Ed Zipser on research aircraft
  • Professor, Atmospheric Sciences

Research Statement

Regional and global distribution of storms, using new observational capabilities from satellites such as NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission. Understand why heavy rainfall is more frequent in the deep tropics while stronger storms are extremely rare in those same locations compared to the central United States and other mid-latitude regions. Validate indications from remote sensing instruments on satellites by making measurements in the field. Help develop improved recognition and forecasting of severe storms by determining the differences between ordinary and truly exceptional events. Involve students in field programs to give them hands-on experience and deeper understanding. Field programs have been based in Cape Verde, Australia, Costa Rica, Florida, Brazil, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Mexico. International colleagues and students play an important role before, during, and after field work.

Research Groups

  • Adam Varble, Research Professor. 07/01/2014 - present.
  • Liu, Chuntao, Research Professor. 06/2003 - present.


  • Invited talk on 50 years of progress in tropical convection. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 12/09/2019.


  • Zipser, E.J. & C. Liu (2022). Extreme convection vs. extreme rainfall: a Global View. Current Climate Change Reports. Vol. 7, 121-130. Published, 02/01/2022.
  • Zhang, Z., A.C. Varble, Z. Feng, J.C. Hardin & E.J. Zipser (2021). Growth of Mesoscale Convective Systems in Observation and a Seasonal Convection-Permitting Simulation over Argentina. Monthly Weather Review. Accepted, 01/2021.
  • Nesbitt S. W. & E. J. Zipser (2021). A Storm Safari in Subtropical South America: Proyecto RELAMPAGO. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Accepted, 01/2021.
  • Varble, A. C. & E.J.Zipser (2021). Utilizing a Storm-Generating Hotspot to Study Convective Cloud Transitions: The CACTI Experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Accepted, 01/2021.
  • Rajagopal, M., E. Zipser, G. Huffman, J. Russell & J. Tan (2021). Comparisons of IMERG Version 6 Precipitation At and Between Passive Microwave Overpasses in the Tropics. Journal of Hydrometeorology. Accepted, 01/2021.
  • Liu, N., C.Liu, B.Chen & E.Zipser (2020). What are the favorable large-scale environments for the highest flash rate thunderstorms on earth? . Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. Vol. 77, 1583-1612. Published, 05/01/2020.
  • Alvey III, G., E. Zipser & J. Zawislak (2020). How does Hurricane Edouard (2014) evolve toward symmetry before rapid intensification? A high-resolution ensemble study. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. Vol. 77, 1329-1351. Published, 03/01/2020.
  • Varble, A., H.Morrison & E.Zipser (2020). Effects of under-resolved convective dynamics on the evolution of a squall line. Monthly Weather Review. Vol. 148, 289-311. Published, 01/2020.
  • Garstang, M. & E.Zipser (2019). Three early tropical field experiments. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Vol. 100. Published, 11/01/2019.
  • Ni, X., C.Liu & E.Zipser (2019). Ice microphysical properties near the tops of deep convective cores implied by the GPM dual frequency radar observations. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. Vol. 76. Published, 09/01/2019.
  • Bang, S.D. & E.J.Zipser (2019). Tropical oceanic thunderstorms neat Kwajalein and the roles of evolution, organization, and forcing in their electrification. JGR Atmospheres. Vol. 123, 544-562. Published, 01/09/2019.
  • Gingrey, A, A.Varble & E.Zipser (2018). Relationships between extreme rain rates and convective intensities from the perspectives of TRMM and WSR-88D radars. American Meteorological Society. Vol. 57, 1353-1369. Published, 06/01/2018.
  • Jiang, H., J.P.Zagrodnik, C.Tao & E.J.Zipser (2018). Classifying precipitation types in tropical cyclones using the NRL 37 GHz color product. JGR Atmospheres. Vol. 123, 5509-5524. Published, 05/06/2018.
  • Stanford, M.W., A.Varble, E.Zipser, J.W.Strapp, D.Leroy, A.Schwarzenboeck, R.Potts & A.Protat (2017). A ubiquitous size bias in simulations of tropical deep convection. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Vol. 17, 9599-9621. Published, 08/09/2017.
  • Wall, C. C.Liu, and E.Zipser, 2013: A climatology of tropical congestus using CloudSat. J. Geophys. Res., 118 (12) 6478-6492. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50455. Published, 06/2013.
  • Wall, C., E.Zipser, and C. Liu, 2014: An investigation of the aerosol indirect effect on convective intensity using satellite observations. J. Atmos. Sci., 71, 430-447. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-13-0158.1. Published, 01/2013.
  • Liu, C. and E.J.Zipser, 2013: Why does radar reflectivity tend to increase downward toward the ocean surface, but decrease downward toward the land surface? J. Geophys. Res., 118 (1), 135-148, DOI: 10.1029/2012JD018134. Published, 01/2013.
  • Zhu, P., J.Dudhia, P.R.Field, K.Wapler, A.Fridlind, E.Zipser, J.Petch, M.Chen, amd Z.Zhu, 2012: A l imited area model (LAM) intercomparison study of a TWP-ICE active monsoon mesoscale convective event. J. Geophys. Res., 117, (D11) DOI:10.1029/2011JD016447. Published, 07/2012.
  • Xu, W. and E.J.Zipser, 2012: Properties of deep convection in tropical continental, monsoon, and oceanic rainfall regimes. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, 7, L07802, doi:10.1029/2012GL051242, 6 pp. Published, 07/2012.
  • Liu, C., D.J.Cecil, E.J.Zipser, K.Kronfeld, and R.Robertson, 2012: Relationships between lightning flash rates and radar reflectivity vertical structures in thunderstorms over the tropics and subtropics. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D6, doi:10.1029/2011JD017123. Published, 06/2012.
  • Xu, W., E.J.Zipser, Y.-L.Chen, C.Liu, Y.-C.Liou, W.-C.Lee, B.J.-D.Jou, 2012: An orography-associated extreme rainfall event during TiMREX: Initiation, storm evolution, and maintenance. Mon Wea, Rev., 140, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-11-00208.1. Published, 01/2012.
  • Wall, C.L., E.J.Zipser, and C.Liu, 2012: A regional climatology of monsoonal precipitation in the southwestern U.S. using TRMM. J. Hydrometeor.,13, 310-323, doi:10.1175/JHM-D-11-031.1. Published, 01/2012.
  • Fierro, A.O., E.J.Zipser, M.A.Lemone, J.M.Straka, and J.M.Simpson, 2012: Tropical oceanic hot towers: Need they be undiluted to transport energy from the boundary layer to the upper troposphere effectively? An answer based on trajectory analysis of a simulation of a TOGA COARE convective system. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 195-213, doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-0147.1. Published, 01/2012.
  • Xu, W., E.J.Zipser, C.Liu and H.Jiang, 2010: On the relationships between lightning frequency and thundercloud parameters of regional precipitation systems. J. Geophys. Res., 115, D12203, doi:10.1029/2009JD013385. Published, 11/2010.
  • Kelley, O.A., J.Stout, M.Summers, and E.J.Zipser, 2010: Do the tallest convective cells over the tropical ocean have slow updrafts? Mon Wea. Rev., 138, 1651-1672. Published, 06/2010.
  • Jiang, H., and E.J.Zipser, 2010: Contributions of tropical cyclones to the global precipitation from 8 seasons of TRMM data: Regional, seasonal, and interannual variations. J. Climate, 23, 1526- 1543. DOI: 10.1175/2009JCLI3303.1. Published, 05/2010.
  • Liu, C., E.Williams, E.J.Zipser, and G.Burns, 2010: On the diurnal variations of global thunderstorms and the global electrical circuit. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 309-323. DOI: 10.1175/2009JAS3248.1. Published, 02/2010.
  • Zawislak, J., and E.J.Zipser, 2010: Observations of 7 African easterly waves in the east Atlantic during 2006. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, .26-43. DOI:10.1175/2009MWR2982.1. Published, 2010.
  • Cifelli, R., T.Lang, S.A.Rutledge, N.Guy, E.J.Zipser, J.Zawislak, and R.Holtzworth, 2010: Characteristics of an African easterly wave observed during NAMMA. J. Atmos. Sci., 67, 3-25 DOI: 10.1175/2009JAS3141.1. Published, 2010.
  • Kerns, B, and E.J.Zipser, 2009: Four years of tropical ERA-40 vorticity maxima tracks, Part II: Differences between developing and non-developing disturbances. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 2576- 2591. DOI: 10.1175/2008MWR2545.1. Published, 2009.
  • Liu, C., and E. J. Zipser, 2009: “Warm rain” in the tropics: Seasonal and regional distribution based on 9 years of TRMM data, J. Climate, 22, 767–779 DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2641.1. Published, 2009.
  • Liu, C. and E.J.Zipser, 2009: Implications of the day vs. night differences of water vapor, carbon monoxide, and thin cloud observations near the tropical tropopause. J. Geophys. Res., 114, DOI:10.1029/2008JD011524. Published, 2009.
  • Zipser, E.J., and 22 coauthors, 2009: The Saharan air layer and the fate of African easterly waves: NASA’s AMMA 2006 field program to study tropical cyclogenesis: NAMMA. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90, 1137-1156. DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2728.1. Published, 2009.
  • Levin, N.E., E.J.Zipser, and T.E.Cerling, 2009: Isotopic composition of waters from Ethiopia and Kenya: Insights into water sources for eastern Africa. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D23306, doi:10.1029/2009JD012166. Published, 2009.
  • Pu, Z., X.Li, and E.J.Zipser, 2009: Diagnoosis of the initial and forecast errors in the numerical simulation of the rapid intensification of Hurricane Emily (2005). Wea. Forecasting, 5, 1236-1251. Published, 2009.
  • Xu, W., E.J.Zipser, and C.Liu, 2009: Rainfall characteristics and convective properties of Mei-Yu precipitation systems over South China, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. Part I: TRMM observations. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 4261-4275. DOI: 10.1175/2009MWR2982.1 DOI: 10.1175/2009MWR2982.1. Published, 2009.