Celebrating Diversity - Speaker Dr Ana P. Barros

Seminar Series: Dr. Ana P. Barros

Dr. Ana Barros

Measuring and Understanding Precipitation Processes in the Southern Appalachians – A 10-year Journey

 ZOOM PRESENTATION / Wednesday, October 13 / 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Dr. Ana Barros
Chair in Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


We have been operating a precipitation monitoring network in the Southern Appalachian Mountains (SAM) since 2007. This is a region of precipitation and hydrological extremes as recently shown by the flash-floods and landslides in Tennessee and Western North Carolina. The SAM are also one of the world’s hot-spots of biodiversity and a land of natural beauty spotted with industrial hazard sites, and in recovery from and adaptation to dramatic land-use and land-cover change in the late 19th and throughout the first-half of the 20th century. The original precipitation network was initially funded in preparation for ground validation in anticipation of NASA’s GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) mission.

In this presentation I will review the findings prior to the Intense Observing Period (IOP) IPHEx (Integrated Precipitation and Hydrology Experiment) field campaign that took place from 01 May–15 June 2014, and how this research changed our thinking and measurement and modelling strategies before and after IPHEx. For context, I will first review the regional climatology of clouds and precipitation, including their role in modulating SAM's ecohydrology and natural hazards. Second, I will present our findings with implications for remote-sensing and predictability of precipitation. Finally, I will discuss briefly ongoing research on aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions (ACPI) leveraging IPHEx IOP observations, and why and how this matters to elucidate coupled land-atmosphere processes at regional and local scales.