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Coming to us from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, Keri is a senior majoring in Applied Meteorology with a minor in Applied Mathematics.

The West African Monsoon occurs in West Africa during the summer months from May to October, bringing seasonal rains to the region. During this monsoon season, the African Easterly Jet develops as a result of the temperature and moisture gradients that occur over West Africa from the Gulf of Guinea to the Saharan desert. Within this jet, African easterly waves (AEWs) are formed. These disturbances are important to study and understand as they may propagate over the Atlantic and become hurricanes.

In this study, we used a regional simulation over West Africa with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. To validate the model runs, we compared the base states of multiple variables produced by the model to those of ERA-Interim reanalysis data. After validating the model, we hope to study the conditions that cause variations in the strength of easterly waves and to understand the influence these waves have on convection over West Africa. To determine what effect AEWs have on the characteristics of convection over the region, we will complete a series of model runs filtering the AEW information out of the ERA-Interim input data. Finally, we hope to extend the model domain west over the Atlantic and study the conditions that form AEWs that evolve into hurricanes.

Keri's summer research poster, Modeling the West African Monsoon and the Formation of African Easterly Waves, may be found here (2MB).

Keri's research interests include climate dynamics, climate modeling, climate variability, climate policy, tropical meteoroloty and education & outreach. She enjoys horseback riding, yoga, baking and sewing.