Steve Chai Profile Photo
Dr. Steve Chai
Associate Research Professor, Emeritus

Research Areas

  • Atmospheric Boundary Layer
  • Cloud Microphysics
  • Cloud Dynamics
  • Mesoscale Meteorology
  • Physical Meteorology

Professional Interests

Dr. Chai’s primary research interest is in the marine boundary layer which includes the dynamics and microphysics of the marine boundary-layer cloud systems, the formation and dissipation of marine fog, and the modeling of marine boundary-layer convection. He is also involved in research on a cloud dynamic model involving the convective turbules and has conducted investigations of the microphysics of clouds, the formation of droplets in clouds, and their evolution. A new thermodynamic diagram, constructed by Drs. Telford and Chai, is the most powerful tool available for cloud microphysics investigations. He is currently working on several projects including: 1) integrate a dynamic aerosol model with a mesoscale meteorology model in order to predict the evolution of aerosol size spectra in the marine boundary layer; 2) retrieve the microphysical properties of marine boundary layer clouds from satellite remote sensing data; and 3) model the dispersion of gas and particulate over complex terrain. Dr. Chai is also investigating the role of AgI in atmospheric modification experiments by using tracers and theoretical simulations. A new physical-chemical snow enhancement assessment method, invented by Drs. Warburton and Chai, greatly advances our ability to assess the effect of seeding by silver iodide on winter orographic cloud systems.


Degree Institution Area
Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno Atmospheric Physics
M.S. University of Nevada, Reno Atmospheric Physics
B.A. National Taiwan University, Republic of China Meteorology

Vellore, R., Koracin, D. R., Wetzel, M. A., Chai, S. K., Wang, Q. (2007). Challenges in mesoscale predictions of nocturnal stratocumulus-topped marine boundary layer and implications for operational forecasting, Wea. Forecasting, 22 (5), 1101-1122

Stevens, B., Lenschow, D. H., Vali, G., Gerber, H., Bandy, A., Blomquist, B., Brenguier, J., Bretherton, C. S., Burnet, F., Campos, T., Chai, S. K., Faloona, L., Friensen, D., Haimov, S., Laursen, K., Lilly, D. K., Loehrer, S. M., Malinowski, S. P., Morely, B., Peners, M. D., Rogers, D. C., Russell, L., SavicJovcic, V., Snider, J. R., Straub, D., Szumoswki, M. J., Takagi, H., Thorton, D. C., Tshudi, M., Twohy, C. H., Wetzel, M. A., Van Zanten, M. C. (2003). Dynamics and chemistry of marine stratocumulus – DYCOMS-II, Bull., Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84 (5), 579-593

Liu, Y., Daum, P. H., Chai, S. K., Liu, F. (2002). Cloud Parameterization, cloud microphysics and their connections 2002: An Overview, In Recent Research Developments in Geophysics, 4 , 119-142

Wetzel, M. A., Thompson, W. T., Vali, G., Chai, S. K., Haack, T., Szumowski, M. J., Kelly, R. (2001). Evaluation of COAMPS Forecasts of Coastal Stratus Using Satellite Microphysical Retrievals and Aircraft Measurements, Weather and Forecasting, 16, 588-599