Peter Marinescu


After working as an investment banking analyst in New York City, I switched careers in 2011 to pursue my passion in atmospheric science. Through research experiences at Stony Brook University, Colorado State University's CHILL Radar Facility and NASA's DEVELOP Program, I have become especially interested in the modeling of cloud processes. I received my Master's degree in 2016 with a thesis titled "Latent Heating and Aerosol-Precipitation Interactions within Mesoscale Convective Systems" and my PHD degree in 2020 with a dissertation titled: "Observations of aerosol particles and deep convective updrafts and the modeling of their interactions" under the the co-advisement of Professors van den Heever and Kreidenweis. After my PHD, I became a post-doctoral fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), where I collaboted on various projects from NOAA's Global Systems Laboratory and Hurricane Research Division. After my post-doctoral position, I was hired as a Research Scientist in the van den Heever group to work on the NASA INCUS Mission. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, soccer, hiking, biking, and spending time with my family and friends.


Ph.D. Student in Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
M.S. in Atmospheric Science, 2016, Colorado State University
Post-Baccalaureate Coursework in Math and Sciences, 2011-2012, Stony Brook University
B.S. in Applied Economics and Management, 2008, Cornell University


Ditchek, S. D., J. A. Sippel, P. J. Marinescu, and G. Alaka Jr, 2023: Improving Best-Track Verification of Tropical Cyclones: A New Metric To Identify Forecast Consistency. Weather and Forecasting. Early Online Release.

Marinescu, P. J., Cucurull, L., Apodaca, K., Bucci, L., & Genkova, I. (2022). The characterization and impact of Aeolus wind profile observations in NOAA’s regional tropical cyclone model (HWRF). Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 148(749), 3491–3508.

Oue, M., Saleeby, S. M., Marinescu, P. J. , Kollias, P., & van den Heever, S. C. (2022). Optimizing radar scan strategies for tracking isolated deep convection using observing system simulation experiments. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 15(16), 4931–4950.

Perkins, R. J., Marinescu, P. J. , Levin, E. J. T., Collins, D. R., & Kreidenweis, S. M. (2022). Long- and short-term temporal variability in cloud condensation nuclei spectra over a wide supersaturation range in the Southern Great Plains site. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 22(9), 6197–6215.

Dagan, G., Stier, P., Spill, G., Herbert, R., Heikenfeld, M., van den Heever, S. C., & Marinescu, P. J. (2022). Boundary conditions representation can determine simulated aerosol effects on convective cloud fields. Communications Earth & Environment, 3(1), 71.

Grant, L. D., van den Heever, S. C., Haddad, Z. S., Bukowski, J., Marinescu, P. J. , Storer, R. L., Posselt, D. J., & Stephens, G. L. (2022). A Linear Relationship between Vertical Velocity and Condensation Processes in Deep Convection. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 79(2), 449–466.

van den Heever, S. C., Grant, L. D., Freeman, S. W., Marinescu, P. J. , Barnum, J., Bukowski, J., Casas, E., Drager, A. J., Fuchs, B., Herman, G. R., Hitchcock, S. M., Kennedy, P. C., Nielsen, E. R., Park, J. M., Rasmussen, K., Razin, M. N., Riesenberg, R., Dellaripa, E. R., Slocum, C. J., … van den Heever, A. (2021). The Colorado State University Convective CLoud Outflows and UpDrafts Experiment (C3LOUD-Ex). Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 102(7), E1283–E1305.

Marinescu, P.J., Susan C. van den Heever, Max Heikenfeld, Andrew I. Barrett, Christian Barthlott, Corinna Hoose, Jiwen Fan, Ann M. Fridlind, Toshihisa Matsui, Annette K. Miltenberger, Philip Stier, Benoit Vie, Bethan A. White, and Yuwei Zhang (2021): Impacts of Varying Concentrations of Cloud Condensation Nuclei on Deep Convective Cloud Updates - A Multimodel Assessment . J. Atmos. Sci., 78, 1147–1172, doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-20-0200.1.

Marinescu, P.J., Patrick C. Kennedy, Michael M. Bell, Aryeh J. Drager, Leah D. Grant, Sean W. Freeman, and Susan C. van den Heever (2020): Updraft Vertical Velocity Observations and Uncertainties in High Plains Supercells Using Radiosondes and Radars , Mon. Wea. Rev., 148 (11), 4435-4452, doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-20-0071.1.

Freeman S.W., J. Bukowski, L. D. Grant, P. J. Marinescu , J. M. Park, S. M. Hitchcock, and S. C. van den Heever: Where Should the Sensor Go? An Evaluation of Multirotor Drone Sensor Siting Locations. Submitted to J. Atmos. Ocean Tech.

Marinescu, P.J., E.J.T. Levin, D. Collins, S.M. Kreidenweis (2019), SGP Merged Aerosol Size Distribution (CPC+SMPS+APS). ARM Data Center, doi:10.5439/1511037.

Marinescu, P.J., E.J.T. Levin, D. Collins, S.M. Kreidenweis, and S.C. van den Heever (2019), Quantifying aerosol size distributions and their temporal variability in the Southern Great Plains, USA, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 11985–12006,

Heikenfeld, M., P.J. Marinescu , M. Christensen, D. Watson-Parris, F. Senf, S.C. van den Heever, and P. Stier (2019), tobac v1.0: towards a flexible framework for tracking and analysis of clouds in diverse datasets , Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 4551–4570, doi:10.5194/gmd-12-4551-2019.

Marinescu, P.J. , S.C. van den Heever, S.M. Saleeby, S.M. Kreidenweis and P.J. DeMott (2017), The Microphysical Roles of Lower-Tropospheric versus Midtropospheric Aerosol Particles in Mature-Stage MCS Precipitation, J. Atmos. Sci., 74, 3657–3678, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0361.1.

Saleeby, S.M., S.C. van den Heever, P.J. Marinescu, S.M. Kreidenweis and P.J. DeMott (2016), Aerosol indirect effects on the anvil characteristics of mesoscale convective systems , J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 10880-10901, doi:10.1002/2016JD025082.

Marinescu, P.J. , S.C. van den Heever, S.M. Saleeby, and S.M. Kreidenweis (2016), The microphysical contributions to and evolution of latent heating profiles in two MC3E MCSs, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, 7913-7935, doi:10.1002/2016JD024762.

Teaching Experience

Fall 2018: Cloud Dynamics (ATS 712, Colorado State University)
Fall 2017: Thermodynamics and Cloud Physics (ATS 620, Colorado State University)
Fall 2014: Synoptic Meteorology (ATS 640, Colorado State University)
Fall 2007, Fall 2008: Introduction to Statistics (AEM 210, Cornell University)

Field Experience

CSU Disdrometer (see below)
C3LOUD-Ex - CSU Convective CLoud Outflows and UpDrafts Experiment, 2016-2017: Operations Manager, mobile GPS advanced upper-air sounding system team
PECAN - Plains Elevated Convection at Night, 2015: MGAUS Team - mobile GPS advanced upper-air sounding system


First Place Student Poster Award at the 18th AMS Mesoscale Processes Conference (2019)
Colorado State University Graduate Student Council Travel Award (2019)
Outstanding Student Oral Presentation at 98th AMS Meeting’s Aerosol-Cloud Symposium (2018)
David L. Dietrich Honorary Scholarship for Outstanding Research in Air Quality awarded by the Air Resource Specialists, Inc. (2017)
MAC Foundation Student Travel Award (Awarded 2016 to attend the ACPC Working Group Meeting in April 2017)
Outstanding Student Oral Presentation at 96th AMS Meeting’s Aerosol-Cloud Symposium (2016)
NSF Graduate Fellowship, Awarded 2015 (Funded 2016-Current)
AMS Graduate Fellowship 2013
3rd Place Student Poster at AMS Weather Analysis and Forecasting Symposium (93rd AMS Annual Meeting, 2013)

Community Involvements

Student member of the AMS Committee on Mesoscale Processes (2018-2020)
Student Mentor for the ESMEI REU Program at CSU (2016)
Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation-Climate Working Group: member and webmaster (2016-Present)
FORTCAST (Northern Colorado AMS Chapter): member, Executive Board (2014)
CSU Student Chapter of American Association for Aerosol Research: member, Treasurer (2014-2016)
CSU Department of Atmospheric Science Graduate Representative (2015-2017)
American Geophysical Union: student member (2014-Present)
American Meteorological Society: student member (2013-Present)
CSU Club Tennis Team

CSU Disdrometer Measurements

Latest Disdrometer Measurement

In 2017, we received some internal funding to purchase and install an OTT Parsivel Disdrometer on the roof of the Atmospheric Science Main Building at the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science (Foothills Campus). This instrument optically measures the precipitation number and fall speed size distributions, as well as a number of other precipitation parameters. We have been archiving this data since June 2018. The disdrometer has also been deployed to the PRECIP and BACS field campaigns. Disdrometer Installation Team, 2018

Last Updated: August 2023