Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

First Advisor

Jon Harbor

Committee Member 1

Dev Niyogi

Committee Member 2

Nathanial Brunsell

Committee Member 3

Qianlai Zhuang

Committee Member 4

Kiran Alapaty


High resolution (1-10 km) numerical weather prediction (NWP) models face major challenges trying to improve representation of moist processes. In particular, simulating the interaction between the land surface and regional convection and rainfall is a source of uncertainties and presents three main barriers: (i) NWP models generally have simple land surface schemes, (ii) land-atmosphere coupling is not properly represented in models, and (iii) many assumptions made in deriving the theory of convective parameterizations are no longer valid at “gray scales” (e.g., 1-10 km). In this dissertation, interactions between land-surface heterogeneities, land-atmosphere coupling, and moist convection and related mesoscale circulations were investigated in four major studies to improve and advance the understanding of high-resolution model simulations of regional convection and precipitation. A number of short-term (i.e., 24-48 hours) retrospective numerical experiments were conducted over a variety of land-atmosphere coupling hotspot regions across the globe.