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February 12, 2021

Several recent papers by department researchers highlighted by AGU

Three papers authored by students in the department recently have been highlighted by the American Geophysical Union. The papers by Ph.D. candidate Ting-Yu Cha and recent graduates Ben Toms and Steven Brey were featured in the AGU publication Eos.

Cha’s paper, “Polygonal eyewall asymmetries during the rapid intensification of Hurricane Michael (2018),” with co-authors Associate Professor Michael Bell, Wen-Chau Lee (NCAR) and Alex DesRosiers, was chosen as an Editors’ Highlight. Fewer than 2 percent of journal articles are featured this way. 

Cha’s research presents the first observational evidence of the evolving wind asymmetries of a polygonal eyewall during rapid intensification to Category 5 intensity, by deducing the winds from coastal radar observations.

“Our results highlight the value of coastal radar observations to investigate physical mechanisms of hurricane intensity and structure evolution, and can potentially help to improve intensity forecasts in the future,” Cha said.

Toms’ paper, with Associate Professor Elizabeth Barnes and CIRA scientist Imme Ebert-Uphoff, “Physically Interpretable Neural Networks for the Geosciences: Applications to Earth System Variability,” was published as a Research Spotlight on

Brey’s paper, with Associate Professors Elizabeth Barnes, Jeff Pierce and Emily Fischer, as well as Abigail Swann of the University of Washington, also was selected as a Research Spotlight. “Past variance and future projections of the environmental conditions driving western U.S. summertime wildfire burn area” is based on Brey’s research for his dissertation.

AGU Research Spotlights summarize the research and findings of the best accepted articles for the broad Earth and space science community.

Image at top: Radar reflectivity scans of Hurricane Michael as it developed at six time intervals on Oct. 10, 2018. Credit: Cha et al. [2020]