Karin van der Wiel

www.karinvanderwiel.nl | wiel@knmi.nl | +31 (0)30 2206 783

Hi, I'm Karin.

I work as a postdoctoral research scientist at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).

My general research interests include atmospheric dynamics, atmosphere-ocean interactions, extreme events, regional weather and the impact of weather on society. Most of my research focuses is on how internal climate variability and climate change might impact these topics.

I hope to contribute to increasing our understanding of Earth’s weather and climate in a way that is useful for society.

Please be in contact with any questions, requests for PDFs of publications or anything else.

Research projects

Extreme precipitation

Mild weather

Diagonal convergence zones

Converging sea breezes



xiii. L Krishnamurthy, GA Vecchi, X Yang, K van der Wiel, V Balaji, SB Kapnick, L Jia, F Zeng, K Paffendorf, S Underwood (2018): Causes and probability of occurrence of extreme precipitation events like Chennai 2015. Journal of Climate, 31, pp. 3831–3848.

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xii. FEL Otto, K van der Wiel, GJ van Oldenborgh, S Philip, S Kew, P Uhe, H Cullen (2018): Climate change increases the probability of heavy rains in Northern England/Southern Scotland like those of storm Desmond - a real-time event attribution revisited. Environmental Research Letters, 13, pp. 024006.

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xi.  GJ van Oldenborgh, K van der Wiel, A Sebastian, R Singh, J Arrighi, FEL Otto, K Haustein, S Li, GA Vecchi, H Cullen (2017): Attribution of extreme rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, August 2017. Environmental Research Letters, 12, pp. 124009. Featured article.

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x. K van der Wiel, ST Gille, SG Llewellyn Smith, PF Linden, C Cenedese (2017): Characteristics of colliding sea breeze gravity current fronts: a laboratory study. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 143, pp. 1434-1441.

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ix. K van der Wiel, SB Kapnick, GJ van Oldenborgh, K Whan, S Philip, GA Vecchi, RK Singh, J Arrighi, H Cullen (2017): Rapid attribution of the August 2016 flood-inducing extreme precipitation in south Louisiana to climate change. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21, pp. 897-921. Highlighted article.

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viii. K van der Wiel, SB Kapnick, GA Vecchi (2017): Shifting patterns of mild weather in response to projected radiative forcing. Climatic Change, 140, pp. 649-658.

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vii. K van der Wiel, SB Kapnick, GA Vecchi, WF Cooke, TL Delworth, L Jia, H Murakami, S Underwood, F Zeng (2016): The resolution dependence of contiguous U.S. precipitation extremes in response to CO2 forcing. Journal of Climate, 29, pp. 7991-8012.

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vi. MA Stiller-Reeve, C Heuzé, WT Ball, RH White, G Messori, K van der Wiel, I Medhaug, AH Eckes, A O'Callaghan, MJ Newland, SR Williams, M Kasoar, HE Wittmeier and V Kumer (2016): Improving together: better science writing through peer learning. Hydrology and Earth System Science, 20, pp. 2965-2973.

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v. K van der Wiel, AJ Matthews, MM Joshi, DP Stevens (2016): The influence of diabatic heating in the South Pacific Convergence Zone on Rossby wave propagation and the mean flow. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 142, pp. 901-910.

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iv. K van der Wiel, AJ Matthews, MM Joshi, DP Stevens (2016): Why the South Pacific Convergence Zone is diagonal. Climate Dynamics, 46, pp. 1683-1698.

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During austral summer, the majority of precipitation over the Pacific Ocean is concentrated in the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). The surface boundary conditions required to support the diagonally (northwest–southeast) oriented SPCZ are determined through a series of experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model. Continental configuration and orography do not have a significant influence on SPCZ orientation and strength. The key necessary boundary condition is the zonally asymmetric component of the sea surface temperature (SST) distribution. This leads to a strong subtropical anticyclone over the southeast Pacific that, on its western flank, transports warm moist air from the equator into the SPCZ region. This moisture then intensifies (diagonal) bands of convection that are initiated by regions of ascent and reduced static stability ahead of the cyclonic vorticity in Rossby waves that are refracted toward the westerly duct over the equatorial Pacific. The climatological SPCZ is comprised of the superposition of these diagonal bands of convection. When the zonally asymmetric SST component is reduced or removed, the subtropical anticyclone and its associated moisture source is weakened. Despite the presence of Rossby waves, significant moist convection is no longer triggered; the SPCZ disappears. The diagonal SPCZ is robust to large changes (up to +/-6 °C) in absolute SST (i.e. where the SST asymmetry is preserved). Extreme cooling (change [-6 °C) results in a weaker and more zonal SPCZ, due to decreasing atmospheric temperature, moisture content and convective available potential energy.

iii. K van der Wiel, AJ Matthews, DP Stevens, MM Joshi (2015): A dynamical framework for the origin of the diagonal South Pacific and South Atlantic Convergence Zones. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141, pp. 1997-2010. Featured article.

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ii. MM Joshi, M Stringer, K van der Wiel, A O'Callaghan, S Fueglistaler (2015): IGCM4: A fast, parallel and flexible intermediate climate model. Geoscientific Model Development, 8, pp. 1157-1167.

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i. W Hazeleger, X Wang, C Severijns, S Ştefănescu, R Bintanja, A Sterl, K Wyser, T Semmler, S Yang, B van den Hurk, T van Noije, E van der Linden, K van der Wiel (2012): EC-Earth V2.2: description and validation of a new seamless earth system prediction model. Climate Dynamics, 39, pp. 2611-2629.

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Curriculum Vitae

A pdf-version of my C.V. is available here.


Dr Karin van der Wiel
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
Postbus 201
3730 AE De Bilt

Phone: +31 (0)30 2206 783
E-mail: wiel@knmi.nl

Google Scholar: list of publications
ResearchGate: personal profile
Twitter: karin_vdwiel