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Atmospheric Science & Global Change

Staff information


Laura Riihimaki

Atmospheric Measurement & Data Sciences
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K9-24
Richland, WA 99352

Research Interests

  • Atmospheric remote sensing and radiative transfer
  • Tropical cloud formation and properties
  • Solar energy resource assessment

Education and Credentials

  • PhD Physics, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 2008
  • BS Physics, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, 2001

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society

PNNL Publications


  • Riihimaki LD, JM Comstock, E Luke, TJ Thorsen, and Q Fu. 2017. "A case study of microphysical structures and hydrometeor phase in convection using radar Doppler spectra at Darwin, Australia." Geophysical Research Letters 44(14):7519-7527.  doi:10.1002/2017GL074187
  • Kassianov EI, EA Riley, J Kleiss, CN Long, LD Riihimaki, DM Flynn, CJM Flynn, and LK Berg. 2017. "Macrophysical properties of continental cumulus clouds from active and passive remote sensing." In Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XXII, September 11-14, 2017, Warsaw, Poland. Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 10424, ed. A Comeron, EI Kassianov and K Schafer, p. Paper No.104240A.  SPIE, BELLINGHAM, WA.  doi:10.1117/12.2278029
  • Kassianov EI, JC Barnard, CJM Flynn, LD Riihimaki, LK Berg, and DA Rutan. 2017. "Areal-Averaged Spectral Surface Albedo in an Atlanic Coastal Area: Estimation from Ground-Based Transmission." Atmosphere 8(7):123.  doi:10.3390/atmos8070123
  • Kassianov EI, MS Pekour, CJ Flynn, LK Berg, J Beranek, A Zelenyuk, C Zhao, LYR Leung, PL Ma, LD Riihimaki, JD Fast, JC Barnard, AG Hallar, I McCubbin, EW Eloranta, A McComiskey, and PJ Rasch. 2017. "Large Contribution of Coarse Mode to Aerosol Microphysical and Optical Properties: Evidence from Ground-based Observations of a Transpacific Dust Outbreak at a High-Elevation North American Site." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 74(5):1431-1443.  doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0256.1


  • Riihimaki LD, JM Comstock, KK Anderson, AE Holmes, and E Luke. 2016. "A Path towards uncertainty assignment in an operational cloud phase algorithm from ARM vertically pointing active sensors." Advances in Statistical Climatology Meteorology and Oceanography 2(1):49-62.  doi:10.5194/ascmo-2-49-2016
  • Lim KS, LD Riihimaki, JM Comstock, B Schmid, C Sivaraman, Y Shi, and G McFarquhar. 2016. "Evalution of long-term surface-retrieved cloud-droplet number concentration with in situ aircraft observations." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 121(5):23182331.  doi:10.1002/2015JD024082


  • Berg LK, LD Riihimaki, Y Qian, H Yan, and M Huang. 2015. "The Low-Level Jet over the Southern Great Plains Determined from Observations and Reanalyses and Its Impact on Moisture Transport." Journal of Climate 28(17):6682-6706.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00719.1
  • Kassianov EI, JC Barnard, CJ Flynn, LD Riihimaki, and MC Marinovici. 2015. "How Well Can We Estimate Areal-Averaged Spectral Surface Albedo from Ground-Based Transmission in an Atlantic Coastal Area?" In Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XX, September 21, 2015, Toulouse, France. Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 9640, ed. A Comeron, EI Kassianov and K Schafer, p. Paper No. 96400K.  SPIE, Bellingham, WA.  doi:10.1117/12.2196875


  • Riihimaki LD, and CN Long. 2014. "Spatial Variability of Surface Irradiance Measurements at the Manus ARM Site." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 119(9):54755491.  doi:10.1002/2013JD021187
  • Kassianov EI, JC Barnard, CJ Flynn, LD Riihimaki, J Michalsky, and GB Hodges. 2014. "Areal-averaged and Spectrally-resolved Surface Albedo from Ground-based Transmission Data Alone: Toward an Operational Retrieval ." Atmosphere 5(3):597-621.  doi:10.3390/atmos5030597
  • Kassianov EI, JC Barnard, CJ Flynn, LD Riihimaki, J Michalsky, and GB Hodges. 2014. "Retrieval of Areal-averaged Spectral Surface Albedo from Transmission Data Alone: Computationally Simple and Fast Approach." In SPIE Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere XIX, vol. 9242, ed. Adolfo Comeron, p. 6 pages.  SPIE Proceedings, Amsterdam, Netherlands.  doi:10.1117/12.2070282


  • Stephan EG, TO Elsethagen, K Kleese van Dam, and LD Riihimaki. 2013. "What Comes First, the OWL or the Bean? Creating Reusable Scientific Software with OWL/RDF Vocabularies." In First Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE1), November 17, 2013, Denver, Colorado.  WSSSPE, Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM. 


  • 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
  • Riihimaki LD, SA McFarlane, C Liang, ST Massie, N Beagley, and TD Toth. 2012. "Comparison of Methods to Determine Tropical Tropopause Layer Cirrus Formation Mechanisms." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 117:Article No. D06218.  doi:10.1029/2011JD016832
  • Riihimaki LD, KL Gaustad, and SA McFarlane. 2012. Climate Science for a Sustainable Energy Future Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Best Estimate (CSSEFARMBE)PNNL-21831, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • Riihimaki LD, and SA McFarlane. 2010. "Frequency and morphology of tropical tropopause layer cirrus from CALIPSO observations: Are isolated cirrus different from those connected to deep convection? ." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 115:Article No. D18201.  doi:10.1029/2009JD013133


  • Riihimaki LD, F Vignola, and CN Long. 2009. "Analyzing the Contribution of Aerosols to an Observed Increase in Direct Normal Irradiance in Oregon." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 114:D00D02.  doi:10.1029/2008JD010970

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