Larry Casey, Ph.D.

"my research approach is primarily observational in nature"

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Associate Professor

Office: NSSTC
Phone: 256.961.7909
Fax: 256.961.7979
Email: larry.carey@nsstc.uah.edu

Research Interests

  • Radar Remote Sensing
  • Severe Weather
  • Cloud Physics

Education

  • Ph.D. (1999) - Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
    • Advisor: Prof. Steven Rutledge
  • M.S. (1994) - Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • B.S. (1989) - Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
  • B.S. (1988) - Electrical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA

Professional Employment

  • 2009 - Principal Research Scientist I, Earth System Science Center (ESSC), The National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35805
  • 2007 - 2009 Research Scientist V, Earth System Science Center (ESSC), The National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC), University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35805
  • 2003 - 2007 Assistant Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843
  • 2001 - 2003 Assistant Professor, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695
  • 1999 - 2001 Research Associate, Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) and Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
  • 1992 - 1998 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
  • 1988 - 1992 Weather Officer, United States Air Force

Research

Radar Meteorology

precipMy overall research goal is to understand the integrated kinematic, microphysical and electrical nature of clouds and precipitation systems. My research approach is primarily observational in nature. Although I use a wide variety of observational platforms, radar remote sensing is my primary tool for diagnosing the structure, kinematics and microphysics of clouds and precipitation. I employ multi-Doppler and dual-polarimetric observations and analysis techniques to diagnose the three-dimensional (3-D) wind field and hydrometeor types and amounts. I use both centimeter (S-, C- X-, and Ku-band) and millimeter (such as W-band) wavelength radars to study precipitation and clouds, respectively. Over the last 18 years, I have worked closely with a number of polarimetric radars, including the ARMOR, MAX, SMART, NCAR SPOL, CSU-CHILL, BMRC CPOL, NASA NPOL, K-Pol, and UWY WCR radars. I have served as radar or mission scientist, including lead, on a number of NASA and NSF funded international field campaigns using these radars. To achieve my goals, I have developed several dual-polarimetric radar algorithms designed to improve data quality, including the mitigation of attenuation, calibration bias, and beam blocking errors, and to better estimate precipitation rate and identify hydrometeor type.

A key objective for our research team, which includes a number of UAHuntsville graduate students and staff and NASA MSFC scientists, is to improve the representation of cloud precipitation and dynamical processes within various models, including cloud resolving models (CRMs) and numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. Better knowledge of precipitation properties, such as the 3-D distribution of types, sizes and amounts, are also important for constraining the parameterizations used by a wide variety of applications, including satellite remote sensing algorithms in the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM/PMM) and missile erosion models employed by the Department of Defense (DoD). In addition to ground- and satellite-based radars, we have utilized surface-based (disdrometers, rain gauges) and aircraft in-situ precipitation measurement instruments to achieve these goals.

Another central purpose of our UAHuntsville-NASA MSFC research team is to improve the short-term prediction of high impact weather events that adversely affect public safety and economic productivity. Severe weather applications include lightning, tornadoes, hail storms, flash flooding, microbursts, hurricanes, and aircraft icing and turbulence. We have studied high impact weather in supercells, multicell convection, tropical and mid-latitude Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs), hurricanes, and non-precipitating mixed-phase clouds. Our dual-polarimetric radar research efforts in quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) are being used in a wide variety of applications including improved hydrologic modeling and river management by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and soil water and evapo-transpiration modeling by NASA MSFC. Our NASA, NOAA and NSF funded physical process studies employing dual-polarimetric hydrometeor identification algorithms are leading to improved diagnosis and short-term prediction of lightning potential, severe hail, tornadoes and straight line winds.

Using radar and a variety of lightning sensors (such as the NASA TRMM Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS) and the NASA MSFC Lightning Mapping Array (LMA)), we have studied cloud electrification and lightning in a wide variety of thunderstorm types, including ordinary convection, multicell squall lines, hail storms, supercells (tornadic and non-tornadic), and MCSs. Lightning applications funded by NASA MSFC, NASA LIS, NOAA CSTAR, NOAA GOES-R and NSF include the forecasting of lightning initiation and cessation, cloud electrification mechanisms, and the use of lightning in the short-term prediction of high impact convective weather, including severe weather and aviation hazards.

Publications

Publications in Refereed Literature

(student and post-doctoral co-authors are highlighted with an asterisk, *)

Anderson*, M. E., L. D. Carey, W. A. Petersen, and K. R. Knupp, 2011: C-band dual-polarimetric radar signatures of hail. Electronic Journal of Operational Meteorology, in press.

Schultz*, C. J., W. A. Petersen, and L. D. Carey, 2011: Lightning and severe weather: A comparison between total and cloud-to-ground lightning trends. Weather and Forecasting, in press.

Mosier*, R. M., C. Schumacher, R. E. Orville, and L. D. Carey, 2011: Radar nowcasting of cloud-to-ground lightning over Houston, Texas. Weather and Forecasting, 26, 199–212.2

Marks, D. A., D. B. Wolff, L. D. Carey, and A. Tokay, 2011: Quality control and calibration of the dual-polarization radar at Kwajalein, RMI. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 28, 181–196. 2010

Crowe*, C. C., W. A. Petersen, L. D. Carey, and D. J. Cecil, 2010: A dual-polarization investigation of tornado-warned cells associated with Hurricane Rita (2005). Electronic Journal of Operational Meteorology, 2010-EJ4.

Gauthier, M. L., W. A. Petersen, and L. D. Carey, 2010: Cell mergers and their impact on cloud-to-ground lightning over the Houston area. Atmospheric Research, 96, 626-632. 2009

Schultz*, C. J., W. A. Petersen, and L. D. Carey, 2009: Preliminary development and evaluation of lightning jump algorithms for the real-time detection of severe weather. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 48, 2543-2563.

Smith, A. J.*, V. E. Larson, , J. Niu, , J. A. Kankiewicz, and L. D. Carey, 2009: Processes that generate and deplete liquid water and snow in midlevel, mixed-phase clouds. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, D12203, doi:10.1029/2008JD011531.

McKinney*, C. M., L. D. Carey, and G. R. Patrick, 2009: Total lightning observations of supercells over North Central Texas. Electronic Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, 4 (2), 1–25.

Lang, T. J., S. W. Nesbitt, and L. D. Carey, 2009: On the correction of partial beam blockage in polarimetric radar data. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 26, 943–957.

Carey, L. D., J. Niu*, P. Yang, J. Adam Kankiewicz, V. E. Larson, and T. H. Vonder Haar, 2008: The vertical profile of liquid and ice water content in mid-latitude mixed-phase altocumulus clouds. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 47, 2487-2495.

Rickenbach, T., P. Kucera, M. Gentry*, L. Carey, A. Lare, R.-F. Lin, B. Demoz, and D. O'C. Starr, 2008: The relationship between anvil clouds and convective cells: A case study in South Florida during CRYSTAL-FACE. Monthly Weather Review, 136, 3917-3932.

MacGorman, D. R., W. D. Rust, T. J. Schuur, M. I. Biggerstaff, J. M. Straka, C. L. Ziegler, E. R. Mansell, E. C. Bruning, K. M. Kuhlman, N. R. Lund, N. S. Biermann, C. Payne, L. D. Carey, P. R. Krehbiel, W. Rison, K. B. Eack, and W. H. Beasley, 2008: TELEX: The Thunderstorm Electrification and Lightning Experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89, 997-1013.

Hodapp*, C. L., L. D. Carey, and R. E. Orville, 2008: Evolution of radar reflectivity and total lightning structure of the 21 April 2006 mesoscale convective system over Texas. Atmospheric Research, 89, 113-137, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.01.007.

Niu*, J., L. D. Carey, P. Yang, and T. H. Vonder Haar, 2008: Optical properties of a vertically inhomogeneous midlatitude mid-level mixed-phase altocumulus in the infrared region. Atmospheric Research, 88, 234-232, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2007.11.020.

Ely*, B. L., R. E. Orville, L. D. Carey, and C. L. Hodapp*, 2008: Evolution of the total lightning structure in a leading-line, trailing-stratiform mesoscale convective system over Houston, Texas. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D08114, doi:10.1029/2007JD008445. 3

Steiger*, S. M., R. E. Orville, and L. D. Carey, 2007: Total lightning signatures of thunderstorm intensity, Part I: Supercells. Monthly Weather Review, 135, 3281-3302.

Steiger*, S. M., R. E. Orville, and L. D. Carey, 2007: Total lightning signatures of thunderstorm intensity, Part II: Mesoscale Convective Systems. Monthly Weather Review, 135, 3303-3324.

Carey, L. D., and K. M. Buffalo*, 2007: Environmental control of cloud-to-ground lightning polarity in severe storms. Monthly Weather Review, 135, 1327-1353.

Wang, J-J, X. Li, and L. D. Carey, 2007: Evolution, structure, cloud microphysical and surface rainfall processes of monsoon convection during the South China Sea Monsoon Experiment. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 64, 360-380.

Gauthier*, M. L, W. A. Petersen, L. D. Carey, and H. J. Christian, Jr., 2006: The Relationship Between Cloud-to-Ground Lightning and Precipitation Ice Mass: A Radar Study over Houston. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L20803, doi:10.1029/2006GL027244.

Wang, J. J. and L. D. Carey, 2005: The development and structure of an oceanic squall line system during the South China Sea Monsoon Experiment. Monthly Weather Review, 133, 1544-1561.

Dotzek, N. R. M. Rabin, L. D. Carey, D. R. MacGorman, T. L. McCormick*, N. W. Demetriades, M. J. Murphy, and R. L. Holle, 2005: Lightning activity related to satellite and radar observations of the mesoscale convective system over Texas on 7 April 2002. Atmospheric Research, 76, 127-166.

Biggerstaff, M. L., L. J. Wicker, J. Guynes, C. Zeigler, J. M. Straka, E. Rasmussen, A. Doggett, L. D. Carey, and J. L. Schroeder, 2005: The Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) Radar: A collaboration to enhance research and teaching. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86, 1263-1274.

Cifelli, R., N. Doesken, P. Kennedy, L. D. Carey, S. A. Rutledge, T. Depue, and C. Gimmestad, 2005: The community collaborative rain and hail study: Informal education for scientists and citizens. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86, 1069-1077.

Gauthier*, M. L, W. A. Petersen, L. D. Carey, and R. E. Orville, 2005: Dissecting the anomaly. A closer look at the documented enhancement in summertime ground flash densities in and around the Houston area. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L10810, doi:10.1029/2005GL022725.

Carey, L. D., M. J. Murphy, T. L. McCormick*, N. W. S. Demetriades, 2005: Lightning location relative to storm structure in a leading-line, trailing-stratiform mesoscale convective system. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, D03105, doi:10.1029/2003JD00437.

Cifelli, R., L. Carey, W. A. Petersen, S. A. Rutledge, 2004: An ensemble study of wet season convection in the south west Amazon: Kinematics and implications for diabatic heating. Journal of Climate, 17, 4692-4707.

Vincent*, B. R., L. D. Carey, D. Schneider, K. Keeter and R. Gonski, 2004: Using WSR-88D reflectivity for the prediction of cloud-to-ground lightning: A central North Carolina study. National Weather Digest, 27, 35-44.4

Carey, L. D., and S. A. Rutledge, 2003: Characteristics of cloud-to-ground lightning in severe and non-severe storms over the central United States from 1989-98. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, NO. D15, 4483, doi:10.1029/2002JD002951.

Carey, L. D., W. A. Petersen, and S. A. Rutledge, 2003: Evolution of cloud-to-ground lightning and storm structure in the Spencer, SD supercell of 30 May 1998. Monthly Weather Review, 131, 1811-1831.

Carey, L. D., S. A. Rutledge and W. A. Petersen, 2003: The relationship between severe storm reports and cloud-to-ground lightning polarity in the contiguous United States from 1989-98. Monthly Weather Review, 131, 1211-1228.

Cifelli, R., W. A. Petersen, L. D. Carey, and S. A. Rutledge, 2002: Radar observations of the kinematic, microphysical and precipitation characteristics of two MCSs in TRMM-LBA. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107, NO. D20, 8077, doi:10.1029/2000JD000264.

Keenan, T. D., L. D. Carey, D. S. Zrnic, and P. T. May, 2001: Sensitivity of 5-cm Wavelength Polarimetric Radar Variables to Raindrop Axial Ratio and Dropsize Distribution. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 40, 526 – 545.

Carey, L. D., S. A. Rutledge, D. A. Ahijevych, and T. D. Keenan, 2000: Correcting Propagation Effects in C-band Polarimetric Radar Observations of Tropical Convection Using Differential Propagation Phase. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 39, 1405-1433.

Carey, L. D., and S. A. Rutledge, 2000: On the Relationship Between Precipitation and Lightning in Tropical Island Convection: A C-band Polarimetric Radar Study. Monthly Weather Review, 128, 2687-2710.

Zrnic, D. S., T. D. Keenan, L. D. Carey, and P. T. May, 2000: Sensitivity Analysis of Polarimetric Variables at a 5-cm Wavelength in Rain. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 39, 1514-1526.

Ahijevych, D. A., S. A. Rutledge, and L. D. Carey, 2000: Radar and Electrical Characteristics of Convection Observed During MCTEX. Australian Meteorological Magazine, 49, 165-180.

Petersen, W. A., L. D. Carey, S. A. Rutledge, J. C. Knievel, N. J. Doesken, R. H. Johnson, T. B. McKee, T. Von der Haar, J. F. Weaver, 1999: Mesoscale and Radar Observations of the Fort Collins Flash Flood of 28 July 1997. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 80, 191-216.

May, P. T., T. D. Keenan, D. S. Zrnic, L. D. Carey, and S. A. Rutledge, 1999: Polarimetric Radar Measurements of Tropical Rain at C-band. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 38, 750-765.

Carey, L. D., and S. A. Rutledge, 1998: Electrical and Multiparameter Radar Observations of a Severe Hailstorm. Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, 13,979-14,000.

Hubbert, J. H., V. N. Bringi, L. D. Carey, and S. Bolen, 1998: CSU-CHILL Polarimetric Radar Measurements from a Severe Hailstorm in Eastern Colorado. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 37, 749–775.

Carey, L. D., and S. A. Rutledge, 1996: A Multiparameter Radar Case Study of the Microphysical and Kinematic Evolution of a Lightning Producing Storm. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics, 59, 33-64.

Courses

Selected list of courses

ATS 554 Forecasting Mesoscale Processes - 3 hrs.

Detection and forecasting of atmospheric mesoscale phenomena, including the structure and evolution of clouds, precipitation (including floods), thunderstorms and severe weather. Includes basics on instruments used to detect mesoscale phenomena, most notably satellite and radar. Based mainly on computerized modules and related exercises. Prerequisite: ATS 551. Spring

ATS 690 Polarimetric Radar in Meteorology - 3 hours.

The student will gain a basic understanding of: a) polarized radar system hardware; b) physical interpretation and application of multi-parameter radar variables; and c) radar operating considerations. Emphasis will be placed on hydrometeorological applications; specifically, precipitation measurement and hydrometeor identification in distributed weather targets. Student use of the UAH ARMOR and MAX dual-polarimetric radars will be incorporated into the learning experience in order to provide an important framework from within which to apply the principles learned in this course. Radar Meteorology is currently experiencing a shift in radar-based precipitation measurement paradigms. This shift can be defined as a transition from use of conventional power-based measures of precipitation rate and coverage, to more accurate multi-parameter measurements of not only precipitation rate, but bulk measures of hydrometeor/scatterer type, phase, and size.