Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Yaping Zhou

(Associate Research Scientist)

Yaping Zhou's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.6235
Org Code: 613
Mail Code 613
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Current Projects

Extreme Rainfall and Climate


 NASA Precipitation Measurement Mission (PMM) science team

Using AIRS data to understand processes affecting tropical cyclone structure and extreme precipitation in a global data assimilation and forecasting framework

Theory & Modeling

 NASA Aqua/Terra Science Team Project

Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera/Earth Deep Space Climate Observatory (EPIC/DSCOVR) Cloud Algorithm Development

Remote Sensing

DSCOVR Science Team Project

Improvement of Dark Target aerosol algorithm

Remote Sensing

TASNPP Project

Investigating the Relationships of Cloud and Radiative Properties and Extreme Precipitation with Convective Clustering in the Tropics with Observations


Weather-Dynamics Project

Hyperspectral Microwave Remote Sensing

Developing a Comprehensive and Augmented Multi-decadal Remote-sensing Observations of Dust Data Record for Earth Science Research and Applications


NASA's MEaSUREs Program

Brief Bio

Yaping Zhou is a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, affiliated with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. With prior experience at NASA Langley Research Center (1999-2020) and the Climate Prediction Center of NCEP/NOAA (2000-2002), Dr. Zhou's expertise encompasses climate trends, large-scale tropical hydrological cycles, atmospheric convection, extreme precipitation, numerical model validation and remote sensing. Her contributions to atmospheric remote sensing involve the development of major algorithm components for multiple operational remote sensing systems employed by NASA, including those utilized by CERES, MODIS, VIIRS, and DSCOVR EPIC instruments. Currently, her focus lies on advancing physical retrieval algorithms for future hyperspectral microwave instruments, dust aerosol retrieval in addition to extreme precipitation analysis and monitoring.Dr. Zhou holds a Ph.D. (1999) and M.S. (1999) in Atmospheric Science and Computer Science from Stony Brook University, preceded by a B.S. (1988) in Climatology from Nanjing University and an M.S. (1991) in Climate Dynamics from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Senior Research scientist

JCET/GEATARII/University of Maryland Baltimore County - Baltimore, Maryland

September 2019 - Present

Senior Research Scientist/Group Lead

GESTAR II/University of Maryland Baltimore County - Baltimore

2021 - 2023

Associate Research Scientist

GESTAR/Morgan State University - Baltimore, Maryland

May 2011 - August 2019

Associate Research Scientist

GEST/ University of Maryland Baltimore County - Baltimore, Maryland

April 2009 - May 2011


Assistant Research Scientist

GEST/ University of Maryland Baltimore County - Baltimore, Maryland

September 2004 - April 2009


Senior Research Scientist

Science System and Applications, Inc. - Lanham, Maryland

June 2002 - August 2004


Atmospheric Scientist

Decision Systems Technologies Inc. - Climate Prediction Center, NCEP/NOAA

August 2000 - May 2002


Research Scientist

Analytical Services & Materials, Inc., NASA Langley Research Center - Hampton, Virginia

September 1999 - July 2010


Teaching and Research Assistant

Marine Sciences Research Ctr., Stony Brook University - Stony Brook, New York

September 1993 - August 1999


Assistant Research Scientist

Institute of Atmospheric Physics,Chinese Academy of Science - Beijing, China

July 1989 - August 1993



Ph.D.  Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
M.S.   Computer Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
M.S.   Atmospheric Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics,
          Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China
B.S.   Climatology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China


Editor's award, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (AAS), 2024

" for her meticulous contributions to a 2023 article, which significantly enhanced the quality of the manuscript."

Best Science Highlight or Nugget, Lab of Atmosphere, GSFC, 2020

Scientific Leadership Award, Climate and Radiation Laboratory, GSFC, 2020

Special award for an act of exceptional merit, beyond the call of duty, Climate and Radiation Laboratory, GSFC, 2020

NASA Group Achievement Award to GPM Post-Launch Team, GSFC, 2015

Outstanding Service Award, Chinese Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 2012

Best First-Authored Paper Award, Climate and Radiation branch, GSFC, 2008


Professional Service

Reviewer for Scientific Journals:

Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, Nature, Nature Geoscience, 

Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letter, 

Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Journal of Climate, Monthly Weather Review, 

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Journal of Hydrometeorology,

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, Remote Sensing of Environment,

Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Philippine Agricultural Scientist, 

International Journal of Climatology, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Climate Change, 

International Journal of Atmospheric sciences, Atmospheric Science Letters, Water, Atmosphere,

Remote Sensing, Sensor, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Climate Dynamics, Environmental Research Letters,

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Frontiers in Earth Science - Atmospheric Science, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, Advances in Space Research

Proposal Reviewer: NSF, DOE, NASA

Editorial Board, Dataset Papers in Geosciences: Geophysics; Friontiers in Big Data | Data-Driven Climate Sciences

Reviewer: Technical Program IGARSS 2009-2017

Session Chair: Data Compression Session, IGARSS 2003

Member: GSFC Deputy Director’s Council on Science (DDCS), 2007-2009

Committee Member: Goddard Earth Sciences Division New Employee Welcome Party 2009-2010

Committee Chair: Goddard Science Division New Year’s Poster Party 2009

Chair: GEST/UMBC and GESTARII/UMBC faculty Promotion Committee

Board Member and News Letter Editor: Chinese Oceanic and Atmosphere Association (COAA), 2010-2011

Mentor: NASA Earth Sciences Summer Institute 2005, 2010, NASA Summer Intern 2015-2021

Shadow/Mentor Baltimore County High School Science Teacher, 2013

Co-Organizer: Climate and Radiation Lab Seminar 2015-2016

Member: GESTAR People's Committee 2015

Secretary: Goddard Chinese American Club 2020-



2023. "Evaluation of EPIC oxygen bands stability with radiative transfer simulations over the South Pole." Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer 310 108737 [10.1016/j.jqsrt.2023.108737] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Observed Cloud Type‐Sorted Cloud Property and Radiative Flux Changes With the Degree of Convective Aggregation From CERES Data." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 128 (19): [10.1029/2023jd039152] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Observation and modeling of the historic “Godzilla” African dust intrusion into the Caribbean Basin and the southern US in June 2020." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21 (16): 12359-12383 [10.5194/acp-21-12359-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Cloud Detection Over Sunglint Regions With Observations From the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera." Frontiers in Remote Sensing 2 [10.3389/frsen.2021.690010] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Dust Aerosol Retrieval Over the Oceans With the MODIS/VIIRS Dark‐Target Algorithm: 1. Dust Detection." Earth and Space Science 7 (10): [10.1029/2020ea001221] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Dust Aerosol Retrieval Over the Oceans With the MODIS/VIIRS Dark Target Algorithm: 2. Nonspherical Dust Model." Earth and Space Science 7 (10): [10.1029/2020ea001222] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "The Dark Target Algorithm for Observing the Global Aerosol System: Past, Present, and Future." Remote Sensing 12 (18): 2900 [10.3390/rs12182900] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "A machine-learning-based cloud detection and thermodynamic-phase classification algorithm using passive spectral observations." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 13 (5): 2257-2277 [10.5194/amt-13-2257-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Cloud detection over snow and ice with oxygen A- and B-band observations from the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC)." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 13 (3): 1575-1591 [10.5194/amt-13-1575-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "A spatial‐temporal extreme precipitation database from GPM IMERG." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 2019JD030449 [10.1029/2019jd030449] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Extreme precipitation: theory, trends and monitoring." Research on Weather and Climate Variabilities and Their Mechanisms - Collected Essays in Commemoration of Academician Li Chongyin’s 60 Years' Research in Atmospheric Sciences [Article in Book]

2019. "Cloud products from the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC): algorithms and initial evaluation." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 12 (3): 2019-2031 [10.5194/amt-12-2019-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Statistical Modeling of Extreme Precipitation with TRMM Data." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 57 (1): 15-30 [10.1175/jamc-d-17-0023.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "The Relationships Between the Trends of Mean and Extreme Precipitation." International Journal of Climatology [10.1002/joc.4962] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Scale Dependence of Land Atmospheric Interactions in Wet and Dry Regions as Simulated with NU-WRF over Southwest and South-Central US." Journal of Hydrometeorology [10.1175/JHM-D-16-0024.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Spatial and temporal analysis of a global landslide catalog." Geomorphology 249 (Geohazard Databases): 4-15 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.03.016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Mapping TRMM TMPA Into Average Recurrence Interval for Monitoring Extreme Precipitation Events." J. Appl. Meteor. & Climatol 54 (5): 979-995 [10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0269.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Rain characteristics and large-scale environments of precipitation objects with extreme rain volumes from TRMM observations." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118 (17): 9673-9689 [10.1002/jgrd.50776] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Observed recent trends in tropical cyclone rainfall over the North Atlantic and the North Pacific." J. Geophys. Res. 117 (D3): D03104 [10.1029/2011JD016510] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Recent trends of the tropical hydrological cycle inferred from Global Precipitation Climatology Project and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data." J. Geophys. Res. 116 (D09101): [10.1029/2010JD015197] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "AIRS impact on precipitation analysis and forecast of tropical cyclones in a global data assimilation and forecast system." Geophys. Res. Lett 37 (2): L02806 [10.1029/2009GL041494] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "Sensitivity of Boreal-Summer Circulation and Precipitation to Atmospheric Aerosols in Selected Regions, Part I: Africa and India." Annales Geophysicae 27 3989-4007 [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Have tropical cyclones been feeding more extreme rainfall?." J. Geophys. Res. 113 (D23): D23113 [10.1029/2008JD009963] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Influence of local and remote sea surface temperatures on precipitation as inferred from changes in boundary-layer moisture convergence and moist thermodynamics over global oceans." Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc. 134 (630): 147-163 [10.1002/qj.193] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Effects of doubled CO2 on tropical sea surface temperatures (SSTs) for onset of deep convection and maximum SST: Simulations based inferences." Geophysical Research Letters 35 (12): L12707 [10.1029/2008GL033872] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "An improved algorithm for retrieving surface downwelling longwave radiation from satellite measurements." J. Geophys. Res. 112 (D15102): [10.1029/2006JD008159] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Use of High-Resolution Satellite Observations to Evaluate Cloud and Precipitation Statistics from Cloud-Resolving Model Simulations. Part I: South China Sea Monsoon Experiment." J. Atmos. Sci. 64 (12): 4309-4329 [10.1175/2007JAS2281.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2005. "Characteristics of Landfalling Tropical Cyclones in the United States: Climatology and Interannual Variability." J Climate 18 (8): 1247-1262 [10.1175/JCLI3317.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2003. "Cloud context-base onboard data compression." Proc. IGARSS 2003 6 3598 – 3600 [Proceedings]

2001. "Atmospheric Corrections Using MODTRAN for TOA and Surface BRDF Bharacteristics from High Tesolution Spectroradiometric/Angular Measurements from a Helicopter Platform." Adv Atmos Sci 18 (5): 984-1004 [10.1007/s00376-001-0018-0] [Journal Article/Letter]

2001. "Algorithm-development strategies for retrieving the downwelling longwave flux at the Earth's surface." J Geophys Res 106 (D12): 12477-12488 [10.1029/2001JD900144] [Journal Article/Letter]

2000. "Validation of longwave atmospheric radiation models using Atmospheric Radiation Measurement data." J. Geophys. Res. 105 (D24): 29703 [10.1029/2000JD900557] [Journal Article/Letter]

1998. "High Throughput Networks for Petaflops computing." Proc. 17th IEEE Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems 312-317 [10.1109/RELDIS.1998.740515] [Proceedings]

1996. "Absorption of solar radiation by clouds: Interpretations of satellite, surface, and aircraft measurements." J.Geophys.Res. 101 23,299-23,309 [Journal Article/Letter]

1995. "Absorption of solar radiation by clouds: Observations versus models." Science 267 496-499 [Journal Article/Letter]

1994. "Relationship between intraseasonal oscillation in the tropical atmosphere and ENSO." ACTA Geophysica Sinica 37 (1): 17-26 [Journal Article/Letter]

1991. "An Observational study of the 30-50 day atmospheric oscillations. Part II: temporal evolution and hemispheric interaction across the equator." Adv. Atmos. Sci. 8 (4): [Journal Article/Letter]

1989. "Statistical features of the temporal and spatial distribution of rainstorms in the Changjiang delta area and their division." J. Nanjing Institut. Meterol. l2 [Journal Article/Letter]

Other Professional Information

Science Highlights (Climate and Radiation Laboratory, GSFC)

2020 (June): Cloud Detection over Snow and Ice using DSCOVR-EPIC's Oxygen Bands

2017 (September): Making Better Estimates of Extreme Precipitation with TRMM Data (Lab of Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes)

2017 (Feburary): Trends of Mean and Extreme Precipitation

2015 (June): TRMM Extreme Precipitation Monitoring System

2013 (November): Rain Characteristics and Large-Scale Environments of Extreme Wet Precipitation Systems from TRMM Measurements

2011 (December): Recent trends of tropical hydrological cycle inferred from GPCP and ISCCP data

AGU Editor’s Highlight:

Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmosphere, highlighted paper on May 2011

Zhou, Y., K.-M. Xu, Y. C. Sud, and A. K. Betts. 2011. "Recent trends of the tropical hydrological cycle inferred from Global Precipitation Climatology Project and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data." J. Geophys. Res.116 (D09101)