• Research Assistant Professor, Atmospheric Sciences

Research Statement

My primary research interests lie in the role of deep convective systems in weather and climate. These systems contribute the majority of total rainfall in many regions of the world, but are also correlated with severe weather events such as floods. Various multi-scale environmental properties interact and evolve in complex ways to control the intensity and spatiotemporal organization of deep convective systems. Convective intensity and organization, in turn, strongly influence large-scale circulations through alterations in the transport of heat, moisture, momentum, and aerosols in the troposphere and lower stratosphere, and therefore, these key properties of convective systems need to be accurately represented in weather and climate models to maximize the probability of accurate predictions. Unfortunately, moist convective dynamics and cloud microphysics parameterizations in general circulation, numerical weather prediction, and even high-resolution cloud models remain observationally under-constrained and are major sources of predictive uncertainty and bias. My current research utilizes in situ (surface and aircraft) and remote sensing (radar and satellite) observations with high-resolution modeling in novel ways to advance our understanding of the relationships between moist convective systems and environmental conditions, and to improve their representation in models of all scales and complexities so that weather and climate prediction are ultimately improved. 

Research Keywords

  • mesoscale convective systems
  • cloud-resolving modeling
  • Precipitation
  • Meteorology
  • Fieldwork
  • Cloud Physics
  • Climate Change
  • Atmospheric Remote Sensing

Research Groups

  • Zhixiao Zhang, Graduate Student. 08/2018 - present.
  • Crystal Painter, Graduate Student. Atmospheric Sciences. 08/2015 - 12/2017. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Supported by research assistantship.
  • McKenna Stanford, Graduate Student. Atmospheric Sciences. 08/2014 - present. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Supported by research assistantship.


  • Varble, A., H. Morrison & E. Zipser (2020). Effects of under-resolved convective dynamics on the evolution of a squall line. Mon. Wea. Rev. Vol. 148, 289-311. Accepted, 01/2020.
  • Stanford, M., H. Morrison, A. Varble, J. Berner, W. Wu, G. McFarquhar & J. Milbrandt (2019). Sensitivity of simulated deep convection to a stochastic ice microphysics framework. J. Adv. Model. Earth Sys. Vol. 11, 3362-3389. Published, 08/2019.
  • Han, B., J. Fan, A. Varble & coauthors (2019). Cloud-resolving model intercomparison of an MC3E squall line case: Part II – Stratiform precipitation properties. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. Vol. 124, 1090-1117. Published, 01/2019.
  • Gingrey, A., A. Varble & E. Zipser (2018). Relationships between extreme rain rates and convective intensities from the perspective of TRMM and WSR-88D radars. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. Vol. 57, 1353-1369. Accepted, 06/2018.
  • Varble, A. (2018). Erroneous attribution of deep convective invigoration to aerosol concentration. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. Vol. 75, 1351-1368. Published, 04/2018.
  • Fan, J., B. Han, A. Varble, H. Morrison, and coauthors, (2017), Cloud-resolving model intercompariso of an MC3E squall line case: Part 1 - Convective updrafts, J. Atmos. Res. Atmos., 122, 9351-9378, doi:10.1002/2017JD026622. Published, 09/2017.
  • Lebo, Z. J., B. Shipway, J. Fan, I. Geresdi, A. Hill, A. Miltenberger, H. Morrison, P. Rosenberg, A. Varble, and L. Xue, (2017), Challenges for cloud modeling in the context of aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions. Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., 98, 1749-1755, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0291.1. Published, 09/2017.
  • Stanford, M. W., Varble, A., Zipser, E., Strapp, J. W., Leroy, D., Schwarzenboeck, A., Potts, R., and Protat, A. (2017), A ubiquitous ice size bias in simulations of tropical deep convection, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 9599-9621, doi:10.5194/acp-17-9599-2017. Published, 08/2017.
  • Varble, A., E. J. Zipser, A. M. Fridlind, P. Zhu, A. S. Ackerman, J.-P. Chaboureau, S. Collis, J. Fan, A. Hill, and B. Shipway (2014), Evaluation of cloud-resolving and limited area model intercomparison simulations using TWP-ICE observations: 1. Deep convective updraft properties. J. Geophys. Res., 119, 13,891-13,918, doi:10.1002/2013JD021371. Published, 12/2014.
  • Varble, A., E. J. Zipser, A. M. Fridlind, P. Zhu, A. S. Ackerman, J.-P. Chaboureau, J. Fan, A. Hill, B. Shipway, and C. R. Williams (2014), Evaluation of cloud-resolving and limited area model intercomparison simulations using TWP-ICE observations: 2. Precipitation microphysics. J. Geophys. Res., 119, 13,919-13,945, doi:10.1002/2013JD021372. Published, 12/2014.
  • Mrowiec, A. A., C. Rio, A. M. Fridlind, A. S. Ackerman, A. D. Del Genio, O. M. Pauluis, A. C. Varble, and J. Fan (2012), Analysis of cloud-resolving simulations of a tropical mesoscale convective system observed during TWP-ICE: Vertical fluxes and draft properties in convective and stratiform regions. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D19201, doi:10.1029/2012JD017759. Published, 10/2012.
  • Zhu, P., J. Dudhia, P. R. Field, K. Wapler, A. Fridlind, A. Varble, M. Chen, J. Petch, Z. Zhu, and E. Zipser (2012), A limited area model (LAM) intercomparison study of a TWP-ICE active monsoon mesoscale convective event. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D11208, doi:10.1029/2011JD016447. Published, 06/2012.
  • Fridlind, A. M., A. S. Ackerman, J.-P. Chaboureau, J. Fan, W. W. Grabowski, A. Hill, T. R. Jones, G. Liu, H. Morrison, S. Park, J. C. Petch, J.-P. Pinty, C. Schumacher, A. C. Varble, X. Wu, S. Xie, and M. Zhang (2012), A comparison of TWP-ICE observational data with cloud-resolving model results. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D05204, doi:10.1029/2011JD016595. Published, 03/2012.
  • Varble, A., A. M. Fridlind, E. J. Zipser, A. S. Ackerman, J.-P. Chaboureau, J. Fan, A. Hill, S. A. McFarlane, J.-P. Pinty, and B. Shipway (2011), Evaluation of cloud-resolving model intercomparison simulations using TWP-ICE observations: Precipitation and cloud structure. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D12206, doi:10.1029/2010JD015180. Published, 06/2011.