Fine-Scale Structure of Snowstorms: Motivations for NASA IMPACTS

This event has passed. See the seminar recording here:


The seminar flyer for Dr. Rauber's event. All text is on the webpage.

Prof. Robert Rauber

Director of School of Earth, Society & Environment

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Monday November 8, 2021, 2 PM ET



During the winters of 2020, 2022, and 2023, NASA is conducting a field investigation called “The Investigation of Microphysics and Precipitation for Atlantic Coast-Threatening Snowstorms” (IMPACTS).  IMPACTS is flying a complementary suite of remote sensing and in-situ instruments for three 6-week deployments on the ER-2 and P-3 aircraft, and will address specific objectives related to understanding the mechanisms of snowband formation, organization, and evolution. IMPACTS will also investigate how the microphysical characteristics and likely growth mechanisms of snow particles vary across snowbands. Part of the motivation for IMPACTS were recent studies using high resolution airborne W-Band radars conducted by my research group as part of the Profiling of Winter Storms (PLOWS) research campaign. In this talk, I will summarize these studies, and explain the conundrums we face in understanding these complex storm systems.



Professor Rauber is Director of the School of Earth, Society and Environment in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) He previously served as Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at UIUC from 2006-2018, and has been a faculty member at UIUC for 34 years.  Prof. Rauber is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), recipient of the Charles Franklin Brooks Award from the AMS in 2019 and former Publications Commissioner of the AMS. He recently served as Vice President of the International Commission on Clouds and Precipitation. Dr. Rauber has received the University of Illinois’s highest award for graduate teaching, the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching and the Campus Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award. He maintains active research programs in the fields of mesoscale meteorology, radar meteorology, and precipitation physics. He has been an investigator in 28 Field campaigns and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Prof. Rauber is lead author of two textbooks, Radar Meteorology, A First Course, published in 2018, and Severe and Hazardous Weather, an introduction to High Impact Meteorology, now in its 5th edition and used at over 100 universities. He is also coauthor with Dr. Steve Marshak of a third textbook Earth Science, now in its 2nd edition, and a fourth book, Natural Disasters, Hazards of the Dynamic Earth, which is in press.


The new book debut and free book giveaway

We are excited to welcome Prof. Rauber as he debuts a new book he co-authored, “Natural Disasters, Hazards of the Dynamic Earth”, which is in press with the expected publication date of November 2021. To be eligible, you need to sign up to the giveaway using the link below and attend the live webinar. To sign up and read the other specifications required to win, visit:

Natural Disasters, Hazards of the Dynamic Earth is a vibrant introduction to the science and societal impacts of disasters. As our planet changes and our human population grows, students see new examples every year of the devasting impact geologic and atmospheric disasters have on communities. Through vibrant and detailed visuals, engaging writing, and extended case studies, Natural Disasters helps explain the science behind these catastrophes and the societal factors that shape our responses. Step-by-step art makes key concepts accessible to all students. And two case studies in every chapter—covering a North American and global example, and reinforced through online Guided Learning Explorations—get students examining the societal factors that help shape how communities deal with disasters.



Book sign-up:


Event site:

Webinar number: 2624 182 7082
Webinar password: essic

To join the audio conference only:
US Toll: +1-415-655-0002
Global call-in numbers


For IT assistance:
Cazzy Medley:

Travis Swaim:


Seminar schedule & archive:

Seminar Google calendar:

Seminar recordings on Youtube:


Nov 08 2021


John Xun Yang