Texas A&M University Institute of Advanced Studies

Kyle Wodzicki

Kyle Wodzicki

As a first year PhD student in the Atmospheric Sciences department, I was very excited to receive a Hagler Institute HEEP fellowship and have the opportunity to work with an expert in my field, Faculty Fellow Dr. Michael King. My PhD work is a continuation, and ultimate completion, of a problem I began work on for my Master’s Thesis. The goal of the project is to determine if observational evidences exists to support the findings of a numerical modeling study. The modeling study showed that transport of moisture associated with shallow convection in the subtropics toward the equator influences the strength and latitudinal extent of convection in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. My Master’s work dealt with the identification and characterization of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) in the Pacific Ocean, with a brief look at the influence of precipitating convection. However, to continue this work and benefit from the presence of Dr. King, I have been looking at the impact of nonprecipitating convection using data from the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument.

While precipitating convection is very important to the over goal of the project, nonprecipitating convection plays a much bigger role in the convective populations of the subtropics. Thus, to study the subtropical, shallow convection, aspect of the project, the MODIS instrument is used to obtain cloud characteristics such as cloud top height, liquid water path, and cloud area. These characteristics will allow us to determine how much moisture is being added or subtracted from the subtropics and ultimately allow us to determine if observations support a mechanism where shallow clouds in the subtropics impact the ITCZ. Dr. King’s extensive work with the MODIS instrument, including development of many retrieval algorithms, gives me the opportunity to learn some the best practices possible when working with the data, as well as the strengths and limitations of MODIS. As I plan to stay in the field of tropical meteorology for the rest of my career and satellite data is a large part of that field, being able to work with such a highly skilled individual in the satellite meteorology field is incredible.

Mr. Wodzicki continues his doctoral studies at Texas A&M with anticipated graduation in spring of 2019.


Atmospheric Science

Graduation Year

May 2020

Degree Type


Fellowship Year(s)

'15 - '16

Previous Education

M.S. in Atmospheric Science - Texas A&M University - '15
B.S. in Meteorology - State University of New York at Oswego - '13


Ping Yang 

Journal Articles

1. Wodzicki, K. R., and Rapp, A. D. (2016) Long-term characterization of the Pacific ITCZ using TRMM, GPCP, and ERA-Interim. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121, 3153-3170. doi:10.1002/2015JD024458.


1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015JD024458/abstract


1. Wodzicki, K. R., and Rapp, A. D. (2016) Observed Changes in the Morphology of TRMM Precipitation Features in the ITCZ. 21st Conference on Satellite Meteorology, Madison, WI, August 14-19, 2016


Personal Website