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. 

Check out the following Youtube links for our videos on forecasting near mountains created for our science communication project:



Current research

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
  • Morales A; Posselt DJ; Morrison H; He F. (May 2019). Assessing the Influence of Microphysical and Environmental Parameter Perturbations on Orographic Precipitation. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , 76(5), 1373-1395. 10.1175/JAS-D-18-0301.1
  • Morales A; Morrison H; Posselt DJ. (Jun 2018). Orographic Precipitation Response to Microphysical Parameter Perturbations for Idealized Moist Nearly Neutral Flow. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences , 75(6), 1933-1953. 10.1175/JAS-D-17-0389.1
  • Morales A; Schumacher RS; Kreidenweis SM. (Dec 2015). Mesoscale Vortex Development during Extreme Precipitation: Colorado, September 2013. Monthly Weather Review , 143(12), 4943-4962. 10.1175/MWR-D-15-0086.1
  • Morrison H; Morales A; Villanueva-Birriel C. (Jun 2015). Concurrent Sensitivities of an Idealized Deep Convective Storm to Parameterization of Microphysics, Horizontal Grid Resolution, and Environmental Static Stability. Monthly Weather Review , 143(6), 2082-2104. 10.1175/MWR-D-14-00271.1