Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Wolfgang Langhans

Wolfgang Langhans

Wolfgang Langhans

Postdoctoral Fellow

Climate Sciences Department



Phone: 510-486-7906

Fax: 510-486-7775


Biographical Summary

Wolfgang Langhans is a postdoctoral fellow working with David Romps.  His research focuses on the dynamics and thermodynamics of convective clouds.  In particular, he studies the precipitation efficiency of such clouds using cloud-resolving and large-eddy simulations.
He received his Diploma degree in Meteorology and Geophysics from the University of Innsbruck, Austria. During his studies he developed a keen interest in theoretical meteorology, mountain meteorology, and mesoscale numerical weather prediction. His research under the guidance of Alexander Gohm addressed the role of microphysics parameterizations for the numerical prediction of Alpine heavy precipitation events.
Wolfgang obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he worked under the guidance of Christoph Schär on cloud-resolving modeling of orographic convection. During his PhD he published research on the convergence of cloud-resolving simulations, on the impact of explicit numerical diffusion, and on thermally-driven valley-flows. He also developed an interest in large-eddy simulations and their application to atmospheric convection. His current research addresses the precipitation efficiency of cumulus clouds using a numerical framework based on the tracking of stochastic Lagrangian water particles within large-eddy simulations.

Scientific Interests

  •  Cloud physics: Tropical convection, efficiency of convective clouds, turbulent mixing
  •  Mountain meteorology: Orographic precipitation, heavy precipitation events, thermally-driven flows
  •  Numerical modeling: Convergence properties, turbulence modeling, convection parameterizations
  •  Climate change: Clouds in a warming climate, regional climate modeling


  • 2009–2012: Ph.D., Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich
    • Thesis title: Multiscale aspects of cloud-resolving simulations of moist summer convection over complex terrain
    • Adviser: Prof. Christoph Schär
    • Collaboration with: Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Center for Climate Systems Modeling (C2SM)
  • 2003–2008: Diploma in Meteorology and Geophysics (Mag.rer.nat. with distinction), University of Innsbruck, Austria
    • Thesis title: Cloud-resolving simulations of the August 2005 Alpine flood - The sensitivity to microphysics parameterizations
    • Adviser: Prof. Alexander Gohm

Professional Experience

  • Jan 2013 –present: Postdoctoral fellow, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
  • Jun 2012 – Dec 2012: Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich

Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Langhans, W, Yeo, K., and Romps, D. M., 2014: Lagrangian investigation of the precipitation efficiency of convective clouds. J. Atmos. Sci., in press.
  • Froidevaux, P., L. Schlemmer, J. Schmidli, W. Langhans, and C. Schär, 2014: Influence of the Background Wind on the Local Soil Moisture-Precipitation Feedback. J. Atmos. Sci., 71, 782-799 .
  • Langhans, W., J. Schmidli, O. Fuhrer, S. Bieri, and C. Schär, 2013: Long-term simulations of thermally driven flows and orographic convection at convection-parameterizing and cloud-resolving resolutions. J. Appl. Clim. and Meteorol., 52, 1490-1510.
  • Langhans, W., J. Schmidli, and C. Schär, 2012: Bulk convergence of kilometer-scale simulations of moist convection over complex terrain. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 2207–2228.
  • Langhans, W., J. Schmidli, and C. Schär, 2012: Mesoscale impacts of explicit numerical diffusion in a convection-permitting model. Mon. Wea. Rev., 140, 226–244.
  • Langhans, W., A. Gohm, and G. Zängl, 2011: The orographic impact on patterns of embedded convection during the August 2005 Alpine flood. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 2092-2105.
  • Hohenegger, C., A. Walser, W. Langhans, and C. Schär, 2008: Cloud-resolving ensemble simulations of the August 2005 Alpine flood. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 134, 889-904.