Renee Duff came to us as a senior at Millersville University graduating in
meteorology meteorology with a minor in mathematics. Her research interests are
snowstorms, severe thunderstorms and weather radar. She worked with Professor
Susan van den Heever this summer studying pyrocumulus clouds and the cloud
condensation nuclei effets.
Pyrocumulus clouds form over wildfires when hot, smoke-filled air rises, cools
and condenses. These clouds have higher cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)
concentrations, which affect their microphysical and electrical properties.
A study from a recent fire outside of Fort Collins showed pyrocumluls produce
more lightning. Renee investigated the microphysical differences between
low CCN "clean" clouds and high CCN pyrocumulus. She notes that, "Understanding
pyrocumulus electrification could help with predictions of rapid wildfire
growth" and that "pyrocumulus clouds impact the radiative and chemical
characteristics of the upper troposphere".
Here is Renee's research poster,
Effects of wildfire pollution on the microphysical and electrical properties of
Renee calls Hampstead, Maryland her home town. Her hobbies are cooking,
reading, exercising, watching football & baseball, and exploring local
restaurants and parks which she got to do during her stay.