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PhD: Microphysical Uncertainties in Deep Convective Clouds and their Implications for Data Assimilation

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Our ability to predict the weather up to a week or more ahead saves our societies billions of Euros annually and protects human life and property. The great challenge today is to identify the limits of weather predictability in different situations and produce the best forecasts that are physically possible.

On July 1st 2015, the Transregional Collaborative Research Center “Waves to Weather” (W2W; SFB/TRR165; was established to address these issues and to deliver the underpinning science urgently needed to pave the way towards a new generation of weather forecasting systems.
The W2W consortium consists of:
- the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU, Munich)
- the Johannes Gutenberg-University (JGU, Mainz)
- the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), together with
- the Technische Universität München (TUM)
- the Heidelberg University, and
- the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR, Munich).

The following PhD-position is available within the W2W consortium:

Location: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Corinna Hoose

This PhD position will contribute to project B1 “Microphysical Uncertainties in Deep Convective Clouds and their Implications for Data Assimilation” of the W2W consortium.

Outline: The liquid/ice phase partitioning in convective clouds and the generation of precipitation via the ice phase are currently poorly predicted in operational weather forecast models. Especially, supercooled cloud droplets and frozen hydrometeors are poorly represented although being important for the prediction of severe hailstorms with a high damage potential and for aviation forecasts. In addition, the realistic representation of clouds and hydrometeors is essential for the assimilation of remote-sensing observations related to these quantities. Within our subproject, we will identify which microphysical processes have to be included or refined in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to improve our ability to predict the convective cloud phase and resulting precipitation with a special focus on hail. Besides the direct forecast impact, this shall advance our capability to use the information provided by potential high-impact observations such as radar reflectivity and cloudy satellite radiances and reflectances in the visible and infrared spectrum in convective-scale data assimilation. Within project B1 of W2W, one PhD and one Postdoc positions are available. The work programme for the PhD position will include idealized simulations of deep convective clouds via the warm bubble method in which microphysical parameters (in particular related to heterogeneous ice formation) and initial conditions are systematically varied to evaluate the related sensitivity of the relevant micro- and macrophysical processes. The tool for this project will be the COSMO model, which will be employed in convection-resolving grid spacing and in different setups, including versions with a double-moment cloud scheme and parameterizations of aerosol-cloud interactions within COSMO-ART. The project shall facilitate collaboration of experts in cloud and aerosol microphysics, meteorological extreme events, ensemble data assimilation and diagnostic tools to reach better understanding of errors sources and uncertainties of clouds and precipitation forecasts for the advancement of both convective-scale modeling and data assimilation.
The PhD candidate will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Corinna Hoose and collaborate closely with the B1 postdoctoral researcher and the other PIs, namely PD Dr. Michael Kunz (KIT), Dr. Bernhard Vogel (KIT) and Dr. Martin Weissmann (LMU).

Requirements: The ideal candidate holds a MSc in Meteorology, Physics, or other Geosciences and has already some experience in numerical modeling and/or skills to evaluate huge data sets. Besides very good knowledge of English, experience with Fortran, Unix, and postprocessing/visualisation software (e.g. GrADS, R, ncl, cdo) would be an advantage.

The position is funded until June 2019. The successful PhD candidate will be remunerated according to TV-L 13 (75%) and should start as soon as possible.
Responsibilities and requirements are outlined on the website The position is a fixed-term employment contract until June 2019. The contract is time-limited according to the Academic Fixed-Term Contract Law (WissZeitVG). The salary scale is TV-L E13. Employment shall begin as soon as possible.

Handicapped applicants will be given preference in case of equal suitability. The W2W consortium strives to increase the proportion of women in research and specifically encourages females to apply for this position.

Applications should be submitted online before July 31st 2015 using the application tool of the W2W consortium (visit the website for more information) and should include the following components:
- CV
- letter of motivation
- research interests
- a record of studies
- master and bachelor certificates including a transcript of records
- the degree certificates
- contact information of two referees for letters of recommendation
- an English language certificate

For further information, please visit or contact Dr. Audine Laurian (


Art des Bewerbungszugangs
Applications should be submitted online before July 31st 2015 using the application tool of the W2W consortium (visit the website for more information).
Kontakt für Bewerbungen
For further information, please visit or contact Dr. Audine Laurian (

Details der Stellenanzeige

Befristete Anstellung
Berufserfahrung nicht vorausgesetzt
Deutschland (Baden-Württemberg)
76128 Karlsruhe
Physik, Geowissenschaften