Maike Ahlgrimm

Research Department, Earth System Modelling Section, Physical Processes Group

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Maike uses ground- and satellite-based observations to understand systematic model biases related to clouds and the boundary layer. Her work supports the development of improved parametrizations in the Physical Processes group.

This work is funded through the Atmospheric System Research (ASR) project and takes advantage of high quality observations and novel retrieval methods obtained through the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility, which operates observatories in various climatic regions around the globe.

Professional interests: 
  • Boundary layer processes
  • Clouds; particularly warm boundary layer cloud processes including drizzle, mixed-phase clouds, cloud radiative properties
  • Remote sensing techniques and retrievals
Career background: 

PhD, Colorado State University, CO, USA (2008). "Model evaluation using space-borne lidar observations" PhD advisor David A. Randall

MS, Colorado State University, CO, USA (2004) "Diagnosing monthly mean boundary layer properties from re-analysis data using a mixed-layer model" MS advisor David A. Randall

Vordiplom, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (2000)

Professional Experience

2008 to present: Scientist at ECMWF, Research Department, Physical Processes section



Journal Articles listed in ECMWF's eLibrary

ECMWF Newsletter Articles

Miscellaneous publications in ECMWF's library (e.g. Tech Memos)

Full list of peer reviewed articles


Schlemmer, L., Bechtold, P., Sandu, I. and Ahlgrimm, M., 2017. Uncertainties related to the representation of momentum transport in shallow convection. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. 9, 12691291, doi:10.1002/2017MS000915.


Ahlgrimm, M., Forbes, R.M., Morcrette, J.J. and Neggers, R.A., 2016. ARM’s impact on numerical weather prediction at ECMWF. Meteorological Monographs, 57, pp.28-1. doi:10.1175/AMSMONOGRAPHS-D-15-0032.1

Ahlgrimm, M. and Forbes, R.M., 2016. Regime dependence of cloud condensate variability observed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Sites. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 142(697), pp.1605-1617. doi:10.1002/qj.2783

Kalesse, H., de Boer, G., Solomon, A., Oue, M., Ahlgrimm, M., Zhang, D., Shupe, M.D., Luke, E. and Protat, A., 2016. Understanding Rapid Changes in Phase Partitioning between Cloud Liquid and Ice in Stratiform Mixed-Phase Clouds: An Arctic Case Study. Monthly Weather Review, 144(12), pp.4805-4826. doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0155.1

Tang, S., Xie, S., Zhang, Y., Zhang, M., Schumacher, C., Upton, H., Jensen, M.P., Johnson, K.L., Wang, M., Ahlgrimm, M. and Feng, Z., 2016. Large-scale vertical velocity, diabatic heating and drying profiles associated with seasonal and diurnal variations of convective systems observed in the GoAmazon2014/5 experiment. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16(22), p.14249. doi:10.5194/acp-16-14249-2016


Nuijens, L., Medeiros, B., Sandu, I. and Ahlgrimm, M., 2015. The behavior of trade‐wind cloudiness in observations and models: The major cloud components and their variability. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 7(2), pp.600-616.

Nuijens, L., Medeiros, B., Sandu, I. and Ahlgrimm, M., 2015. Observed and modeled patterns of covariability between low‐level cloudiness and the structure of the trade‐wind layer. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 7(4), pp.1741-1764. doi:10.1002/2015MS000483


Ahlgrimm, M. and Forbes, R., 2014. Improving the representation of low clouds and drizzle in the ECMWF model based on ARM observations from the Azores. Monthly Weather Review, 142(2), pp.668-685. doi:10.1175/MWR-D-13-00153.1

Forbes, R.M. and Ahlgrimm, M., 2014. On the representation of high-latitude boundary layer mixed-phase cloud in the ECMWF global model. Monthly Weather Review, 142(9), pp.3425-3445. doi:10.1175/MWR-D-13-00325.1


Ahlgrimm, M. and Forbes, R., 2012. The impact of low clouds on surface shortwave radiation in the ECMWF model. Monthly Weather Review, 140(11), pp.3783-3794. doi:10.1175/MWR-D-11-00316.1

Di Michele, S., Ahlgrimm, M., Forbes, R., Kulie, M., Bennartz, R., Janisková, M. and Bauer, P., 2012. Interpreting an evaluation of the ECMWF global model with CloudSat observations: Ambiguities due to radar reflectivity forward operator uncertainties. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 138(669), pp.2047-2065. doi:10.1002/qj.1936


Köhler, M., Ahlgrimm, M. and Beljaars, A., 2011. Unified treatment of dry convective and stratocumulus‐topped boundary layers in the ECMWF model. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 137(654), pp.43-57. doi:10.1002/qj.713

2010 and earlier:

Agustí‐Panareda, A., Beljaars, A., Ahlgrimm, M., Balsamo, G., Bock, O., Forbes, R., Ghelli, A., Guichard, F., Köhler, M., Meynadier, R. and Morcrette, J.J., 2010. The ECMWF re‐analysis for the AMMA observational campaign. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 136(651), pp.1457-1472. doi:10.1002/qj.662

Ahlgrimm, M. and Köhler, M., 2010. Evaluation of trade cumulus in the ECMWF model with observations from CALIPSO. Monthly Weather Review, 138(8), pp.3071-3083. doi:10.1175/2010MWR3320.1

Ahlgrimm, M., Randall, D.A. and Köhler, M., 2009. Evaluating cloud frequency of occurrence and cloud-top height using spaceborne lidar observations. Monthly Weather Review, 137(12), pp.4225-4237. doi:10.1175/2009MWR2937.1

Ahlgrimm, M. and Randall, D.A., 2006. Diagnosing monthly mean boundary layer properties from reanalysis data using a bulk boundary layer model. Journal of the atmospheric sciences, 63(3), pp.998-1012. doi:10.1175/JAS3669.1

thumbnail photo of Maike Ahlgrimm
Contact Details:
maike . ahlgrimmecmwf . int