University of Utah - College of Mines and Earth Sciences - Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Mountain Meteorology Group


The Mountain Meteorology Group

has two goals, one for education and one for research: Sounding Launch during PCAPS

Improve the breadth and quality of mountain meteorology and related interdisciplinary education at the undergraduate and graduate levels and increase the national and international profile of the University of Utah's programs in these areas. Strengthen the research programs in mountain meteorology and climate at the University of Utah in both applied and basic research areas. The first goal will be met by continuing to offer an undergraduate course in Mountain Weather and Climate; by regularly offering a graduate course in Mountain Meteorology; developing future on-line versions of these courses and special course materials; developing a cohesive sequence of interdisciplinary courses leading to a concentration in mountain studies; involving undergraduate students in research; maintaining competitiveness in recruiting high quality students at all levels; promoting the program nationally and internationally; and increasing public visibility of our educational program by taking leadership roles in educational activities locally, nationally and internationally.

The second goal will be met through securing stable funding for MesoWest, a cornerstone of our educational, research, and public service efforts; aggressively seeking opportunities to increase funding from local, state, regional, and federal agencies; facilitating and expanding interdisciplinary research through increased interactions with departments and faculty members with expertise in remote sensing, wildland fire, biophysical ecology, hydrology, and turbulence/boundary layer processes; increasing visits by our students and faculty to other national and international institutions with active research programs in mountain meteorology; developing opportunities at the University of Utah for student exchange visits and short-term appointments for faculty from other institutions; establish collaborative research projects with other mountain weather and climate groups nationally and internationally; promoting and expanding the mountain meteorology expendables and endowment funds; and creating endowed scholarships, fellowships and a mountain meteorology chair.

Current and Recent Activites

Project Name

Description Timeline
Sounding Observations of Lake-Effect Precipitation Experiment
A field project examining lake-effect snow events from the Great Salt Lake, currently in the observational period. 2010 to 2012
Persistent Cold-Air Pool Study
Observational and modeling studies of the persistent cold-air pools ("inversions") that form in the Salt Lake Valley during winter. The field program was conducted in winter 2010-2011, and the project is now in the analysis phase. 2010 to 2013
MesoWest The renowned web resource for collecting and disseminating surface observations over the entire United States. Continuous
Meteor Crater Experiment
Observational and modeling studies of the complex flows and atmospheric structure in and around Arizona's Meteor Crater 2006 to 2012
Great Salt Lake Studies Observational and modeling studies of the processes and effects of the Great Salt Lake on local weather. 2006 to 2010
Bingham Mine Study Observational study of the wintertime vertical temperature structure in Kennecott's open-pit Bingham Copper Mine and its relationship to the temperature structure in the Salt Lake Valley. 2010 to 2013
MATERHORN Observational and modeling study of the predictability of complex terrain flows 2011 to 2014
METCRAX II Observational and modeling study of downslope-windstorm-type flows 2013 to 2017
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