Radar Applications, Instrumentation, And Nowcasting Systems

Hydrology    Instrumentation    Mesoscale Modeling    Micrometeorology    Nowcasting    Remote Sensing    Wind Energy


Principal Investigator               

Neil Fox, Ph.D.                                  

Graduate Students

Isabela Carlos, Ph.D. Student
Adam Balbi, M.S. Student
Eric Weber, Ph.D. Student


Undergraduate Assistants

Sarah Grana
Eric Brewster


The Rains Group focuses on research into precipitation observations and forecasts using meteorological radar. This includes looking at the morphology of convective storm types to improve preditions of heavy rain, severe weather and storm devlopment. Related to this are insvestigations of improved precipitation characterization on surface processes such as soil erosion and streamflow.

Other areas of interest are observations of near-surface winds for wind energy assessment,and odor dispersion from CAFOs.

Current projects include:

PRESSES: Polarimetric radar for examining streamflow and soil erosion studies

Quasi-linear convective system modes and mesocyclone occurrence

Classification of convective storm types

Low-level jet impacts on wind energy generation

Soil erosion from heavy rain

Operational use of dual-polarization radar products in precipitation monitoring



Previous Projects:

Statistical Methods for Precipitation Nowcasting and Verification

With Dr. Chris Wikle and Dr. Sakis Micheas

Mobile Observations of Rainfall Kinetic Energy and Soil Erosion

Improved Model for Runoff and Soil Erosion from Natural Events

Storm duration forecasts for flash flood warning

Tall tower studies of Missouri Winds

Recent Graduates


Eric E. Weber (2012) read PhD Dissertation

Steven A. Lack (2007) read PhD Dissertation "Cell identification, verification, and classification using shape analysis techniques"


Willie Gilmore (2007) read MS Thesis
"Comparison of Rainfall Energy and Soil Erosion Parameters from a Rainfall Simulator and Natural Rain"

Elizabeth (McCoy) Hatter (2004) read M.S. thesis
"Using Radar and Hydrologic Data to Improve Forecasts of Flash Floods in Missouri"

David Jankowski (2006) read M.S. thesis
"Forecasting Storm Duration Using Radar Storm Tracking"

Rachel Redburn (2007) read M.S. thesis
"A Tall Tower Wind Investigation of Northwest Missouri"

Bun-Liong Saw (2005) read M.S. thesis
"Infrared and Passive Microwave Satellite Rainfall Estimates Over Tropics"

Steven A. Lack (2004) read MS thesis "The effect of wind-drift on radar rainfall retrieval errors"

George Limpert (2008) read MS thesis "Evaluating and improving the performance of radar to estimate rainfal"l

José Miranda (2008) read MS thesis "Evaluation of storm type versus storm motion"

Amy Becker (2007) "Radar studies of convective snow events"

Marc Dahmer (2009) read MS thesis "Studies of the low level jet in Missouri"

Ali Koleiny (2009) read MS thesis "An investigation into the contribution of the low-level jet (LLJ) to the available wind resource and other wind characteristics in Missouri"

Keith Cooley (2011) read MS thesis "Drop size distributions and kinetic energy"


Patrick Buckley (2006)
Christopher Foltz (2006)
Elizabeth Heiberg (2004)
Aaron Naeger (2007)
Shawn Riley (2007)
Traci Fehnel (2011)

Caleb Witt-Schulte


Neil Fox, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

332 ABNR Bldg.


Email | Website

Recent Publications (2012):

Lack, S.A. and N.I. Fox, 2012: Convective storm classification using a combined radar and RUC model near-storm environment approach. Atmospheric Research, 116, 67-81.

Fox, N.I., 2011: A tall tower study of Missouri winds. Renewable Energy, 36, 330-337.

Lack , S. A., G.L. Limpert and N.I. Fox, 2010: An object-oriented multi-scale verification scheme. Weather and Forecasting, 25, 79-92.

Hagen, T., J. Glisan, A.R. Lupo, E. Aldrich, P. Guinan, P.S. Market and N.I. Fox, 2009: The Presentation of Precipitation Information in Television Broadcasts: What is Typical? National Weather Digest, 33, 155-164.

Buckley, P., P.S. Market, A.R. Lupo and N.I. Fox, 2008: COHIX: Further studies of the heat island associated with a small midwestern city. Atmospheric Science Letters, 9, 226-230.

Market, P.S., N.I. Fox, B.P. Pettegrew, and Anthony R. Lupo, 2007: Second Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting Issues in the Central United States. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc, 88, 1795-1798.

Micheas, A., N.I. Fox, S.A. Lack and C.K. Wikle, 2007: Cell identification and verification of QPF ensembles using shape analysis techniques. Journal of Hydrology, 344, 105-116.

Lack, S.A., and N.I. Fox, 2007: Quantifying the effect of wind-drift on radar-derived surface rainfall estimations. Atmospheric Research, 85 (2), 217-229.

Foltz, C.S., S.A. Lack, N.I. Fox, A.R. Lupo, and J.R. Hasheider, 2007: The First Conference On Advancing Renewables In The Midwest. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88, 1097-1099.

Gochis, D., A. Barros, A. Gettelman, J. Wang, J. Braun, W. Cantrell, Y-Q. Chen, A. Clement, N. Fox, B. Geerts, W. Han, M. Herzog, P. Kucera, R. Kursinski, A. Laing, C. Liu, E.D. Maloney, S. Margulis, D. Schultz, S. Sherwood, A. Sobel, H. Vömel, and Z. Wang, 2005: Future Scientific Directions: The Water Cycle Across Scales. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86 (12), 1743-1746.

Fox, N.I. and C.K. Wikle, 2005: A Bayesian quantitative precipitation nowcasting scheme. Weather and Forecasting, 20, 264-275.

Fox, N.I. and C.K. Wikle, 2005: Providing distributed forecasts of precipitation using a Bayesian nowcast scheme. Atmospheric Science Letters, 6, 59-65.

Fox, N.I. and J.W. Wilson, 2005: Very short period quantitative precipitation forecasting. Atmospheric Science Letters, 6, 7-11.

Lack, S.A. and N.I. Fox, 2005: Errors in surface rainfall rates retrieved from radar due to wind drift. Atmospheric Science Letters, 6, 71-77.

B. Xu, C.K. Wikle and N.I. Fox, 2005: A Kernel-based spatio-temporal dynamical model for nowcasting radar precipitation. Accepted for publication in J. Am. Stat. Assoc.

Isabela Carlos
Ph.D. Student

1-77 Agriculture Bldg.


Email | Website

Classification of convective storm types using radar signatures and RUC near-storm environment data.


  • To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various nowcasting schemes for different types of rainfall events over different geographic locations.


  • Currently evaluating WDSS-II nowcast products and S-PROG with UMBRELLA using different scoring methodologies.  This will include a new verification procedure utilizing Procrustes analysis, which can be utilized in real time environments to show forecast biases.
  • Also, working on incorporating different physical parameterizations for the UMBRELLA nowcaster, which is currently purely stochastic. 

Adam Balbi

M.S. Student

321 ABNR Bldg.


Email | Website

Analyzing wind power ramp events produced by Low-level jet onset in Missouri.


  • To quantify the rate of increase of wind energy generation due to the nocturnal low-level jet.  
  • Using observations collected at tall tower wind observation sites in Missouri find the frequency and predictability of wind speed changes that can be attributed to the onset of the low-level jet.  

Eric Weber
Ph.D. Student

1-75 Ag Bldg.


Email | Website

Using Vegetative Environmental Buffers to mitigate Odors from CAFOs


  • To investigate the potential of vegetative barrirs to reduce the impact of odor emissions from CAFOs


    • To use observations of odor causing chemicals combined with wind tunnel and AERMOD simulations to determine the effect of a tree line on the dispersion of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from a facility.
  Copyright © 2006-2007 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Missouri - Columbia