Meet Xuanyu Chen

Xuanyu Chen

CIRES Post Doc Xuanyu Chen began working at PSL in March 2021. She mainly works with Juliana Dias and Brandon Wolding from the Atmosphere–Ocean Processes Team to investigate the impact of mesoscale sea surface temperature anomalies on the trade wind cumulus clouds and their mesoscale organization (or self-aggregation). They use a high-resolution cloud resolving model – System for Atmospheric Modeling – to carry out this process-understanding study.

To design idealized numerical experiments that reflect the realistic atmospheric and ocean conditions, she is also working with observational data collected from the ATOMIC field campaign and making use of satellite SST retrievals. The nature of this project has given her a great opportunity to collaborate with other PSL scientists including Elizabeth Thompson, Chris Fairall, and Gary Wick. With their large eddy simulations, she is hoping to find out whether or not the relatively weak fine-scale ocean thermal features can be regarded as thermal “mountains” and still play some roles in the formation processes of trade cumulus.

Xuanyu obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 2020. For her Ph.D. work, she used the NOAA operational ocean wave model to investigate the impact of shoaling ocean surface waves on airsea momentum exchange under tropical cyclone conditions.

In her leisure time in Boulder, Xuanyu enjoys exploring new trails and hiking in the mountains. She also likes ice skating and doing yoga, which calms and quiets her mind.