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Research Highlights

Increased rainfall volume from future convective storms in the US

Organized severe convective storms are the main driver of warm season flooding in the U.S. In this study we show that the accumulated volume of extreme convective storms might double due to climate change. This indicates an increase in flood potentials especially in the eastern parts of the US, Canada, and Mexico by an unexpected magnitude.

Simulating North American mesoscale convective systems with a convection‐permitting climate model


Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are large thunderstorms that contribute up to 65 % to the total summertime precipitation in the central U.S. Simulating this systems was a long standing problem in weather forecasting and climate modeling. Here we use a kilometer-scale climate model, which is able to capture MCSs precipitation realistically and show that many of the simulated features are statistically not distinguishable from observations.

The future intensification of hourly precipitation extremes

Extreme hourly downpours that are related to flash floods and landslides might intensify by 70 % and occur 5 times as often at the end of the century than they do today. This manuscript assesses the reasons for those changes and provides a general framework of how future downpours might change.



Running dry: The US Southwest's drift into a drier climate state

Weather systems that bring moisture to the U.S. Southwest did decrease in frequency over the last 35 years resulting in a increased drought potential in this area.



Running dry: The US Southwest's drift into a drier climate state

Weather systems that bring moisture to the U.S. Southwest did decrease in frequency over the last 35 years resulting in a increased drought potential in this area.



A review on regional convection‐permitting climate modeling: Demonstrations, prospects, and challenges

Convection-permitting models emerge as promising tools to significantly advance climate assessments. In this review article, we assess major challenges and critical components of convection-permitting climate modeling. Most importantly we discuss the added value of these models compared to state-of-the-art coarser resolution climate simulations.



Impacts of uncertainties in European gridded precipitation observations on regional climate analysis

Observational uncertainties in gridded precipitation products over Europe have a similar magnitude than the biases of state-of-the-art regional climate simulations. This means that climate modes cannot be scientifically evaluated without accounting for observational uncertainties.



Precipitation in the EURO-CORDEX 0.11° and 0.44° simulations: high resolution, high benefits?

Reducing the grid-spacing of regional climate models from 0.44° to 0.11° improves model biases in large areas of Europe, leads to an improved representation of spatial precipitation patterns, and results in advancements in the precipitation distributions of daily and in particular for 3 hourly precipitation sums.


All Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Yu H, Prein AF, Qi D, Wang K (submitted) Kilometer-Scale Multi-Physics Simulations of Heavy Precipitation Events in the Northeast China. Climate Dynamics

  • Zilli MT, Lemes MR, Hart NCG, Halladay K, Kahana R, Fisch G, Prein AF, Ikeda K, Liu C (submitted) The added value of using convective-permitting regional climate model simulations to represent cloud band events over South America. Climate Dynamics

  • Hall A, Rahimi-Esfarjani S, Ban N, Siler N, Leung LL, Ullrich P, Reed K, Prein AF, Qian Y, Norris J (submitted) An Evaluation of Dynamical Downscaling Methods Used to Project Regional Climate Change. JGR-A

  • Stoy P, Bromley G, Prein AF, Albeke J (submitted) The Decline in Summer Fallow in the Northern Great Plains Cooled Near-Surface Climate but had Minimal Impacts on Precipitation. JGR-A

  • Collier E et al. (submitted) The First Ensemble of Kilometre-Scale Simulations of a Hydrological Year over the Third Pole. Climate Dynamics

  • Martinez JA, Arias PA Dominguez F, Prein AF (2024) A Mesoscale Convective System over the Tropical Andes: Role of the Orinoco Low-level Jet in the Mocoa 2017 Event. Frontiers in Earth Science, https://10.3389/feart.2023.1307549

  • Huang, Y, Xue M, Hu X, Matin E, Novoa H, McPherson R, Liu C, Ikeda K, Rasmussen R, Prein AF, Perez A, Morales I, Ticona J, Flores AJ (submitted) Km Characteristics of Precipitation and Mesoscale Convective Systems over the Peruvian Central Andes in Multi 5-Year Convection-Permitting Simulations,  JGR-A

  • Prein AF et al. (submitted) Km-Scale Simulations of Mesoscale Convective Systems (MCSs) Over South America – A Feature Tracker Intercomparison JGR-A

  • Stevens B et al. (submitted) Earth Virtualization Engines (EVE) ESSDD

  • Huang J, Dong F, Scussolini P, Jiang Q, Prein AF et al. (submitted) Increasing Extreme Precipitation Polarizes Spatial Patterns of Pluvial Flood Risks. PNAS

  • Dominguez F, Rasmussen R, Liu C, Ikeda K, Prein AF et al. (2023) Advancing South American Hydroclimate Science Through Multi-Decadal Convection-Permitting Modeling. BAMS

  • Yua H, Prein AF, Qic D, Kukuliesd J, Wang K (submitted) Kilometer-Scale Simulations Can Outperform Satellite-based Observations in Heavy Rainfall Characteristics. BAMS

  • Martinez C, Simpson IR, Fasullo JT, and Prein AF (submitted) An Evaluation of the Seasonal Caribbean Hydroclimate in Low and High-Resolution CESM and other CMIP6 Models. Climate Dynamics

  • Hoefler T, Stevens B, Prein AF et al. (2023) Earth Virtualization Engines - A Technical Perspective. IEEE CiSE,

  • Prein AF, Mooney P, and Done J (2023) The Multi-Scale Interactions of Atmospheric Phenomenon in Extreme and Mean Precipitation. Earth’s Future,

  • Prein AF (2023) Intensification of Thunderstorm Downbursts with Climate Change. Nature Climate Change,

  • Li P, Song F, Chen H, Li L Prein AF, et al. (2023) Intensification of mesoscale convective systems in the East Asian rainband over the past two decades. GRL,

  • Lin Q, Chen J, Ou T, Lai H-W, Prein AF, and Chen D (2023) Performance of the WRF model at the convection-permitting scale in simulating snowfall and lake-effect snow over the Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres,

  • Rasmussen RM, Chen F, Liu CH, Ikeda K, Prein AF, et al. (2023) The NCARUSGS 4-km long-term regional hydroclimate reanalysis over the CONUS. BAMS,

  • Ramos-Valle AN, Prein AF, Ge M, Wang D, and Giangrande SE (submitted) Grid spacing sensitivities of simulated mid-latitude and tropical mesoscale convective systems in the convective gray zone. JGR: Atmospheres,

  • Kukulies J, Prein AF, Curio J; Chen D (2023) Evaluating kilometer-scale multimode and multi-physics ensemble simulations of a mesoscale convective system in the lee of the Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Climate,

  • Dougherty E, Prein AF, Gutmann E, and Newman A (2023) Future Simulated Changes in Central U.S. Mesoscale Convective System Rainfall Caused by Changes in Convective and Stratiform Structure. JGR: Atmospheres ,

  • Chan CS, Kendon EJ, Fowler HJ, Kahraman A, Crook J, Ban N, Prein AF (2022) Large-scale dynamics moderate impact-relevant changes to organised convective storms. Communications Earth & Environment

  • Prein AF et al. (2022) Convection-Permitting Third Pole Experiment – Towards Ensemble-Based Kilometer-Scale Climate Simulations over the Third Pole Region. Climate Dynamics,

  • Wang D, Prein AF, Giangrande S, Ramos-Valle R, Ge M, and Jensen M (2022) Convective Updraft and Downdraft Characteristics of Mesoscale Convective Systems in the Model Gray Zone. GJR-A,

  • Prein AF, Ge M, Ramos Valle A, Wang D, Giangrande SE (2022) Towards a Unified Setup to Simulate Mid-Latitude and Tropical Mesoscale Convective Systems at Kilometer-Scales. Earth and Space Science

  • Giorgi F, Prein AF (2022) Populated regional climate models (Pop-RCMs): the next frontier in regional climate modeling. PLOS Climate

  • Done J, Lackmann G, Prein AF (2022) The Response of Tropical Cyclone Intensity to Temperature Profile Change. Weather and Climate Dynamics

  • Prein AF, Coen J, Jaye A (2022) The Character and Changing Frequency of Extreme California Fire Weather. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmosphere,

  • Quintero F, Villarini G, Prein AF, Zhang W, Krajewski WF (2022) Discharge and Floods in Iowa Projected to Increase More Than Precipitation Extremes. Advances in Water Resources,

  • Prein AF, Towler E, Ge M, Llewellyn D, Baker S, Tighi S, Barrett L (2022) Sub-Seasonal Predictability of North American Monsoon Precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters,

  • Quintero F, Villarini G, Prein AF, Witold FK, Wei Zhang (2022) On the Role of Atmospheric Simulations Horizontal Grid Spacing for Flood Modeling. Climate Dynamics

  • Li Z, Gao S, Chen M, Gourley J, Liu C, Prein AF, and Hong Y (2022) The conterminous United States are projected to become more prone to flash floods in a high-end emissions scenario. Communications Earth & Environment

  • Prein AF, Rasmussen RM, Wang D., Giangrande S. (2021) Sensitivity of Organized Convective Storms to Model Grid Spacing in Current and Future Climates. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A; 379: 20190546.

  • Prein AF, Mearns L (2021) U.S. Extreme Precipitation Weather Types Increased in Frequency During the 20th Century. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmosphere,

  • Fowler HJ, et al. (2021) Towards advancing scientific knowledge of climate change impacts on short-duration rainfall extremes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.,

  • Fowler HJ, Lenderink G, Prein AF, et al. (2021) Intensification of short-duration rainfall extremes with global warming and implications for flood hazard. Nature Reviews,

  • Kendon EJ, Prein AF, Senior CA, Stirling A (2021) Challenges and outlook for convection-permitting climate modelling. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.,

  • Poujol B, Prein AF, Molina MJ, Muller C (2021) Dynamic and Thermodynamic Impacts of Climate Change on Organized Convection in Alaska. Climate Dynamics,

  • Zhou X, Yang K, Ouyang L, Wang Y, Jiang Y, Li X, Chen D, Prein AF (2021) Added Value of Kilometer-scale Modeling over the Third Pole Region: A Pilot Study. Climate Dynamics,

  • Tilmes S, et al. (2021) Developing a framework for an interdisciplinary and international climate intervention strategies research program. BAMS,

  • Molina MJ, Gagne DJ, Prein AF (2021) Deep learning classification of potentially severe convective storms in a changing climate. Earth and Space Science,

  • Scaff L, Prein AF, Li Y, Clark AJ, Krogh S, Taylor N, Liu C, Rasmussen RM, Ikeda K, Li Z (2021) Dryline characteristics in North America’s historical and future climates. Climate Dynamics,

2020 ​
  • Poujol B, Prein AF, Newman AJ (2020) Kilometer-scale modeling projects a tripling of Alaskan convective storms in future climate. Climate Dynamics

  • Li P, Moseley C, Prein AF, Chen H, Li J, Furtado K, Zhou T (2020) Mesoscale convective systems precipitation characteristics over East Asia. Part I: regional differences and seasonal variations. Journal of Climate

  • Prein AF, Heymefield AJ (2020) The Impacts of an Increasing Melting Level Height on Surface Precipitation Phase and Intensity. Nature Climate Change

  • Prein AF, Rasmussen RM, Wang D., Giangrande S. (2020) Sensitivity of Organized Convective Storms to Model Grid Spacing in Current and Future Climates. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

  • Towler E, Llewellyn D, Prein AF, Gilleland E (2020) Extreme-value analysis for the characterization of extremes in water resources: A generalized workflow and case study on New Mexico monsoon precipitation. Weather and Climate Extremes

  • Lopez-Cantu TP, Prein AF, Samaras C (2020) Integrating uncertainties across U.S. rainfall projections can increase robustness in planning for climate resilience. Geophysical Research Letters

  • Shen X, Huang DD, Wang W, Prein AF, and Togneri R (2020) Retrieval of Cloud Liquid Water Using Microwave Signals from LEO Satellites: a Feasibility Study through Simulations. Atmosphere

  • Darwish MM, Tye MR, Prein AF, Fowler HJ, Blenkinsop S, Dale M, Duncan F (2020) New hourly extreme precipitation regions and regional annual probability estimates for the UK. International Journal of Climatology

  • Bromley GT, Gerken T, Prein AF, Stoy PC (2020) Recent trends in the near-surface climatology of the northern North American Great Plains. Journal of Climate

  • Tamang SK, Ebtehaj AM, Prein AF, Heymsfield AJ (2019) On Changes of Global Wet-bulb Temperature and Snowfall Regimes. Journal of Climate

  • Grabowski WW, Prein AF (2019) Separating dynamic and thermodynamic impacts of climate change on daytime convective development over land. Journal of Climate

  • Piazza M, Prein AF, Truhetz H, and Csaki A (2019) On the sensitivity of precipitation in convection-permitting climate simulations in the Eastern Alpine region. Meteorologische Zeitschrift

  • Prein AF, Bukovsky MS, Mearns LO, Bruyère1 C, and Done JM (2019) Simulating North American Weather Types with Regional Climate Models. Frontiers

  • Prein AF, AG Pendergrass (2019) Can we Constrain Uncertainty in Hydrologic Cycle Projections? Geophysical Research Letters

  • Scaff L, Prein AF, Li Y, Liu C, Rasmussen R, and Ikeda K (2019) Simulating the diurnal cycle of convective precipitation in North America’s current and future climate with a convection-permitting model. Climate Dynamics

  • Prein, A.F. and Holland, G.J., 2018. Global estimates of damaging hail hazard. Weather and Climate Extremes.

  • Musselman, K.N., Lehner, F., Ikeda, K., Clark, M.P., Prein, A.F., Liu, C., Barlage, M. and Rasmussen, R., 2018. Projected increases and shifts in rain-on-snow flood risk over western North America. Nature Climate Change, 8(9), p.808.​

  • Blenkinsop, S., Fowler, H.J., Barbero, R., Chan, S.C., Guerreiro, S.B., Kendon, E., Lenderink, G., Lewis, E., Li, X.F., Westra, S. and Alexander, L., 2018. The INTENSE project: using observations and models to understand the past, present and future of sub-daily rainfall extremes. Advances in Science and Research, 15, pp.117-126.

  • Prein AF, C Liu, K Ikeda, S Trier, RM Rasmussen, GJ Holland, MP Clark (2017) Increasing rainfall volume from future severe convective storms. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/s41558-017-0007-7

  • Prein AF, RM Rasmussen, K Ikeda, C Liu, M Clark, GJ Holland (2017) The future intensification of hourly precipitation extremes. Nature Climate Change; doi:10.1038/nclimate3168

  • Prein AF, C Liu, K Ikeda, R Bullock, RM Rasmussen, GJ Holland, M Clark (2017) Simulating North American mesoscale convective systems with a convection-permitting climate model. Climate Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-017-3993-2
    Prein AF, RM Rasmussen, G Stephens (2017) Challenges and Advances in Convection-Permitting Climate Modeling. BAMS, 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0263.1

  • KL Rasmussen, AF Prein, RM Rasmussen, K Ikeda, C Liu (2017) Changes in the convective population and thermodynamic environments in convection-permitting regional climate simulations over the United States. Climate Dynamics

  • Aiguo D, RM Rasmussen, C Liu , K Ikeda , AF Prein (2017) Changes in Precipitation Characteristics over North America by the Late 21 st Century Simulated by a Convection-Permitting Model. Climate Dynamics

  • Púčik T, P Groenemeijer, AT Rädler, L Tijssen, G Nikulin, AF Prein, E van Meijgaard, R Fealy, C Teichmann, D Jacob (2017) Future changes in European severe convection environments in a regional climate model ensemble. Journal of Climate (submitted)

  • PA Mooney, DC Broderick, CL Bruyere, FJ Mulligan, AF Prein (2017) The role of regional climate model physics in simulating the summertime diurnal cycle of precipitation over the contiguous United States. Journal of Climate


  • Prein, A. F., Holland, G. J., Rasmussen, R. M., Clark, M. P., & Tye, M. R. (2016). Running dry: The US Southwest's drift into a drier climate state. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(3), 1272-1279.

  • Prein, A. F., & Gobiet, A. (2016). Impacts of uncertainties in European gridded precipitation observations on regional climate analysis. International Journal of Climatology.

  • Prein, A. F., Gobiet, A., Truhetz, H., Keuler, K., Goergen, K., Teichmann, C., ... & Vautard, R. (2016). Precipitation in the EURO-CORDEX 0.11° and 0.44° simulations: high resolution, high benefits?. Climate dynamics, 46(1-2), 383-412.

  • Liu C, K Ikeda, RM Rasmussen, M Barlage, AJ Newman, AF Prein et al. (2016), Continental-scale convection-permitting modeling of the current and future climate of North America. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3327-9

  • Tobin, I., Jerez, S., Vautard, R., Thais, F., Van Meijgaard, E., Prein, A., ... & Noël, T. (2016). Climate change impacts on the power generation potential of a European mid-century wind farms scenario. Environmental Research Letters, 11(3), 034013.


  • Prein, A. F., Langhans, W., Fosser, G., Ferrone, A., Ban, N., Goergen, K., ... & Brisson, E. (2015). A review on regional convection‐permitting climate modeling: Demonstrations, prospects, and challenges. Reviews of geophysics, 53(2), 323-361.

  • Jury, M. W., Prein, A. F., Truhetz, H., & Gobiet, A. (2015). Evaluation of CMIP5 models in the context of dynamical downscaling over Europe. Journal of Climate, 28(14), 5575-5582.

  • Prein, A. F., Holland, G. J., Rasmussen, R. M., Done, J., Ikeda, K., Clark, M. P., & Liu, C. H. (2013). Importance of regional climate model grid spacing for the simulation of heavy precipitation in the Colorado headwaters. Journal of Climate, 26(13), 4848-4857.

  • Prein, A. F., Gobiet, A., Suklitsch, M., Truhetz, H., Awan, N. K., Keuler, K., & Georgievski, G. (2013). Added value of convection permitting seasonal simulations. Climate Dynamics, 41(9-10), 2655-2677.

  • Prein, A. F., Gobiet, A., & Truhetz, H. (2011). Analysis of uncertainty in large scale climate change projections over Europe. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 20(4), 383-395.





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