Alain Protat

Principal Research Scientist

Current work and responsibilities

Alain leads the "Radar Science and Nowcasting" Team. Alain uses radars at different frequencies and on different platforms (ground, ship, aircraft, satellite) to better understand cloud and convection (storms) processes. Alain then exploits this better understanding of clouds and convection to evaluate and improve the representation of clouds and convection in numerical weather prediction and climate models.

Alain's current research activities are :

  • Analysis of radar-derived properties of tropical convection to inform a new cumulus parameterization.
  • Analysis of tropical convective cores to help update civil aviation regulation with respect to ice crystal icing.
  • Investigation of cloud processes responsible for the large shortwave radiation biases in climate models.
  • Analysis of hailstorm, tornado, and bushfire case studies: how can we improve early warning and post-event mitigation ?
  • Development of automated radar calibration techniques for the Australian operational radar network.

Career background

  • 1996: PhD, University Paris Diderot, Atmospheric Physics, Remote Sensing Applications in Meteorology.
  • 1993: MS, University Paris Diderot, Physics
  • 1991: BS, University Paris Diderot, Physics
Professional positions
  • 1996–1998: Post-doctoral research scientist, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  • 1998–1999: Post-doctoral research scientist, CNRS/CETP, Velizy, France.
  • 1999–2011: Permanent Research Scientist, CNRS/LATMOS, Velizy, France.
  • 2007–2010: Visiting Scientist, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2011–present: Principal Research Scientist, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2015–present: "Radar Science and Nowcasting" Team Leader, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia.

Selected publications

  • Kumar, V., C. Jakob, A. Protat, C. R. Williams, and P. T. May (2015) Mass-Flux Characteristics of Tropical Cumulus Clouds from Wind Profiler Observations at Darwin, Australia. J. Atmos. Sci., 72, 1837-1855.
  • Protat, A., S. A. Young, L. Rikus, and M. Whimpey (2014) Evaluation of the hydrometeor frequency of occurrence in a limited-area numerical weather prediction system using near real-time CloudSat-CALIPSO observations. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 140, 2430-2443.
  • Protat, A., S. A. Young, S. McFarlane, T. L’Ecuyer, G. G. Mace, J. Comstock, C. Long, E. Berry, and J. Delanoë (2014) Reconciling Ground-Based and Space-Based Estimates of the Frequency of Occurrence and Radiative Effect of Clouds around Darwin, Australia, J. Appl. Meteor. Clim., 53, 456-478.
  • Protat, A., D. Bouniol, J. Delanoë, P. May, A. Plana-Fattori, A. Hasson, E. O'Connor, U. Görsdorf, and A. J. Heymsfield (2009) Assessment of CloudSat reflectivity measurements and ice cloud properties using ground-based and airborne cloud radar observations. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 26, 1717-1741.
  • Delanoë, J. A. Heymsfield, A. Protat, A. Bansemer, and R. J. Hogan (2014) Normalized Particle Size Distribution for remote sensing application. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, 4204-4227.

Alain Protat

  • Radar meteorology
  • Cloud physics
  • Convection
  • Model evaluation
International Involvement:
  • NASA CloudSat and GPM GV science teams
  • U.S. NSF SOCRATES steering committee
  • U.S. DoE ASR MICRE and MARCUS programs
  • EU FP7 High-Altitude Ice Crystals (HAIC).
National Involvement:
  • Lead PI, CAPRICORN program.
  • Co-PI, AAD ACRE program.
  • PI, ARC Coe CSS and Climate Extremes.
  • MNF Science Advisory Committee