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Leah Lindsey is a senior at New Mexico Tech studying Atmospheric Physics. She spent her summer with CMMAP looking at how differences in horizontal resolution of cumulus cloud simulations affect model results as well as the computational expense. Her mentors were Professor David Randall, Director of CMMAP, and research scientist Don Dazlich.

Leah's study was carried out using SAM, the System for Atmospheric Modeling. SAM is a three-dimensional cloud resolving model. The forcing data used for the model came from two different field campaigns, the GARP (Global Atmospheric Research Program) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE) and the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) at the Southern Great Plains site. GATE took place during the summer of 1974 over the tropical Atlantic Ocean extending from Africa to South America. The ARM field campaign took place during the summer of 1997.

She looked at rainfall rates, surface precipitation, updrafts & downdrafts, cloud fraction and then for ARM runs, soil temperature and moisture along with downward radiation. Leah compared both the GATE and ARM model runs finding that the ARM runs are more sensitive to horizontal resolution than the GATE runs but that a more radical effect on GATE runs is seen on updrafts and downdrafts, which intensify with higher resolutions.

Leah's research poster, Effects of Horizontal Resolution on Cumulus Cloud Simulations, is available here.

Leah lives in Santa Fe, NM where she attends university. Her research interests include climate change, climate modeling, convection and cloud processes along with other interests. She enjoys rock climbing, listening to music, reading, hiking, knitting and cooking.