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Atmospheric Science & Global Change

Staff information

Jennifer Comstock

Jennifer Comstock

Atmospheric Sciences & Global Change Division
Scientist, TL
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K9-30
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Jennifer Comstock is currently the Group Lead for the Climate Physics Educational Development Group where she is responsible for the overall management of Post-Docs and Interns in the Climate Physics Group. She is also a member of the ARM Aerial Facility, which is a team of scientists who conduct aircraft-based field campaigns for the DOE's ARM program.

Dr. Comstock's scientific research focuses on understanding physical processes that influence cloud lifecycle using remote sensing and computational modeling techniques.

Research Interests

  • Cloud Physics
  • Ice and mixed phase cloud processes
  • Cloud radiative forcing

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D. Meteorology, University of Utah
  • B.A. Physics, University of Colorado

Affiliations and Professional Service

Awards and Recognitions

  • Recipient of the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences, 1998
  • AMS Committee for Laser Atmospheric Studies
  • Steering Committee for the Cloud Lifecycle Working Group (DOE ASR Program)

PNNL Publications


  • Feng Z, SA McFarlane, C Schumacher, S Ellis, JM Comstock, and N Bharadwaj. 2014. "Constructing a Merged Cloud-Precipitation Radar Dataset for Tropical Convective Clouds during the DYNAMO/AMIE Experiment at Addu Atoll." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 31(5):1021-1042.  doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00132.1
  • Fan J, LYR Leung, PJ DeMott, JM Comstock, B Singh, D Rosenfeld, JM Tomlinson, A White, K Prather, P Minnis, JK Ayers, and Q Min. 2014. "Corrigendum to Aerosol impacts on California winter clouds and precipitation during CalWater 2011: local pollution versus long-range transported dust published in Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 81-101, 2014." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14:3063-3064.  doi:10.5194/acp-14-3063-2014
  • Fan J, LYR Leung, PJ DeMott, JM Comstock, B Singh, D Rosenfeld, JM Tomlinson, AB White, K Prather, P Minnis, JK Ayers, and Q Min. 2014. "Aerosol Impacts on California Winter Clouds and Precipitation during CalWater 2011: Local Pollution versus Long-Range Transported Dust." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14(1):81-101.  doi:10.5194/acp-14-81-2014
  • Protat A, S Young, SA McFarlane, T L'Ecuyer, GG Mace, JM Comstock, CN Long, E Berry, and J Delanoe. 2014. "Reconciling Ground-Based and Space-Based Estimates of the Frequency of Occurrence and Radiative Effect of Clouds around Darwin, Australia." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 53(2):456-478.  doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-13-072.1
  • Rosenfeld D, R Chemke, K Prather, K Suski, JM Comstock, B Schmid, JM Tomlinson, and H Jonsson. 2014. "Polluting of Winter Convective Clouds upon Transition from Ocean Inland Over Central California: Contrasting Case Studies." Atmospheric Research 135-136:112-127.  doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2013.09.006
  • Segal Rozenhaimer M, PB Russell, B Schmid, J Redemann, JM Livingston, CJ Flynn, RR Johnson, S Dunagan, Y Shinozuka, JR Herman, A Cede, N Abuhassan, JM Comstock, JM Hubbe, A Zelenyuk, and JM Wilson. 2014. "Tracking Elevated Pollution Layers with a Newly Developed Hyperspectral Sun/Sky Spectrometer (4STAR): Results from the TCAP 2012 and 2013 Campaigns." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 119(5):2611-2628.  doi:10.1002/2013JD020884


  • Comstock JM, A Protat, SA McFarlane, J Delanoe, and M Deng. 2013. "Assessment of Uncertainty in Cloud Radiative Effects and Heating Rates through Retrieval Algorithm Differences: Analysis using 3-years of ARM data at Darwin, Australia." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 118(10):4549-4571.  doi:10.1002/jgrd.50404
  • Creamean J, K Suski, D Rosenfeld, A Cazorla, PJ DeMott, RC Sullivan, AB White, FM Ralph, P Minnis, JM Comstock, JM Tomlinson, and K Prather. 2013. "Dust and Biological Aerosols from the Sahara and Asia Influence Precipitation in the Western US." Science 339(6127):1572-1578.  doi:10.1126/science.1227279
  • Long CN, SA McFarlane, AD Del Genio, P Minnis, TP Ackerman, JH Mather, JM Comstock, GG Mace, M Jensen, and C Jakob. 2013. "ARM Research in the Equatorial Western Pacific: A Decade and Counting." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 94(5):695-708.  doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00137.1
  • Rosenfeld D, R Chemke, PJ DeMott, RC Sullivan, RM Rasmussen, F McDonough, JM Comstock, B Schmid, JM Tomlinson, H Jonsson, K Suski, A Cazorla, and K Prather. 2013. "The Common Occurrence of Highly Supercooled Drizzle and Rain near the Coastal Regions of the Western United States." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 118(17):9819-9833.  doi:10.1002/jgrd.50529
  • Thorsen TJ, Q Fu, JM Comstock, C Sivaraman, MA Vaughan, D Winker, and DD Turner. 2013. "Macrophysical Properties of Tropical Cirrus Clouds from the CALIPSO Satellite and from Ground-based Micropulse and Raman Lidars." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 118(16):9209-9220.  doi:10.1002/jgrd.50691
  • Thorsen TJ, Q Fu, and JM Comstock. 2013. "Cloud Effects on Radiative Heating Rate Profiles over Darwin using ARM and A-train Radar/Lidar Observations." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 118(11):5637-5654.  doi:10.1002/jgrd.50476
  • Zhang K, X Liu, M Wang, JM Comstock, D Mitchell, S Mishra, and GG Mace. 2013. "Evaluating and Constraining Ice Cloud Parameterizations in CAM5 using Aircraft Measurements from the SPARTICUS Campaign." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13(9):4963-4982.  doi:10.5194/acp-13-4963-2013


  • Kulkarni GR, J Fan, JM Comstock, X Liu, and M Ovchinnikov. 2012. "Laboratory Measurements and Model Sensitivity Studies of Dust Deposition Ice Nucleation." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12(16):7295-7308.  doi:10.5194/acp-12-7295-2012
  • Qian Y, CN Long, H Wang, JM Comstock, SA McFarlane, and S Xie. 2012. "Evaluation of cloud fraction and its radiative effect simulated by IPCC AR4 global models against ARM surface observations." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12(4):1785-1810.  doi:10.5194/acp-12-1785-2012
  • Riihimaki LD, SA McFarlane, and JM Comstock. 2012. "Climatology and Formation of Tropical Midlevel Clouds at the Darwin ARM Site." Journal of Climate 25(19):6835-6850.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00599.1
  • Vogelmann AM, G McFarquhar, JA Ogren, DD Turner, JM Comstock, G Feingold, CN Long, H Jonsson, A Bucholtz, DR Collins, GS Diskin, H Gerber, P Lawson, R Woods, E Andrews, HJ Yang, CJ Chiu, D Hartsock, JM Hubbe, C Lo, A Marshak, J Monroe, SA McFarlane, B Schmid, JM Tomlinson, and T Toto. 2012. "RACORO Extended-Term Aircraft Observations of Boundary-Layer Clouds." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 93(6):861-878. 
  • Zaveri RA, WJ Shaw, DJ Cziczo, B Schmid, R Ferrare, ML Alexander, M Alexandrov, RJ Alvarez, WP Arnott, D Atkinson, S Baidar, RM Banta, JC Barnard, J Beranek, LK Berg, FJ Brechtel, WA Brewer, JF Cahill, B Cairns, CD Cappa, D Chand, S China, JM Comstock, MK Dubey, RC Easter, Jr, MH Erickson, JD Fast, C Floerchinger, BA Flowers, E Fortner, JS Gaffney, MK Gilles, K Gorkowski, WI Gustafson, Jr, MS Gyawali, J Hair, M Hardesty, JW Harworth, SC Herndon, N Hiranuma, CA Hostetler, JM Hubbe, JT Jayne, H Jeong, BT Jobson, EI Kassianov, LI Kleinman, CD Kluzek, B Knighton, KR Kolesar, C Kuang, A Kubatova, AO Langford, A Laskin, NS Laulainen, RD Marchbanks, C Mazzoleni, F Mei, RC Moffet, DA Nelson, M Obland, H Oetjen, TB Onasch, I Ortega, M Ottaviani, MS Pekour, KA Prather, JG Radney, R Rogers, SP Sandberg, A Sedlacek, C Senff, G Senum, A Setyan, JE Shilling, MKB Shrivastava, C Song, SR Springston, R Subramanian, K Suski, JM Tomlinson, RM Volkamer, HA Wallace, J Wang, AM Weickmann, DR Worsnop, XY Yu, A Zelenyuk, and Q Zhang. 2012. "Overview of the 2010 Carbonaceous Aerosols and Radiative Effects Study (CARES)." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12(16):7647-7687.  doi:10.5194/acp-12-7647-2012
  • Zhao C, S Xie, SA Klein, A Protat, MD Shupe, SA McFarlane, JM Comstock, J Delanoe, M Deng, M Dunn, R Hogan, D Huang, M Jensen, GG Mace, R McCoy, EJ O'Conner, D Turner, and Z Wang. 2012. "Toward Understanding of Differences in Current Cloud Retrievals of ARM Ground-based Measurements." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 117:Article No. D10206.  doi:10.1029/2011JD016792


  • Dupont JC, M Haeffelin, Y Morille, JM Comstock, CJ Flynn, CN Long, C Sivaraman, and RK Newsom. 2011. "Cloud properties derived from two lidars over the ARM SGP site." Geophysical Research Letters 38:Article No. L08814.  doi:10.1029/2010GL046274
  • Thorsen TJ, Q Fu, and JM Comstock. 2011. "Comparison of the CALIPSO satellite and ground-based observations of cirrus clouds at the ARM TWP sites." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 116:Article No. D21203.  doi:10.1029/2011JD015970
  • Zhao Y, GG Mace, and JM Comstock. 2011. "The Occurrence of Particle Size Distribution Bimodality in Midlatitude Cirrus as Inferred from Ground-Based Remote Sensing Data." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 68(6):1162-1177.  doi:10.1175/2010JAS3354.1


  • Dupont JC, M Haeffelin, Y Morille, V Noel, P Keckhut, D Winker, JM Comstock, P Chervet, and A Roblin. 2010. "Macrophysical and optical properties of midlatitude cirrus clouds from four ground-based lidars and collocated CALIOP observations." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 115:D00H24.  doi:10.1029/2009JD011943
  • Fan J, JM Comstock, and M Ovchinnikov. 2010. "The cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei effects on tropical anvil characteristics and water vapor of the tropical tropopause layer." Environmental Research Letters 5(4):Article No. 044005.  doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/4/044005
  • Fan J, JM Comstock, M Ovchinnikov, SA McFarlane, G McFarquhar, and G Allen. 2010. "Tropical anvil characteristics and water vapor of the tropical tropopause layer: Impact of heterogeneous and homogeneous freezing parameterizations ." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 115:D12201.  doi:10.1029/2009JD012696
  • Naud CM, AD Del Genio, M Haeffelin, Y Morille, V Noel, JC Dupont, DD Turner, C Lo, and JM Comstock. 2010. "Thermodynamic phase profiles of optically thin midlatitude cloud and their relation to temperature ." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 115(D11202):,
  • Pierce JR, R Kahn, MR Davis, and JM Comstock. 2010. "Detecting thin cirrus in Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer aerosol retrievals." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 115(D08201):, doi:10.1029/2009JD013019
  • Zhang Z, S Platnick, P Yang, AK Heidinger, and JM Comstock. 2010. "Effects of ice particle size vertical inhomogeneity on the passive remote sensing of ice clouds ." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 115:Article No. D17203.  doi:10.1029/2010JD013835


  • Fan J, M Ovtchinnikov, JM Comstock, SA McFarlane, and A Khain. 2009. "Ice Formation in Arctic Mixed-Phase Clouds: Insights from a 3-D Cloud-Resolving Model with Size-Resolved Aerosol and Cloud Microphysics ." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 114(D04205):, doi:10.1029/2008JD010782
  • Fan J, T Yuan, JM Comstock, SJ Ghan, A Khain, LYR Leung, Z Li, VJ Martins, and M Ovchinnikov. 2009. "Dominant Role by Vertical Wind Shear in Regulating Aerosol Effects on Deep Convective Clouds." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 114(D22206):, doi:10.1029/2009JD012352


  • Comstock JM, RF Lin, DO Starr, and P Yang. 2008. "Understanding Ice Supersaturation, Particle Growth, and Number Concentration in Cirrus Clouds." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 113:D23211.  doi:10.1029/2008JD010332
  • Barnard JC, CN Long, EI Kassianov, SA McFarlane, JM Comstock, M Freer, and G McFarquhar. 2008. "Development and Evaluation of a Simple Algorithm to Find Cloud Optical Depth with Emphasis on Thin Ice Clouds." Open Atmospheric Science Journal 2:46-55.  doi:10.2174/1874282300802010046


  • Comstock JM, R d'Entremont, D DeSlover, GG Mace, SY Matrosov, SA McFarlane, P Minnis, D Mitchell, K Sassen, MD Shupe, DD Turner, and Z Wang. 2007. "An Intercomparison of Microphysical Retrieval Algorithms for Upper-Tropospheric Ice Clouds." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 88(2):191-204. 
  • Sassen K, L Wang, DO Starr, JM Comstock, and M Quante. 2007. "A Midlatitude Cirrus Cloud Climatology from the Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing: Part V. Cloud Structural Properties." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 64(7):2483-2501. 


  • Comstock JM, and C Jakob. 2004. "Evaluation of Tropical Cirrus Cloud Properties Derived from ECMWF Model Output and Ground Based Measurements over Nauru Island." Geophysical Research Letters 31(10):L10106. 
  • Comstock JM, TP Ackerman, and DD Turner. 2004. "ARM Raman Lidar Measurements of High Ice Supersaturation in Cirrus Clouds." In 22nd International Laser Radar Conference (ILRC 2004): Matera, Italy 12-16 July 2004. European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, vol. 1, no. 561, pp. 301-303.  European Space Agency, Noordwijk, Netherlands. 
  • Comstock JM, TP Ackerman, and DD Turner. 2004. "Evidence of High Ice Supersaturation in Cirrus Clouds Using ARM Raman Lidar Measurements." Geophysical Research Letters 31(11):L11106. 
  • Hollars S, Q Fu, JM Comstock, and TP Ackerman. 2004. "Comparisons of Cloud-Top Height Retrievals from Ground-Based 35 GHz MMCR and GMS-5 Satellite Observations at ARM TWP Manus Site." Atmospheric Research 72(1-4):169-186. 


  • Sassen K, Z Wang, CMR Platt, and JM Comstock. 2003. "Parameterization of Infrared Absorption in Midlatitude Cirrus Clouds." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 60(2):428-433. 


  • Carlin B, Q Fu, U Lohmann, GG Mace, K Sassen, and JM Comstock. 2002. "High-Cloud Horizontal Inhomogeneity and Solar Albedo Bias." Journal of Climate 15(17):2321-2339. 
  • Comstock JM, TP Ackerman, and GG Mace. 2002. "Ground-Based Lidar and Radar Remote Sensing of Tropical Cirrus Clouds at Nauru Island: Cloud Statistics and Radiative Impacts." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 107(D23):4714.  doi:10.1029/2002JD002203


  • Comstock JM, and K Sassen. 2001. "Retrieval of Cirrus Cloud Radiative and Backscattering Properties Using Combined Lidar and Infrared Radiometer (LIRAD) Measurements." Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 18(10):1658-1673. 
  • Sassen K, JM Comstock, and Z Wang. 2001. "Parameterization of the Radiative Properties of Midlatitude High and Middle Level Clouds." Geophysical Research Letters 28(4):729-732. 
  • Sassen K, and JM Comstock. 2001. "A Midlatitude Cirrus Cloud Climatology from the Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing. Part III: Radiative Properties." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 58(15):2113-2127. 

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