Katrina Virts

 

Welcome to my (extremely bare bones) webpage!  I am currently a postdoc at NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center.  Formerly, I was a postdoc at the University of Washington, working with Bob Houze.  My work focused on tropical mesoscale convective systems and their associated lightning, water vapor, and large-scale environments. My published articles and posters are below.

 

Prior to that, I completed my doctoral research with Mike Wallace, focusing on intraseasonal variability in the organization and dynamical impacts of tropical convection.  I also analyzed the diurnal cycle of lightning using data from the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN).  Check out my lightning page, which includes hourly lightning climatologies.

 

Curriculum Vitae  PDF

 

 

Selected Publications

 

Thornton, J. A., K. S. Virts, R. H. Holzworth, and T. P. Mitchell, 2017:  Lightning enhancement over major oceanic shipping lanes.  Geophysical Research Letters, in press.  PDF and supplementary material

 

Virts, K. S., and R. A. Houze, Jr., 2016:  Seasonal and intraseasonal variability of mesoscale convective systems over the South Asian monsoon region, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 73, p. 4753-4774.  PDF and supplementary material

 

Virts. K. S., and R. A. Houze, Jr., 2015:  Clouds and water vapor in the tropical tropopause transition layer over mesoscale convective systems.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 27, p. 4739-4753.  PDF

 

Virts, K. S., J. M. Wallace, M. L. Hutchins, and R. H. Holzworth, 2015:  Diurnal and seasonal lightning variability over the Gulf Stream and the Gulf of Mexico.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 72, p. 2657-2665.  PDF and animation

 

Virts, K. S., and R. A. Houze, Jr., 2015:  Variation of lightning and convective rain fraction in mesoscale convective systems of the MJO.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 72, p. 1932-1944.  PDF 

 

Virts, K. S., and J. M. Wallace, 2014:  Observations of temperature, wind, cirrus, and trace gases in the tropical tropopause transition layer during the MJO.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 71, p. 1143-1157.  PDF

 

Virts, K. S., J. M. Wallace, M. L. Hutchins, and R. H. Holzworth, 2013:  Diurnal lightning variability over the Maritime Continent:  Impact of low-level winds, cloudiness, and the MJO.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 70, p. 3128-3146.  PDF, corrigendum

 

Virts, K. S., J. M. Wallace, M. L. Hutchins, and R. H. Holzworth, 2013:  Highlights of a new ground-based, hourly global lightning climatology.  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 94, p. 1381-1391.  PDF, supplementary text, and animations for Indonesia, the central Andes, and central Africa.

 

Hutchins, M. L., R. H. Holzworth, K. S. Virts, J. M. Wallace, and S. Heckman, 2013:  Radiated VLF energy differences of land and oceanic lightning.  Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 40, p. 1-5.  PDF

 

Virts, K. S., 2012:  Analysis of new observational datasets relating to the organization and dynamical impacts of tropical convection.  Doctoral dissertation.  PDF

 

Virts, K. S., J. A. Thornton, J. M. Wallace, M. L. Hutchins, R. H. Holzworth, and A. R. Jacobson, 2011:  Daily and intraseasonal relationships between lightning and NO2 over the Maritime Continent.  Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 38, L19803, doi:10.1029/2011GL048578.  PDF and supplementary material

 

Virts, K. S., J. M. Wallace, Q. Fu, and T. P. Ackerman, 2010:  Tropical Tropopause Transition Layer Cirrus as Represented by CALIPSO Lidar Observations.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 67, p. 3113-3129.  PDF

 

Virts, K. S., and J. M. Wallace, 2010:  Annual, Interannual, and Intraseasonal Variability of Tropical Tropopause Transition Layer Cirrus.  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 67, p. 3097-3112.  PDF

 

Virts, K. S., 2009:  Cirrus in the Tropical Tropopause Transition Layer:  Formation Mechanisms and Influence of the Local and Planetary-Scale Environment.  Masters thesis.  PDF

 

Coniglio, M. C., M. Bardon, K. Virts, and S. J. Weiss, 2006:  Forecasting the maintenance of mesoscale convective systems.  Preprints, 23rd Conference on Severe Local Storms, St. Louis, MO, American Meteorological Society, P2.3.  PDF

 

 

Presentations

 

“Evolution of lightning characteristics during thunderstorm lifetime,” AMS annual meeting 2017.  PDF

 

“Characteristics of mesoscale convective systems over the South Asian monsoon region,” Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2015 (invited).

 

“Observations of temperature, wind, cirrus, and trace gases in the TTL during the MJO,” Princeton University, 2015 (invited).

 

“Mesoscale convective systems as a source of water vapor in the tropical tropopause transition layer,” AGU fall meeting 2014.

 

“MJO modulation of lightning in mesoscale convective systems,” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2014.

 

“Aerosol environment of tropical MCSs using CALIPSO observations,” AMS annual meeting 2014.  PDF

 

“MJO modulation of lightning in mesoscale convective systems,” AGU fall meeting 2013.

 

“A new ground-based, hourly global lightning climatology,” AGU fall meeting 2012.

 

"Signature of the Madden-Julian Oscillation in the tropical tropopause transition layer," AMS annual meeting 2011.

 

"Cirrus in the tropical tropopause transition layer:  Association with planetary-scale waves and the Madden-Julian Oscillation," AGU fall meeting 2009. 

 

 

The best way to contact me is via email.