Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Derek Posselt
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Derek J Posselt

Associate Professor

Graduate advisor
Program: The Master of Science in Atmospheric and Space Sciences

Office: 2517D SRB
Phone: (734)936-0502
Fax: (734)936-0503
[ Link to website ]


Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
M.S., Atmospheric Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S., Atmospheric Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison


ResearcherID: I-4912-2012

OrcID: 0000-0002-5670-5822

Use of applied mathematics and statistics to explore climate change effects on clouds and precipitation; dynamics of precipitating cloud systems associated with tropical convective cloud clusters and midlatitude cyclones; assimilation of cloud and precipitation data into mesoscale and cloud scale numerical models; aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions; nonlinear inverse problem theory; quantitative model error analysis

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Application of nonlinear inverse problem theory to cloud-environment interactions
  • Cloud, precipitation, and aerosol observing systems
  • Climate change effects on clouds and precipitation
  • Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions
  • Distribution of clouds and precipitation in tropical convective cloud clusters and midlatitude cyclones
  • Assimilation of cloud and precipitation data into mesoscale and cloud scale numerical models
  • Model parameterization uncertainty analysis

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • Cover Article, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, May 2008.
  • First Place Student Poster Competition, AMS Annual Meeting
  • Center for Earth-Atmosphere Studies Fellowship, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Colorado State University
  • NCAR Advanced Studies Program Summer Colloquium (Data Assimilation)
  • NATO Advanced Studies Institute (Data Assimilation)
  • Participant in the first Pacific THORPEX Operations Science Test observation campaign, Honolulu
  • Participant in the International H2O Project field experiment

Professional Service

  • American Meteorological Society Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography Committee (2010 - 2016)
  • NASA Earth Science Senior Review for the Extension of all current Earth Science Operating Missions (2013)
  • Reviewer for: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Monthly Weather Review, Journal of Climate, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Climate Dynamics, Atmospheric Research
  • Member of the American Meteorological Society
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union


Reid, J. S., N. D. Lagrosas, H, H. Jonsson, E. A. Reid, W. R. Sessions, J. B. Simpas, S. N. Uy, T. J. Boyd, S. A. Atwood, D. R. Blake, J. R. Campbell, S. S. Cliff, B. N. Holben, R. E. Holz, E. J. Hyer, P. Lynch, S. Meinardi, D. J. Posselt, K. A. Richardson, S. V. Salinas, A. Smirnov, Q. Wang, L. E. Yu, and J. Zhang, 2014: Observations of the temporal variability in aerosol properties and their relationships to meteorology in the summer monsoonal South China Sea/East Sea: the role of monsoonal flows, the Madden–Julian Oscillation, tropical cyclones, squall lines and cold pools, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 14, 20521-20584, doi:10.5194/acpd-14-20521-2014.

Posselt, D. J., and G. G. Mace, 2014: MCMC-Based Assessment of the Error Characteristics of a Surface-Based Combined Radar–Passive Microwave Cloud Property Retrieval. J. Appl. Meteor. Clim., 53, 2034–2057. (Link to PDF)

Tao, W.-K., S. Lang, X. Zeng, X. Li, T. Matsui, K. Mohr, D. J. Posselt, J. Chern, C. Peters-Lidard, P. M. Norris, I.-S. Kang, I. Choi, and Y.-M. Yang, 2014: The Goddard Cumulus Ensemble (GCE) model: improvements and applications for studying precipitation processes. Atmos. Res., 143, 392-242.

Posselt, D. J., D. Hodyss, and C. H. Bishop, 2014: Errors in Ensemble Kalman Smoother Estimates of Cloud Microphysical Parameters. Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 1631-1654.


Igel, M. R., S. C. van den Heever, G. L. Stephens, and D. J. Posselt, 2014: Convective-Scale Responses Over a Large-Domain, Modeled Tropical Environment to Surface Warming, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 140, 1333-1343. (Link to PDF).


Lee, S.-S., B.-G. Kim, C. Lee, S.-S. Yum, and D. J. Posselt, 2014: Effect of aerosol pollution on clouds and its dependence on precipitation intensity. Cli. Dyn., 42, 557-577. (Link to Online Version)

van Lier-Walqui, M. A., T. Vukicevic, and D. J. Posselt, 2014: Linearization of microphysical parameterization uncertainty using multiplicative process perturbation parameters, Mon. Wea. Rev., 142, 401-413.

Naud, C. M., J. F. Booth, D. J. Posselt, and S. C. van den Heever, 2013: Multiple satellite observations of cloud cover in extratropical cyclones, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 9982-9996.

Posselt, D. J., 2013: Markov chain Monte Carlo Methods: Theory and Applications, in Data Assimilation for Atmospheric, Oceanic and Hydrologic Applications, 2nd Ed. S. K. Park and L. Xu, Eds., Springer, pp. 59-87.

Igel, A. L, S. C. van den Heever, C. M. Naud, S. M. Saleeby, and D. J. Posselt, 2013: Sensitivity of warm frontal processes to cloud-nucleating aerosol concentrations. J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 1768-1783.

Michalak, A. M., E. J. Anderson, D. Beletsky, S. Boland, N. S. Bosch, T. B. Bridgeman, J. D. Chaffin, K. H. Cho, R. Confesor, I. Daloğlu, J. DePinto, M. A. Evans, G. L. Fahnenstiel, L. He, J. C. Ho, L. Jenkins, T. Johengen, K. C. Kuo, E. LaPorte, X. Liu, M. McWilliams, M. R. Moore, D. J. Posselt, R. P. Richards, D. Scavia, A. L. Steiner, E. Verhamme, D. M. WrightM.A. Zagorski, 2013: Record-setting algal bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.110, 6448-6452. (Link to PDF).

Wright, D. M.D. J. Posselt, and A. L. Steiner, 2013: Sensitivity of Lake-Effect Snowfall to Lake Ice Cover and Temperature in the Great Lakes Region. Mon. Wea. Rev., 141, 670-689. (Link to PDF)

van Lier-Walqui, M., T. Vukicevic, and D. J. Posselt, 2012: Quantification of Cloud Microphysical Parameterization Uncertainty using Radar Reflectivity, Mon. Wea. Rev., 140, 3442-3466 (Link to PDF).

Posselt, D. J., A. R. Jongeward, C.-Y. Hsu, and G. L. Potter, 2012: Object-Based Evaluation of MERRA-Simulated Cloud Physical Properties and Radiative Fluxes during the 1998 El Nino - La Nina Transition. J. Climate, 25, 7313-7327. (Link to PDF)

Naud, C. M., D. J. Posselt, and S. C. van den Heever, 2012: Observational analysis of cloud and precipitation in midlatitude cyclones: northern versus southern hemisphere warm fronts.J. Climate, 25, 5135-5151.(Link to PDF)

Posselt, D. J., and C. H. Bishop, 2012: Nonlinear parameter estimation: Comparison of an Ensemble Kalman Smoother with a Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. Mon. Wea. Rev., 140, 1957-1974. (Link to PDF)

Posselt, D. J., S. C. van den Heever, G. L. Stephens, and M. Igel, 2012: Changes in the interaction between tropical convection, radiation, and the large scale circulation in a warming environment. J. Climate, 35, 557-571.

Posselt, D. J., and T. Vukicevic, 2010: Robust Characterization of Model Physics Uncertainty for Simulations of Deep Moist Convection. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 1513–1535. (Link to PDF)

Posselt, D. J., T. S. L'Ecuyer, and G L. Stephens (2008), Exploring the Error Characteristics of Thin Ice Cloud Property Retrievals Using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo Algorithm, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D24206, doi:10.1029/2008JD010832. (Link to PDF)

Vukicevic, T., and D. J. Posselt, 2008: Analysis of the Impact of Model Nonlinearities in Inverse Problem Solving. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 2803-2823. (Link to PDF)

Posselt, D. J., G. L. Stephens, and M. Miller, 2008: CloudSat: Adding a New Dimension to a Classical View of Extratropical Cyclones. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, 599-609. (Link to PDF)

Posselt, D. J., S. C. van den Heever, and G L. Stephens (2008), Trimodal cloudiness and tropical stable layers in simulations of radiative convective equilibrium, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08802, doi:10.1029/2007GL033029. (Link to PDF)

Otkin, J. A., D. J. Posselt, E. R. Olson, H.-L. Huang, J. E. Davies, J. Li, and C. S. Velden, 2007: Mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction Models Used in Support of Infrared Hyperspectral Measurements Simulation and Product Algorithm Development. J. Atmos. Ocn. Tech., 24, 585-601.

Posselt, D. J., and J. E. Martin, 2004: The Effect of Latent Heat Release on the Evolution of a Warm Occluded Thermal Structure. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 578-599. (Link to PDF)

Huang, H.-L., D. C. Tobin, J. Li, E. R. Olson, K. Baggett, B. Huang, J. Mecikalski, R. O. Knuteson, B. Osborne, D. Posselt, P. B. Antonelli, H. E. Revercomb, W. L. Smith, and P. Yang, 2003: Hyperspectral radiance simulator: cloudy radiance modeling and beyond., Proc. SPIE 4891, 180 (2003), DOI:10.1117/12.466054

Updated: 2015-02-24