Houghton Lecture – Sue van den Heever (CSU)

October 17, 2023 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
54-915 and Zoom https://mit.zoom.us/j/94961066971

“Diving into Cold Pools”

Convective cold pools are formed by the evaporation of precipitation below the cloud base of convective storms. This evaporatively-cooled, dense air subsequently sinks to the surface where it spreads out laterally in the form of a density current. Cold pools play a critical role in the initiation of new convective storms, determining convective organization and longevity, transporting atmospheric aerosols, and modulating surface fluxes. In spite of their importance in storm and aerosol processes, their spatial and temporal scales make them challenging to observe from ground- and space-based platforms, and difficult to accurately represent in coarser scale models. This seminar will focus on various cold pool processes observed within three recent field campaigns and high-resolution model simulations including the role of cold pool collisions in convective initiation, the spatial and temporal scales of cold pool variability, and the redistribution of aerosols by cold pool trains. The implications for the representation of such processes in forecasting through global climate models will also be considered.

About this series: Supported through the Houghton Fund, Houghton Lecturers are distinguished visitors from outside MIT invited to spend a period of time, ranging from a week to several months, as scientists-in-residence within the EAPS Program on Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate (PAOC). During their stay it is customary for each lecturer to offer a short-course or a series of lectures on some topic of wide interest. For more information and Zoom password please contact Kayla Bauer (kbauer@mit.edu)