere data assimilation, observing system simulation experiments, targeting weather observations, atmospheric boundary layers over complex terrain, and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning in NWP. Dr. Pu has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and participated in over ten major field programs. She has served as a member of numerous national and international science teams and advisory boards, review panels, and editorial boards. She is currently an editor of the AMS journal Weather and Forecasting. Dr. Pu teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses. She received an Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award from the College of Mines and Earth Sciences, University of Utah, in 2012.


Contact: Da-Lin Zhang

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AOSC Seminar

Pre-seminar refreshment: N/A
Seminar: 3:30-4:30pm, Room: ATL 2400(only when in-person)
Meet-the-Speaker: 4:30-5:00pm, Room: ATL 3400(only when in-person) [For AOSC Students only]

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