Kelvin-Helmholtz billows from Pico Island (Azores)

research overview:

Employing advanced computing for coastal hazard prediction & integrating discoveries from earth exploration

research statement (August 2017)

Monsoon cold surges generate intense wind jets and wakes whose associated wind stress curl pattern (above) induce a pair of counter-rotating oceanic eddies to propagate away from the islands into the South China Sea (Pullen et al., 2008).

Monsoon cold surges generate intense wind jets and wakes whose associated wind stress curl pattern (above) induce a pair of counter-rotating oceanic eddies to propagate away from the islands into the South China Sea (Pullen et al., 2008).

Tropical oceanography and meteorology processes

The tropics influence circulation at higher latitudes through propagating global patterns.  Probing the multiscale aspects of extreme rainfall & ocean response to monsoon surges:  

J. Pullen, A.L. Gordon, M. Flatau, J. D. Doyle, C. Villanoy and O. Cabrera, “Multiscale influences on extreme winter rainfall in the Philippines,” Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 2015 (pdf)

J. Pullen, J. D. Doyle, P. May, C. Chavanne, P. Flament and R. Arnone, "Monsoon surges trigger oceanic eddy formation and propagation in the lee of the Philippine Islands," Geophysical Research Letters, 2008 (pdf)

I. Rypina, L. Pratt, J. Pullen, J. Levin and A. Gordon, “Chaotic advection in an archipelago,” Journal of Physical Oceanography, 2010 (pdf)

May, P. W., J. D. Doyle, J. Pullen and L. David, “Two-way coupled atmosphere-ocean modeling of the PhilEx intensive observational period,” Oceanography, 2011 (pdf)

J. Pullen, A. L. Gordon, J. Sprintall, C. M. Lee, M. A. Alford, J. D. Doyle, P. W. May, “Atmospheric and oceanic processes in the vicinity of an island strait,”Oceanography, 2011 (pdf)


2-m air temperature and 10-m wind velocity in the afternoon of a sea breeze event on April 18, 2005.  The land-sea temperature contrast drives the onshore sea breeze.  Local spatial variations in sea surface temperature (SST) can leave a signature on the sea breeze, especially when complex coastlines create multiple sea breeze fronts (e.g., the sea breeze penetrating from Long Island Sound in the image above).

2-m air temperature and 10-m wind velocity in the afternoon of a sea breeze event on April 18, 2005.  The land-sea temperature contrast drives the onshore sea breeze.  Local spatial variations in sea surface temperature (SST) can leave a signature on the sea breeze, especially when complex coastlines create multiple sea breeze fronts (e.g., the sea breeze penetrating from Long Island Sound in the image above).

Urban heat island forecasting/ urban meteorology

Improving sea breeze and heat island prediction using urban-aware sub-kilometer resolution modeling for NYC. 

In our multiply-nested simulations, nest 4 (1.33 km resolution) and nest 5 (0.44 km resolution) were enhanced to account for urban effects and to include time-varying (hourly) high-resolution SST's from the New York Harbor Observing and Prediction system (NYHOPS).  The diurnal heating of the ocean surface is thus represented. Our research involves quantifying the impact of these effects on the circulation, and evaluating the forecast skill of the system. We have also applied two different urban canopy schemes and evaluated their performance.

T. Meir, P. Orton, J. Pullen, T. Holt, W. Thompson and M. Arend, “Forecasting the New York City urban heat island and sea breeze during extreme heat events,” Weather and Forecasting, 28, 1460-1477, 2013 (pdf)

J. Pullen, T. Holt, A. F. Blumberg and R. D. Bornstein, “Atmospheric response to local upwelling in the vicinity of New York/ New Jersey Harbor,” Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 2007 (pdf)

Holt, T. and J. Pullen, “Urban canopy modeling of the New York City metropolitan area: A comparison and validation of single-layer and multi-layer parameterizations,” Monthly Weather Review, 2007 (pdf)

Thompson, W. Holt, T. and J. Pullen, “Investigation of a sea breeze front in an urban environment,” Quarterly Review of the Royal Meteorological Society, 2007 (pdf)

Zonal (east-west) ocean/atmosphere temperature section in the lee of Madeira Island showing diurnal warming in the ocean surface layers (bottom) and atmospheric boundary layer (top).

Zonal (east-west) ocean/atmosphere temperature section in the lee of Madeira Island showing diurnal warming in the ocean surface layers (bottom) and atmospheric boundary layer (top).

Coupled ocean/atmosphere coastal modeling

Simulating two-way coupled ocean-atmosphere feedback using coastal high-resolution nested modeling and observations 

(cases of Madeira Island warm wake/ mountain winds; and Adriatic Sea/ Po River/ bora winds)

J. Pullen, R. Caldeira, J. D. Doyle, P. May, R. Tomé, “Modeling the Air-Sea Feedback System of Madeira Island,” Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 2017 (pdf)

J. Pullen, J. D. Doyle, R. Hodur, A. Ogston, J. Book, H. Perkins, and R. P. Signell, "Coupled ocean-atmosphere nested modeling of the Adriatic Sea during winter and spring 2001," Journal of Geophysical Research, 2003 (pdf)

J. Pullen, J. D. Doyle and R. P. Signell, “Two-way air-sea coupling: A study of the Adriatic,” Monthly Weather Review, 2006 (pdf)

J. Pullen, J. D. Doyle, C. Dorman, R. P. Signell, T. Haack, and C. M. Lee, "Bora event variability and the role of air-sea feedback," Journal of Geophysical Research, 2007 (pdf)


Inundation extent of storm surge surrounding the Hackensack River (a tributary of the Hudson) during Hurricane Sandy, 2013.

Inundation extent of storm surge surrounding the Hackensack River (a tributary of the Hudson) during Hurricane Sandy, 2013.

Inland run-off and storm surge flooding

F. Saleh, V. Ramaswamy, Y. Wang, N. Georgas, A. Blumberg and J. Pullen, A multi-scale ensemble-based framework for forecasting compound coastal-riverine flooding: The Hackensack-Passaic watershed and Newark Bay, Journal of Advances in Water Resources, revised 2017.

F. Saleh, V. Ramaswamy, N. Georgas, A. F. Blumberg, J. Pullen, S. Chen, T. Holt, and J. Schmidt, “An operational integrated weather-hydrologic-coastal-stormwater framework to forecast urban flooding: city of Hoboken application,” Journal of Flood Risk Management, revised 2017.

F. Saleh, V. Ramaswamy, N. Georgas, A. F. Blumberg, and J. Pullen, “Comparison between retrospective ensemble streamflow forecasts using meteorological inputs from ECMWF and GEFS: A multi-scale catchment investigation,” Journal of Hydrology, revised 2017.

F. Saleh, V. Ramaswamy, N. Georgas, A. Blumberg and J. Pullen, “A retrospective streamflow ensemble forecast for an extreme hydrologic event: a case study of Hurricane Irene on the Hudson River basin,” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2016 (pdf)

Large eddy simulation (LES) showing contaminant release near Rockefeller Center, NYC. Winds are from the west, and Bryant Park and the NYC public library are visible in the foreground. The model has 6-m horizontal and vertical resolution. (Visualization by Bob Doyle)

Large eddy simulation (LES) showing contaminant release near Rockefeller Center, NYC. Winds are from the west, and Bryant Park and the NYC public library are visible in the foreground. The model has 6-m horizontal and vertical resolution. (Visualization by Bob Doyle)

Air/sea transport and dispersion in cities

Air/sea transport, dispersion and fate modeling for Japan and NYC.  Predicting flow around buildings using large eddy simulation (LES) for major cities to map contaminant transport pathways.

T. Meir, J. Pullen, A. Blumberg, T. Holt, P. Bieringer and G. Bieberbach, “Simulation of airborne transport and dispersion for urban waterside releases,” Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 2017 (pdf)

J. Pullen, J. Chang and S. Hanna, “Air/Sea transport, dispersion and fate modeling for the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant crisis,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2013 (pdf)

T. Holt, J. Pullen and C. Bishop, “Urban and ocean ensembles for improved meteorological and dispersion modeling of the coastal zone,” Tellus, 2009 (pdf)

J. Pullen, J. Boris, T. Young, G. Patnaik, and John Iselin, “A comparison of contaminant plume statistics from a Gaussian puff and urban CFD model for two large cities,” Atmospheric Environment, 2005 (pdf)


Winter storms with strong winds and rain are commonly experienced in northern California. The rain increases coastal river discharges.  The evolution of an eddy off the Eel River, just north of Cape Mendocino, California, is seen in modeled surface salinity (color contours) and surface velocity (arrows). 

Winter storms with strong winds and rain are commonly experienced in northern California. The rain increases coastal river discharges.  The evolution of an eddy off the Eel River, just north of Cape Mendocino, California, is seen in modeled surface salinity (color contours) and surface velocity (arrows). 

Rivers and sediment transport in the coastal zone

Studying sediment and biology transport under complex combined forcing such as strong winds and large river discharge along the US west coast and Mediterranean Sea. 

Sherwood, C. et al. “Sediment dynamics in the Adriatic Sea investigated with coupled models,” Oceanography, 2004 (pdf)

J. Pullen and J. S. Allen, “Modeling studies of the coastal circulation off northern California: Statistics and patterns of wintertime flow,” Journal of Geophysical Research, 2001 (pdf)

J. Pullen and J. S. Allen, “Modeling studies of the coastal circulation off northern California: Shelf response to a major Eel River flood event,” Continental Shelf Research, 2000 (pdf)