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A Quest to Understand and Model Regional Precipitation and Their Future Changes

Presentation Date
Monday, December 7, 2020 at 5:30pm



From a weather perspective, precipitation forms when warm moist air rises to form clouds, within which aerosol and microphysical processes work their miracles to control the precipitation phase and amount. From a climate perspective, precipitation is dominated by moisture convergence, driven by atmospheric circulation and energy flow. These two seemingly opposing views of processes controlling precipitation are however both important in understanding and modeling regional precipitation and their future changes. Many applications of the energetic framework have demonstrated its usefulness in advancing understanding of regional precipitation and their future changes under warming. The energetic framework has also revealed an important role of aerosols as agents perturbing the energy distribution and hence precipitation in some regions. For extreme precipitation, both the weather and climate perspectives are again important as thunderstorms exist in favorable large-scale environments, but local processes can exert strong influences on their evolution. While models that resolve storm structures may provide important insights on how thunderstorms respond to warming, keeping the two views of processes controlling precipitation in check is useful for prioritizing model development efforts.

Funding Program Area(s)