Transport Meteorology

Head of the department: Dr. Thomas Gerz


The department deals with significant weather and its influence on transport. Significant weather comprises clouds and precipitation (rain, hail, and snow), strong winds and turbulence, as well as lightning. Significant weather influences both air traffic and traffic on the ground. However, it cannot be exactly predicted so far. As a goal, besides the general improvement of weather forecast, we intend to deliver tailored analysis and forecast tools to the aviation. Hereto the department develops simulation and measurement methods and builds up expert systems. Moreover, we consider thunderstorms and lightning, winter weather and wake vortices behind aircraft, as well as large-scale warm-air transport (warm conveyor belts) and gravity waves which travel up to the mesosphere.

The research topics are

  • the dynamics and the formation of precipitation and lightning in convective clouds and thunderstorms
  • microscale and mesoscale processes which affects the weather (gravity waves, warm conveyor belts)
  • the set-up of expert systems for aviation to detecting and predicting wake vortices, thunderstorms and winter weather.

In this context we use

  • the polarization Doppler radar POLDIRAD with a bistatic extension to measure three-dimensional wind flow structures, and
  • micro-scale and mesoscale numerical simulation models and large-eddy simulation (LES) models for turbulent air flows

as our research instruments.

Dr.rer.nat. Thomas Gerz
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Atmospheric Physics
, Transport Meteorology
Tel: +49 8153 28-1333

Fax: +49 8153 28-1841

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Aircraft Wake Vortices (
Polarimetric Doppler radar (POLDIRAD) (
Mesoscale models (