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

Diagonal convergence zone

During Southern Hemisphere summer, tropical rain is organised in large-scale patterns. Over the oceans just north of the equator there is the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ is a narrow band of strong rainfall oriented zonally, from west to east. South of the equator there are the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) and the South Atlantic Convergence Zone (SACZ), that both stretch diagonally (northwest-southeast) from the equator to about 30°S (see the figure below).

The SPCZ and the SACZ provide rainfall and fresh water for people in the Pacific island states and in South American countries like Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. Also, the SPCZ impacts other local weather phenomena (e.g. tropical cyclones and lightning). Changes in SPCZ or SACZ rainfall amounts or a shift in their location can therefore have large impacts.

My PhD research focused on understanding the origin, orientation and position of the SPCZ and SACZ. Most of my work was on the interaction of Rossby waves and convection. I extended the framework of Matthews (2012) and investigated the similarities and differences between the dynamical feedbacks of the SPCZ and SACZ. By means of dedicated experiments with an intermediate-complexity General Circulation Model (IGCM), I verified the interactions in the framework. Finally, I used the IGCM to test the boundary conditions for diagonal SPCZ rainfall.

December to February mean rainfall (CMAP data)

Image in circle: NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, NOAA GOES, 26 July 2014 00UTC, source.



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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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