2010 Physical Sciences Review » Biographies » Jin Lee

Jin Lee

Jin Lee

Jin Lee

Senior Meteorologist

Global Systems Division


Dr. Lee is one of the leading model developers in the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL). He has led the development of icosahedral global models, a well-posed mesoscale model, and mesoscale initialization and its application to hurricane initialization to improve intensity forecasts. He leads the development of a new global finite-volume Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Model, named the NIM, for earth system modeling, and weather and climate prediction. The goal is to develop a nonhydrostatic global cloud resolving model running at super high resolution to resolve tropical convections in an effort to extend the synoptic weather forecasts into climate predictions and to improve hurricane predictions. Dr. Lee is an adjunct professor and serves as a committee member for master and PhD students at several universities.


  • Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Utah, USA, 1991
  • M.S. Meteorology, University of Utah, USA, 1987
  • B. S. Meteorology, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan, R.O.C., 1980

Research Interests

Dr. Lee’s research includes a wide range of subjects in model development and numerical method, including hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic finite-volume geodesic global models, limited-area mesoscale modeling with well-posed boundary conditions, mesosacle bounded-derivative initialization, cloud and radiation interactions, and numerical methods for conservative and monotonic tracer transports, the mesoscale vorticity method to utilize radar data to initialize high-resolution hurricane models to improve intensity forecasts.


Dr. Lee developed an icosahedral shallow water model (ISWM), and led a group from 2005-2007 to extend ISWM to the flow-following icosahedral model with NCEP/GFS physics for weather forecasts with promising results. Following FIM development, Dr. Lee was assigned to develop the Nonhydrostatic Icosahedral Model with promising initial results. Dr. Lee has developed a vorticity-based hurricane initialization method to initialize high-resolution hurricane model with radar data to improve intensity forecasts. Dr. Lee has been invited to give presentations on model development and hurricane simulations at various universities and modeling centers including GFDL, NCEP, NCAR, Earth simulator, etc. Dr. Lee was chosen as an ISET scientist and represents NOAA as a mentor for ISET students.

Recent Publications

  • Lee, J.L. and A.E. MacDonald, 2009: A finite-volume icosahedral shallow water model on local coordinate. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 1422 – 1437.
  • Lee, J.L., W.-C. Lee and A.E. MacDonald, 2006: Estimating vertical ve-locity and radial ?ow from Doppler radar observations of tropical cy-clones, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 132, 125-145.
  • Lee, J.L., Y.-H. Kuo and A.E. MacDonald, 2003: The vorticity method: Extension to mesoscale vertical velocity and validation for tropical storms, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 129, 1029-1050.
  • Lee, J.L. and A.E. MacDonald, 2000: QNH: Mesoscale bounded derivative initialization and winter storm test over complex terrain, Mon. Wea. Rev.,128, 1037-1051.
  • MacDonald, A.E., J.L. Lee, and S. Sun, 2000: QNH: Design and test of a quasi-nonhydrostatic model for mesoscale weather prediction, Mon. Wea. Rev.,128, 1016-1036.