2010 Physical Sciences Review » Biographies » John Brown

John Brown

John Brown

John Brown


Global Systems Division


My current primary efforts, mainly collaborative within AMB, are devoted to model development and validation. This includes the Rapid Refresh (largest effort, directed toward its expected operational implementation later in 2010), the FIM (including the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project), and the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (due to my long experience with cloud-resolving models). A bit of RUC also gets thrown in from time to time. I also serve as science advisor for several CIRES scientists, and, as requested and as time allows, serve as a consultant or resource for other Lab activities. I serve as technical manager for the Regional Modeling Section of AMB.


  • A.B. Meteorology, University of California at Los Angeles, 1964
  • A.M. Meteorology, University of California at Los Angeles, 1966
  • PhD. Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974

Research Interests

My fascination with weather began at a very early age and remains undiminished. My chief interests encompass primarily tropospheric weather phenomena, particularly on the convective and mesoscale, and from both an observational and theoretical perspective. I have always tried to relate theory to observations, and vice versa, and to relate numerical model results to both. A particular fascination is flow phenomena induced by terrain. Always wrapped up in these interests is the challenge of prediction, both from a subjective data hands-on nowcast perspective and from a numerical weather prediction perspective.


Over the past 15+ years I have contributed to development of the RUC, WRF and FIM models. My strengths are in model physical parameterizations and in diagnosis and interpretation of model output in the light of both observations and theory. I am head of the WRF Model Physics Working Group. I also have assisted in many field campaigns as a forecaster for assisting in the planning of day-to-day operations, and have reviewed more manuscripts for publication than I can remember.

Recent Publications

  • Smirnova, T. G., J. M. Brown and S. G. Benjamin, 2000: Parameterization of cold-season processes in the MAPS land-surface scheme. J. Geophys. Res., 105(D3), 4077-4086.
  • Lane, T.P., R.D. Sharman, R.G. Frehlich, and J.M. Brown, 2006: Numerical simulations of the wake of Kauai. J. Appl. Meteor. 45, 1313-1331.
  • Brown, J. M., S. Benjamin, T. G. Smirnova, G. A. Grell, L. R. Bernardet, L. B. Nance, R. S. Collander, and C. W. Harrop, 2007: Rapid Refresh Core Test: aspects of WRF-ARW and WRF-NMM performance relevant to the Rapid Refresh application. 22nd AMS Conference on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Park City UT, Amer. Meteor. Soc.
  • Mercer, A. E. , M. B. Richman, H. B. Bluestein, and J. M . Brown, 2008: Statistical modeling of downslope windstorms in Boulder, Colorado. Wea. Forecasting 23, 1176-1194.
  • Olson, Joseph P., and J. M. Brown, 2009: A comparison of two Mellor-Yamada-based PBL schemes in simulating a hybrid barrier jet. 23rd Conf. on Weather Analysis and Forecasting/19th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction, Omaha NE, Amer. Meteor. Soc., Paper JP1.13.