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Lucas Harris

Physical Scientist

Deputy Division Leader, Weather and Climate Dynamics Division

NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

My research is focused on the development of the algorithms and software within the GFDL Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core, FV3, and its applications in the comprehensive weather and climate models fvGFS, HiRAM, and the next-generation AM4.

My personal expertise is on grid refinement techniques. The two methods for doing this in FV3 are grid nesting and grid stretching. These techniques allow FV3-powered models to be run at a very high resolution over a limited area convection-resolving forecasting, seasonal prediction, and regional climate modeling. Here is an introduction to variable-resolution techniques. Currently our group is using grid nesting and grid stretching to develop global models suitable for storm-scale severe thunderstorm and hurricane forecasting, and for subseasonal prediction of intense hurricanes.

Recent presentations:

Other projects and documents

I have written a simple but efficient and highly flexible feature tracker, primarily for tropical and extratropical cyclones. Email me if you would like further information.

I have a few nice GrADS scripts, along with examples, that I use for some of my work that others may find helpful.

Ray Pierrehumbert’s classic essay on mountain gravity-wave drag parameterization is difficult to find online. A copy is available at ECMWF. (Many other excellent ECMWF conference proceedings, including many classic contributions by GFDL scientists, are available as well.) A conference proceeding describing the use of the Pierrehumbert and Wyman scheme in the Miyakoda GFDL model, also hard to find, is available here.

My colleague Xi Chen and I have submitted a comment on an article about grid staggering.


  • Harris, Lucas M., Matthew Morin, Shannon Rees, Linjiong Zhou, and William Stern: Explicit nested-grid prediction of convective-scale motions in a skillful global model. Submitted to J. Geophys. Res. Manuscript Supplemental information
  • Harris, Lucas M., Shian-Jiann Lin, and C-Y Tu, June 2016: High resolution climate simulations using GFDL HiRAM with a stretched global grid. Journal of Climate, 29(11), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0389.1
  • Scott, R K., Lucas M Harris, and L M Polvani, January 2016: A test case for the inviscid shallow water equations on the sphere. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 142(694), DOI:10.1002/qj.2667
  • Zhang, Wei, Gabriel A Vecchi, Hiroyuki Murakami, Thomas L Delworth, Andrew T Wittenberg, Anthony Rosati, Seth D Underwood, Whit G Anderson, Lucas M Harris, Richard G Gudgel, Shian-Jiann Lin, G Villarini, and Jan-Huey Chen, February 2016: Improved Simulation of Tropical Cyclone Responses to ENSO in the Western North Pacific in the High-Resolution GFDL HiFLOR Coupled Climate Model. Journal of Climate, 29(4), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0475.1
  • Fan, Song-Miao, Lucas M Harris, and Larry W Horowitz, November 2015: Atmospheric energy transport to the Arctic 1979-2012. Tellus A, 67, DOI:10.3402/tellusa.v67.25482
  • Murakami, Hiroyuki, Gabriel A Vecchi, Seth D Underwood, Thomas L Delworth, Andrew T Wittenberg, Whit G Anderson, Jan-Huey Chen, Richard G Gudgel, Lucas M Harris, Shian-Jiann Lin, and Fanrong Zeng, December 2015: Simulation and Prediction of Category 4 and 5 Hurricanes in the High-Resolution GFDL HiFLOR Coupled Climate Model. Journal of Climate, 28(23), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0216.1
  • Xiang, Baoqiang, Shian-Jiann Lin, Ming Zhao, Gabriel A Vecchi, T Li, X Jiang, Lucas M Harris, and Jan-Huey Chen, February 2015: Beyond weather time scale prediction for Hurricane Sandy and Super Typhoon Haiyan in a global climate model. Monthly Weather Review, 143(2), DOI:10.1175/MWR-D-14-00227.1
  • Harris, L.M. and S.-J. Lin, July 2014: Global-to-regional nested-grid climate simulations in the GFDL High Resolution Atmosphere Model. Journal of Climate, 27(13), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00596.1.
  • Harris, L.M. and S-J. Lin, 2012: A two-way nested global-regional dynamical core on the cubed-sphere grid. Mon. Wea. Rev.: 141(1), doi:10.1175/MWR-D-11-00201.1.
  • Harris, L.M, P.H. Lauritzen, and R. Mittal, 2010: A flux-form version of the conservative semi-Lagrangian multi-tracer transport scheme (CSLAM) on the cubed sphere grid. Journal of Computational Physics, 230(4), DOI:10.1016/
  • Harris, L.M. and D.R. Durran, 2010: An idealized comparison of one-way and two-way grid nesting. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 2174–2187, DOI:10.1175/2010MWR3080.1
  • Harris, L.M. and V. R. Kotamarthi, 2005: The Characteristics of the Chicago Lake Breeze and Its Effects on Trace
    Particle Transport: Results from an Episodic Event Simulation. J. Appl. Meteor., 44, 1637–1654, DOI:10.1175/JAM2301.1