Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

Annareli Morales

Research Interests

  • Mesoscale meteorology
  • Cloud microphysics 
  • Orographic precipitation 
  • Aerosol-cloud-precipitation impacts
  • Atmospheric rivers
  • Urban flooding
  • Midsummer drought and precipitation variability (SW Mexico)
  • Bilingual science communication

Current Research

Dr. Annareli Morales performs research on precipitation over mountains and the physical processes involved with cloud and precipitation development using numerical modeling and observational datasets. Currently, she is developing a science plan based off the Study of Precipitation, the Lower Atmosphere and Surface for Hydrometeorology (SPLASH) 2021-2022 field campaign in the East River watershed in Colorado. The main theme of this research is understanding how well NOAA operational models can represent orographic precipitation and the associated mesoscale and microphysics processes. In addition to physical science research, Annareli is passionate about diversity, inclusion, science communication, and public outreach. 



2D histogram (brighter colors represent higher probability that parameter value combination produced the precipitation distribution of interest) showing a generally positive relationship between snow fallspeed (As) and horizontal wind speed (U). Results also show relationships between As, U, and relative humidity (RH). The red lines represent the control values that were used to produce the precipitation distribution from the CM1 model.

Physical interpretation of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) results above. 

Honors and Awards

  • ASP Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCAR/NCAR (2019)
  • University of Michigan Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement (2018)
  • University of Michigan Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship (2018)

View Publications

  • Morales A; Posselt DJ; Morrison H. (Feb 2021). Which Combinations of Environmental Conditions and Microphysical Parameter Values Produce a Given Orographic Precipitation Distribution?. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , 78(2), 619-638. 10.1175/JAS-D-20-0142.1