Thunderstorms, cold fronts and atmospheric gravity waves occur on spatial scales between about 1 and 100 km, time scales of a few hours, and are examples of what's known as mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. Our group conducts a broad range of research in this area.
The above animation shows the results from high-resolution simulations of convective clouds near Darwin, Australia. The simulation is of a period during a major international field experiment: The Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE).
Simulations conducted by research staff in the School, with visualisations created as part of a collaboration with the National Computational Infrastructure supercomputing facility.
Active research projects include:
- atmospheric gravity waves;
- the organisation of convection;
- orographic precipitation;
- aviation meteorology and turbulence;
- bushfire (or wildfire) weather; and
- tropical convection and clouds.
We use state-of-the-art computer models to study these processes and phenomena, utilising millions of hours of computer time each year. These phenomena have important societal impacts and our research is focused on improving our understanding of their underlying dynamics, which will lead to better models of weather and climate.
Most recent results and publications include the first detailed study of the meteorology of the Black Saturday bushfires, extremely high-resolution simulations of turbulence caused by thunderstorms, and an investigation of the impact of the Madden-Julian Oscillation on the diurnal cycle of tropical rainfall.
Researchers in this area are also affiliated with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, primarily contributing to the Tropical Convection Research Program.