Rob Fovell picture

Robert Fovell

Modeling and dynamics of convective scale and mesoscale phenomena, tropical cyclones, windstorms, and model verification.

The World Within Reach



Robert Fovell is a professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, and received his Ph.D. degree in 1988 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied under Prof. Yoshi Ogura.  He served on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, between 1991 and 2015, prior to joining the faculty at the University at Albany.


Ph.D., 1988, University of Illinois (Atmospheric Sciences). 

Research Interests

He conducts research in mesoscale and convective scale meteorology, primarily using high-resolution numerical models.  He has written papers on squall lines, tropical cyclones, sea breezes, boundary layer rolls, gravity waves, and climate classification, among other subjects.  He has taught a variety of subjects, including mesoscale modeling and dynamics, atmospheric thermodynamics, synoptic meteorology, fluid dynamics, and atmospheric data analysis.  His research work has been supported by agencies such as the NSF, NASA, NOAA, and the California Air Resources Board, and also private sector companies.

Additional Information

He has served as Chair of the Faculty of the UCLA College of Letters and Science (2007-09), as chair of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Committee on Mesoscale Processes (2009-11), and as co-chair of the AMS Michio Yanai Symposium (2011).  In 2005, he received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award (the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching) and is the 2012 recipient of the AMS Teaching Excellence award.  His video course Meteorology: An Introduction to the Wonders of the Weather was published by the The Great Courses in 2010. 


Fovell, R. G., G. L. Mullendore, and S.-H. Kim, 2006: Discrete propagation in numerically simulated nocturnal squall lines. Monthly Weather Review, vol. 134, 3735-3752.

Fovell, R. G., and H. Su, 2007: Impact of cloud microphysics on hurricane track forecasts. Geophysical Research Letters , vol. 34, L24810, doi:10.1029/2007GL031723.

Hughes, M., A. Hall, and R. G. Fovell, 2009: Blocking in areas of complex topography, and its influence on rainfall distribution. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , vol. 66, 508-518.

Fovell, R. G., K. L. Corbosiero, and H.-C. Kuo, 2009: Cloud microphysics impact on hurricane track as revealed in idealized experiments. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , vol. 66, 1764-1778.

Hughes, M., A. Hall, and R. G. Fovell, 2006: Dynamical controls on the diurnal cycle of temperature in complex topography. Climate Dynamics, vol. 29, 277-292.

Fovell, R. G., K. L. Corbosiero, A. Seifert, and K.-N. Liou, 2010: Impact of cloud-radiative feedback on hurricane track. Geophysical Research Letters , vol. 37, L07808, doi:10.1029/2010GL042691.

Trier, S. B., R. D. Sharman, R. G. Fovell, and R. G. Frehlich, 2010: Numerical simulation of radial cloud bands within the upper-level outflow of an observed mesoscale convective system. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , vol. 67, 2990-2999.

Gu, Y., K. N. Liou, S. C. Ou, and R. Fovell, 2011: Cirrus cloud simulations using WRF with improved radiation parameterization and increased vertical resolution. Journal of Geophysical Research, D06119, doi:10.1029/2010JD014574.

Cao, Y., R. G. Fovell, and K. L. Corbosiero, 2011: Tropical cyclone track and structure sensitivity to initialization in idealized simulations: A preliminary study. Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences , vol. 22, 559-578.

Waliser, D.E., J. Kim, Y. Xue, Chao, Y., A. Eldering, R. Fovell, A. Hall, Q. Li, K. Liou, J. McWilliams, S. Kapnick, R. Vasic, F. De Sale, and Y. Yu, 2012, Simulating the Sierra Nevada snowpack: The impact of snow albedo and multi-layer snow physics. Climatic Change , vol. 109 (Suppl. 1), S95-S117. doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0312-5.

Lane, T.P., R. D. Sharman, S. B. Trier, R. G. Fovell, and J. K. Williams, 2012: Recent advances in the understanding of near-cloud turbulence. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,, vol. 93, 499-515.

Wu, L., H. Su, R. G. Fovell, B. Wang, J. T. Shen, B. H. Kahn, S. M. Hristova-Veleva, B. H. Lambrigtsen, E. J. Fetzer, J. H. Jiang, 2012: Relationship of environmental relative humidity with North Atlantic tropical cyclone intensity and intensification rate. Geophysical Research Letters , 39, L20809, doi:10.1029/2012GL053546.

Hsu, L.-H., H.-C. Kuo, and R. G. Fovell, 2013: On the geographic asymmetry of typhoon translation speed across the mountainous island of Taiwan. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , vol. 70, 1006-1022.

Liou, K. N., Y. Gu, L. R. Leung, W. L. Lee, and R. G. Fovell, 2013: A WRF Simulation of the Impact of 3D Radiative Transfer on Surface Hydrology over the Rocky-Sierra Mountains. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics , vol. 13, 11709-11721.

Bu, Y. P., R. G. Fovell, and K. L. Corbosiero, 2014: Influence of cloud-radiative forcing on tropical cyclone structure. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , vol. 71, 1644-1662.

Fovell, R. G., and coauthors, 2015: Influence of cloud microphysics and radiation on tropical cyclone structure and motion. In ``Multiscale Convection-Coupled Systems in the Tropics'', Meteorological Monographs , in press, American Meteorological Society.

Cao, Y., and R. G. Fovell, 2016: Downslope windstorms of San Diego County. Part I: A Case Study. Monthly Weather Review, accepted.