Stephen Nesbitt



Prof. Nesbitt leads a research group in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, where his research and teaching interests reside in observations and modeling of clouds and precipitation processes across the globe. He has participated in more than 20 field campaigns on 4 continents, and was the lead Principal Investigator of the NSF/NOAA/NASA RELAMPAGO (Remote sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations) and Co-PI of the DOE Clouds, Aerosols, and Complex Terrain Interactions (CACTI) field campaign in Argentina and Brazil in 2018-19. He serves as a member of the American Meteorological Society Committee on Mesoscale Processes and the scientific planning team for the planned NASA Aerosols Clouds Convection Precipitation mission. He is a member of the University Senate, and a faculty affiliate of the Computational Science and Engineering program.

Research Interests

  • precipitation processes and cloud dynamics
  • mesoscale meteorology
  • tropical meteorology
  • radar and satellite meteorology
  • data science in atmospheric sciences


Meteorology, PhD, University of Utah
Meteorology, MS, Texas A and M University
Meteorology, BS with Honors, State University of New York College at Oswego

Courses Taught

  • ATMS 305: Geophysical Data Analysis
  • ATMS 315: Meteorological Instrumentation
  • ATMS 406: Tropical Meteorology

Honors & Awards

  • Highly Meritorious Meteorology Senior Award, State University of New York College at Oswego, 1997
  • Excellence in Graduate Research Award, University of Utah, 2003
  • NASA Earth System Science Graduate Fellowship
  • Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2006, 2007, 2011
  • NASA Robert H. Goddard Award, as member of the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement mission Ground Validation team, 2015
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, 2010, 2015
  • Award for Outstanding Service to the Radar Meteorology Committee, American Meteorological Society, 2016

Academic Service

  • Member, Chair of the American Meteorological Society Scientific and Technical Committee on Radar Meteorology, 2008 - 2016
  • Co-Chair, American Meteorological Society 35th Conference on Radar Meteorology, Pittsburgh, PA, 2011
  • Editor, Journal of Applied Meteorology, 2010 - 2014
  • Member of the American Meteorological Society Scientific and Technical Committee on Mesoscale Meteorology, 2019 - present
  • Member, Universities Space Research Association Earth Sciences Council, 2016 - present
  • Co-Chair, American Meteorological Society 19th Conference on Mesoscale Meteorology, Location TBD, 2021

Recent Publications

Borque, P., Harnos, K. J., Nesbitt, S. W., & McFarquhar, G. M. (2019). Improved parameterization of ice particle size distributions using uncorrelated mass spectrum parameters: Results from GCPEx. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58(8), 1657-1676.

Finlon, J. A., McFarquhar, G. M., Nesbitt, S., Rauber, R. M., Morrison, H., Wu, W., & Zhang, P. (2019). A novel approach for characterizing the variability in mass-dimension relationships: Results from MC3E. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19(6), 3621-3643.

Suarez, S. R., Sued, M., Vidal, L., Salio, P., Rodriguez, D., Nesbitt, S., & Skabar, Y. G. (2019). Técnicas de clasificación supervisada para la discriminación entre ecos meteorológicos y no meteorológicos usando informacion de un radar de banda C. Meteorologica, 44(1), 45-65.

Tridon, F., Battaglia, A., Chase, R. J., Turk, F. J., Leinonen, J., Kneifel, S., ... Nesbitt, S. (2019). The Microphysics of Stratiform Precipitation During OLYMPEX: Compatibility Between Triple-Frequency Radar and Airborne In Situ Observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(15), 8764-8792.

Chase, R. J., Finlon, J. A., Borque, P., McFarquhar, G. M., Nesbitt, S., Tanelli, S., ... Poellot, M. R. (2018). Evaluation of Triple-Frequency Radar Retrieval of Snowfall Properties Using Coincident Airborne In Situ Observations During OLYMPEX. Geophysical Research Letters, 45(11), 5752-5760.

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