Cloud Processes Research Group

Susan C. van den Heever

Monfort Professor

For Sue van den Heever's webpage and biosketch click here

Who we are

The van den Heever Group: From left to right: (Top row) Steve Saleeby, Alex Sokolowsky, Ben Ascher, Sue van den Heever, Sean Freeman, Nick Falk, Ross Heikes. (Bottom row) Bee Leung, Leah Grant, Christine Neumaier, Kristen Van Valkenburg, Bowen Pan. (Not shown) Emily Riley Dellaripa.

Hello and welcome to the research group of Professor Sue van den Heever. Our research focuses on cloud processes, specifically the microphysical and dynamical characteristics of deep convective cloud systems, aerosol-cloud feedbacks, convective organization and the representation of these processes in numerical models. More detailed information on the scientific questions we are currently addressing can be found on our research webpage and from our publications. We utilize numerical models to achieve our scientific goals, in particular the open source Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) that is developed and maintained by the van den Heever research group. We also draw on satellite and radar observations in our research, and numerous members of our research group have participated in a number of field campaigns. Our group, together with students from the Schumacher, Schubert, Rasmussen and Rutledge groups, recently completed C3LOUD-Ex, a field campaign to investigate updraft and cold pool characteristics of convective storms over NE Colorado. The field campaign utilized drones, radiosondes and radar data from the CSU-CHILL facility to address the campaign science goals and was recently described in the Colorado State University Magazine and on SOURCE. Several of our group also recently participated in NASA's CAMP2Ex held in the region of Philippines. More details about our CAMP2Ex activities were recently featured in SOURCE.

Recent News


December 13-17: At the AGU 2021 Fall Meeting Bowen, Bee, Nick, and Sean present in person in New Orleans, while Alex, Leah, and Sue present virtually.

November 30: Congratulations to Nick who successfully defended his MS Thesis titled "Strong and Weak Cold Pool Collisions"!

November 5: The Investigation of Convective Updrafts (INCUS) mission, led by Sue van den Heever, was selected as the winner of NASA's Earth Venture Mission-3 AO. The overarching goal of INCUS is to answer the question “Why do convective storms, heavy precipitation and clouds occur exactly when and where they do?”, one of the most important objectives of the National Academies of Science and Engineering 2017-2027 Decadal Survey. The science objectives of the $177 million mission are to determine: (1) the predominant environmental properties controlling the convective mass flux (CMF) in tropical convective storms; (2) the relationship between CMF and high anvil clouds; and (3) the relationship between CMF and the type and intensity of the extreme weather produced. These relationships between CMF and environmental facotrs, high anvil clouds and extreme weather will then be evaluated in weather and climate models. Read more about this project in the NASA press release, and in CSU's SOURCE magazine.. INCUS was also introduced to Vice President Kamala Harris.

November 3: Congratulations to Kristen who successfully defended her MS Thesis titled "Sensitivity of Simulated Microphysics to the Raindrop Distribution Shape Parameter and Comparisons with Observation"!

November 3: The CAMP2Ex Clouds Working Group Talk takes place with Bee and Alex presenting.

Image taken from drone by van den Heever group members training for the upcoming BACS field campaign.

October 30: Bee, Christine, Ben, and Nick pass the FAA part 107 exam to become certified drone pilots in preperation for the upcoming BACS field campaign.

October 13: The CAMP2Ex Regional Meteorology Working Group Talk takes place with Bowen, Nick, and Sean presenting.

August 16: Ben Ascher joins our group as a new MS student. He joins us from Penn State, where he recently graduated, majoring in Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences. Welcome, Ben!

August 4: Christine Neumaier joins our group as a new MS student. She joins us from the University of Washington, where she recently graduated, majoring in Atmospheric Sciences. Welcome, Christine!

August 3: Brittney Smith, an REU student in our group mentored by Nick and Sue gives her presentation at the end of her internship, titled "Cold pools in tropical cyclones and isolated tropical convection." Congratulations Brittney!

July 21: Congratulations to the new Dr. Yasutaka Murakami, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation, titled "Exploring Precipitation Processes in Stratocumulus Clouds from Satellite-Derived Cloud Properties."

May 14: Dr. Jennie Bukowski, a recent graduate from our group, is conferred the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science Alumni award for best paper by a PhD student. Jennie received this honor for her manuscript "Direct radiative effects in haboobs," which is currently in review. Congratulations Jennie!

March 23: Christine Neumaier, an incoming MS student who will join us this year, is awarded a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence (PRSE) award. Congratulations Christine!

January 29: Congratulations to the new Dr. Jennie Bukowski! Jennie successfully defended her PhD dissertation, titled "Mineral Dust Lofting and Interactions with Cold Pools." Jennie starts her new position based out of NCAR as a Postdoctoral Scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability with Dr. Daniel Swain in a few weeks.

January 19: Bee Leung is awarded the CSU College of Engineering Walter Scott, Jr. Fellowship. Congratulations, Bee!

January 15: Congratulations to Sue, who has been named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. AMS Fellows are selected based on their "outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years." More information on this can be found at the Department Website

January 11-15: Bowen, Emily, Leah, Nick, Sean, and Sue present at the virtual AMS 2021 Annual Meeting.

Click here for news from 2020

What we do