Skip to main content

Piyush Garg

Postdoctoral Appointee

Atmospheric Scientist working on combining observations with AI to improve earth system models.


The dance of air and sea is what weather is all about. 

My journey in the realm of atmospheric sciences started with my M.Sc. degree, where I got my first professional training in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. As part of my degree, I performed research on understanding the synoptic-mesoscale feedbacks on heavy rainfall events over the Indian Subcontinent by using a number of satellite and in situ observations. I then tuned the cumulus parameterization scheme in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to improve the hindcast of extreme events. 

With this background, I joined the Cloud Systems Research Group at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with Prof. Stephen Nesbitt. During my Ph.D., I was primarily trained on applying satellite observations to explore the science of deep convection and its associated cold pools over global tropical oceans. In addition to satellites, I have used buoy and radar data to look at the spatio-temporal structure of cold pools. Moreover, I used regional and global high-resolution non-hydrostatic models to identify environmental controls on cold pools. I also applied a range of artificial intelligence techniques to understand the relationship between mesoscale cold pools and convection. My Ph.D. work led me to create the algorithm to identify tropical oceanic cold pools using satellite scatterometer winds and thus resulting in a global tropical oceanic cold pool climatology for the first time. 

After completing my Ph.D., I joined Prof. Kathleen Schiro at the Department of Environmental Sciences, the University of Virginia as a Postdoctoral Research Associate where I extended my Ph.D. work on looking at cold pools and mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) together by combining global MCS datasets with my cold pool dataset. I joined the EVS Division of Argonne National Laboratory with this background as a Postdoctoral Scientist. I will work on creating AI-hybrid models to improve the representation of cloud and convective processes in earth system models. 


  • Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences (2016-2021) : University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    Thesis title: Tropical Oceanic Mesoscale Cold Pools in Observations and Models
  • M.Sc. Atmospheric Sciences (2013-2015) : Savitribai Phule Pune University and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India
    Thesis title: Simulation of Large-Scale Characteristics corresponding to Heavy Rainfall Events over Indian Subcontinent
  • B.Sc. Physical Sciences (2010-2013) : Hansraj College, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Field Campaigns

Clouds, Aerosols, Monsoon Precipitation Philippines Experiment (CAMP2Ex)

Jul - Sep 2019


Remote Sensing of Electrification, Lightning, And Mesoscale/microscale Processes with Adaptive Ground Observations (RELAMPAGO

Oct - Dec 2018

Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina

Great Plains Irrigation Experiment (GRAINEX)

Jul - Aug 2018

Lincoln, Nebraska

Honors and Awards

  • Ogura Award for Outstanding Student Research (2021) awarded by Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (2020) for participating in successful execution of CAMP2Ex Field Campaign in Philippines. 
  • Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Fellowship (2014-2016) awarded by the Government of India. 


  • Priftis, G.; Lang, T.J.; Garg, P.; Nesbitt, S.W.; Lindsley, R.D.; Chronis, T. Evaluating the Detection of Mesoscale Outflow Boundaries Using Scatterometer Winds at Different Spatial Resolutions. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1334.https://​doi​.org/​1​0​.​3​3​9​0​/​r​s​1​3​0​71334

  • Garg, P., Nesbitt, S. W., Lang, T. J., & Priftis, G. (2021). Diurnal Cycle of Tropical Oceanic Mesoscale Cold Pools. Journal of Climate34(23), 9305-9326.

  • Garg, P., Nesbitt, S. W., Lang, T. J., Priftis, G., Chronis, T., Thayer, J. D., & Hence, D. A. (2020). Identifying and characterizing tropical oceanic mesoscale cold pools using spaceborne scatterometer winds. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres125(5), e2019JD031812.

  • Flynn, W. J., Nesbitt, S. W., Anders, A. M. and Garg, P. (2017), Mesoscale precipitation characteristics near the Western Ghats during the Indian Summer Monsoon as simulated by a high-resolution regional model. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., 143: 3070–3084. doi:10.1002/qj.3163

  • Garg, P., Deshpande, M.S., Bhawar, R.P., 2015, Understanding Large Scale Characteristics corresponding to Heavy Rainfall events over India. Vayu Mandal (41), Bull. of India Met. Soc. 62-68.