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Sarah Kapnick

Research Physical Scientist

Deputy Division Leader: Seasonal to Decadal Variability and Predictability Division

Curriculum vitae


Google Scholar

Contact Information:

phone (609) 452-6548


Sarah Kapnick

Sarah Kapnick’s research focuses on the mechanisms controlling the hydroclimate, with an emphasis on: precipitation, extreme storms and mountain snowpack. Dr. Kapnick’s work answers questions about current weather and deviations in the climate system relating to the water cycle, which can result in mitigable disruptions, and thus are paramount to resource planning and development. Dr. Kapnick’s research utilizes “big data” from both observations and models, to understand how the climate system has varied in the past and present, and what we might expect in the future.

Dr. Kapnick received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in Mathematics with a Certificate in Finance and her Ph.D. from UCLA’s Department in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences with a Certificate from the Institute of Environment and Sustainability. She is the recipient of the American Geophysical Union Cryosphere Section Early Career Award for 2015 and NOAA OAR Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award for 2017. She presently serves as an Associate Editor of Water Resources Research.

Recent Publications

  • Kirschbaum DB, Kapnick SB, Stanley T, Pascale S, 2020: Changes in extreme precipitation and landslides over High Mountain Asia, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2019GL085347, In Press. [NASA Story]
  • Delworth TL, et al, 2020: SPEAR – the next generation GFDL modeling system for seasonal to multidecadal prediction and projection. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 10.1029/2019MS001895In Press.
  • Johnson NC, Krishnamurthy L, Wittenberg AT, Xiang B, Vecchi GA, Kapnick SB, Pascale S, 2020: The impact of sea surface temperature biases on North American precipitation in a high-resolution climate model. Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0417.1. In Press.
  • Qian Y, Murakami H, Hsu P-C, Kapnick SB, 2020: Eect of Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability on the Occurrence of the 2018 Heatwave in Northeast Asia. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0156.1. In Press.
  • Barcikowska MJ, Kapnick SB, Krishnamurty L, Russo S, Cherchi A, Folland C, 2020: Changes in the summer Mediterranean climate contribution of large scale dynamics and local factors. Earth System Dynamics, In Press.
  • Qian Y, Murakami H, Nakano M, Hsu PC, Delworth TL, Kapnick SB, Ramaswamy V, Mochizuki T, Morioka Y, Doi T, Kataoka T, Nasuno T, Yoshida K, 2019: On the Mechanisms of the Active 2018 Tropical Cyclone Season in the North Pacic. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 12293-12302.
  • Ludquist J, Hughes M, Gutmann E, Kapnick SB, 2019: Our skill in modeling mountain rain and snow is by- passing the skill of our observational networks. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/ BAMS-D-19-0001.1.
  • Pu B, Ginoux P, Kapnick SB, Yang X, 2019: Seasonal prediction potential for springtime dustiness in the U.S. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2019GL083703.
  • Pascale S, Pohl B, Kapnick SB, Zhang H, 2019: On the Angola Low interannual variability and its role in modulating ENSO effects in southern Africa. Journal of Climate, 32, 24783-4803.
  • Catalano AJ, Broccoli AJ, Kapnick SB, Janoski TP, 2019: High-Impact Extratropical Cyclones along the Northeast Coast of the United States in a Long Coupled Climate Model Simulation. Journal of Climate, 32, 2131-2143.