1301 W Green St.
Urbana, IL 61801
I studied Astrophysics in my time as an undergraduate, where I naturally gravitated towards the study of planetary sciences, with a special emphasis on planetary atmospheres. The diverse realizations of weather and climate on other planets as controlled by solar radiation, atmospheric composition, planetary mass, and more is truly fascinating! My interests were diverted to the Earth's atmosphere, where the same laws of physics apply, and a deep, robust understanding of dynamical processes is made possible by a suite of in-situ and remote observations. I was eager to apply the knowledge I gained in my undergraduate curriculum to understanding complex weather systems, and these interests eventually led me to join Dr. Zhuo Wang's research group in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at UIUC, where we currently collaborate on a multi-staged research project on polar lows.
Polar lows (PLs) are high-latitude intense maritime mesocyclones that develop near the sea-ice margin or in proximity to snow-covered continents during marine cold air outbreak events. These weather systems, once coined Arctic Hurricanes, are associated with severe weather, such as gale-force winds, large-amplitude oceanic waves, and heavy snow showers or intense blizzard events. Consequently, PLs pose a threat to coastal and island communities, in addition to maritime and air operations in the Arctic. Moreover, PLs may affect deep-water formation in the North Atlantic through strong surface heat fluxes, and thus, are important for the large-scale oceanic circulation. Therefore, the impacts posed by PLs to humans and the broader environment demand a robust understanding of the environmental factors that promote PL formation, and in turn, skillful prediction and projection of PL activity.
PLs develop rapidly in response to favorable conditions. The synoptic-scale atmospheric configuration determines whether conditions are favorable for PL formation, but since the observational network in the Arctic is sparse, the initial representation of synoptic scale conditions is a major challenge, and thus, even state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction models are unreliable for PL forecasting beyond daily time scales. Furthermore, due to the coarse grid resolution of climate models (CMs), CMs struggle to resolve the structure and dynamics of PLs and therefore, prediction on subseasonal and longer time scales is also a major challenge. CMs can, however, skillfully predict large-scale climate variables. We utilize this in an alternative approach to PL prediction by constructing an empirical relationship, in an interpretable statistical framework, between key large-scale climate variables and PL genesis frequency. This model not only expands our predictive capabilities to a broad range of time scales, but it also provides a valuable scientific understanding of PLs that illuminates previously undetermined relationships between large-scale environmental variables and PL activity.
B.S. in Astrophysics, Ohio University, 2020
Awards and Honors
2019 Distinguished Professor Scholarship Recipient, Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio University
Teaching Assistant - ATMS 140: Climate and Global Change - Fall 2021