College of Science and Technology

Atmospheric Science and Meteorology

The Atmospheric Science and Meteorology group conducts research on atmospheric systems ranging: (a) from microscale (biomass burning aerosols, wildfire/aviation/sea-spray turbulence, tornadoes), mesoscale (snow/ice-atmosphere interaction, tropical/moist convection, orographic effects, severe local storms), to large scale (tropical cyclones and waves, Arctic cyclones, and polar climate) systems; (b) from tropical (cyclones and waves), midlatitude (storms, polar/subtropical jets), to polar (snow/ice, Arctic cyclones) regions; and (c) from short (aerosol emission, turbulence, tornadoes) to long (regional climate in polar and tropical regions; biomass impacts on climate) terms, using measured, observed, or remotely-sensed data by laboratory, field, or numerically-modeled experiments.

Faculty

Solomon Bililign (Professor) conducts research in Atmospheric Chemistry/Physics with a focus on laboratory and field studies of chemical and optical properties of biomass burning aerosols and their impact on health and climate. He also does air quality field measurements of emissions from anthropogenic sources.

Yuh-Lang Lin (Senior Scientist and Professor) conducts research on atmospheric dynamics and modeling of tropical cyclones, orographic effects on airflow and weather systems, wildfires, tornado environment, moist convection, gravity waves & turbulence, severe local storms, and cloud microphysics.

Ademe Mekonnen (Associate Professor) research is focused on the interaction between atmospheric tropical waves and different types of convection, including tropical cyclone development. He has a broad interest in medium to long-range forecast problems, tropical climate variability, and change.

Jing Zhang (Professor) is interested in polar research with a focus on the weather and climate modeling studies for the Arctic and Antarctic regions using an in-house developed WRF-ice model. She studies WRF-ice, a snow/ice enhanced Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, includes thermodynamic sea ice module, as well as newly coupled ice sheet and double-moment blowing snow modules.

Projects

Smog chamber to study chemicalsResearch in Bililign group involves the use of spectroscopic techniques and theoretical methods for atmospheric applications: The focus is measuring in the laboratory and the field the optical and physio-chemical properties of Biomass Burning (BB) aerosol to understand the role of BB Aerosol on climate, regional weather, air quality, and health. We investigate:

1) How relative humidity (RH) photochemical aging morphology and burn conditions, fuel type influence the size distribution, optical properties, and chemical properties of BB aerosols produced from sub-Saharan Africa Biomass Fuels.

2) Toxicity of Complex Aerosols from Biomass Burning

3) Field measurements of power plant emissions and wildfire emissions and their impact on Air Quality.

Contact: bililign@ncat.edu

  1. NSF-1831013 Excellence in Research: Dynamics of Orographic on Major Wildfires in the Southwest U.S. under Diverse Mesoscale Environments. NSF, 6/1/19-5/31/22. Amount $1,000,000
  2. NSF-1555479: Studies of Optical and Chemical Properties of Biomass Burning Aerosols. NSF, 8/1/2015-7/31/21. Amount $515,000
  3. Testing and Training of the Cloud WRF Model for the Atmospheric Research Community Developed by NCAR. NSF/NCAR, 10/1/18-9/30/20.
  4. Improving Understanding and Prediction of Extreme Rainfall Associated with Typhoon and Mei-Yu Fronts Passing over Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range (part of PRECIP), NSF/CSU, 3/1/19-2/28/22
  5. GP-EXTRA: Pathways to atmospheric science through immersion in geoscience research. NSF, 9/1/16-8/31/20.
Contact: ylin@ncat.edu 

  1. Multiscale interaction between easterly waves and different types of deep convection and the implication on Atlantic tropical cyclone-genesis.
  2. The upscale impact of well-organized and large-scale convective systems on easterly wave initiation, maintenance, and structure. 
  3. The impact of large-scale waves (MJO, Kelvin waves, etc.) on convective organization and diurnal cycle over tropical Africa.
  4. Mechanisms of extended active and break rainfall episodes over Africa and the implication for seasonal forecasts. 
  5. Climate variability: The recent heavy and wet rainfall years over Africa and dynamic mechanisms.
Contact: amekonne@ncat.edu

  1. Present and projected future forcings on Antarctic Peninsula glaciers and ice shelves using the Weather Forecasting and Research (WRF) Model. NSF, 2017-2021.
  2. Modeling Arctic Storms and Impacts of Diminishing Sea Ice. DoE, 2020-2023.
Contact: jzhang1@ncat.edu

Opportunities

  1. Geopaths program for students interested in atmospheric science. Pays up to $3000/semester. Contact: bililign@ncat.edu
  2. International research experience in Geosciences-covers travel, lodging, and $500/week stipend:
    https://old.ncat.edu/cost/departments/phys/people/bililign/International%20Research%20Opportunity.html
  3. Undergraduate research in Atmospheric Chemistry Lab Up to $3000/semester. Contact: bililign@ncat.edu
  4. Undergraduate Student opportunities are available with Lin lab. Contact: ylin@ncat.edu

Opportunities for research assistantship to work towards M.S. in Physics or Ph.D. in Applied Physics and Atmospheric Sciences are available. Please contact the faculty in the Atmospheric Sciences by email.