Diao, Minghui



Associate Professor   

Department of Meteorology and Climate Science                        


Phone: (408) 924-7371
Fax: (408) 924-5191

minghui.diao at sjsu.edu

One Washington Square 
San Jose, CA 95192-0104

Group website: www.cloud-research.org



Ph.D. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2013

B.S. Environmental Sciences, Peking University, China, 2008



CV and group members: https://www.cloud-research.org/people


Fellowships and Awards

2019 San Jose State University Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award

2018 NCAR Advanced Study Program Faculty fellowship

2016 NCAR Advanced Study Program Faculty fellowship

2013 - 2015 NCAR Advanced Study Program (ASP) postdoctoral fellowship

2012 Walbridge Fund Graduate Award, Princeton University

2012 Princeton Environment and Climate Scholars (PECS) Award

2010 American Geophysical Union 2010 Fall Meeting, Outstanding Student Paper Award, San Francisco, USA

2009 American Geophysical Union 2009 Spring Assembly, Outstanding Student Paper Award, Toronto, Canada

2009 NSF Graduate Student Travel Award to Water Vapor and Climate System (WAVACS) workshop, France

2009 - 2012 NASA Earth and Space Science (NESSF) Fellowship

2008 - 2012 Francis Robbins Upton Graduate Fellowship at Princeton University

2008 Honored Bachelor Thesis and Honored Bachelor at Peking University

2007 Jun-Tsung Fellowship awarded by Nobel Laureate Tsung-Dao Lee to undergraduate students in China


Research interests

Aircraft-based and remote sensing observations of water vapor, clouds and aerosols

Remote sensing of aerosol optical depth and downscaling of PM2.5 fields

Observations and simulations of cloud dynamics, cloud macro- and microphysical properties

Aerosol indirect effects on cloud characteristics and radiative forcing



METR 112 Global Climate Change

METR 125 Physical Meteorology

METR 215 Advanced Physical Meteorology


  • Patnaude, R., M. Diao, X. Liu, S. Chu. Effects of Thermodynamics, Dynamics and Aerosols on Cirrus Clouds Based on In Situ Observations and NCAR CAM6 Model. Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry Discussion, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-497, in review, 2020.
  • Patnaude R. and M. Diao, Aerosol indirect effects on cirrus clouds based on global aircraft observations, Geophysical Research Letter, 47, e2019GL086550. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086550, 2020.
  • Diao M., T. Holloway, S. Choi, S.M. O’Neill, M.Z. Al-Hamdan, A. van Donkelaar, R.V. Martin, X. Jin, A.M. Fiore, D.K. Henze, F. Lacey, P.L. Kinney, F. Freedman, N.K. Larkin, Y. Zou, J.T. Kelly, and A. Vaidyanathan. Methods, availability, and applications of PM2.5 exposure estimates derived from ground measurements, satellite, and atmospheric models, Journal of Air & Water Waste Management, https://doi.org/10.1080/10962247.2019.1668498, 2019. (review article)
  • Zhang, M., X. Liu, M. Diao, J. D’Alessandro, Y. Wang, C. Wu, D. Zhang, Z. Wang, and S. Xie, Impacts of representing heterogeneous distribution of cloud liquid and ice on phase partitioning of Arctic mixed‐phase clouds with NCAR CAM5, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere, 124, 13071–13090. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD030502, 2019.
  • D’Alessandro, J., M. Diao, C. Wu, X. Liu, B. Stephens, and J.B. Jensen, Cloud phase and relative humidity distribution over the Southern Ocean based on in-situ observations and global climate model simulations, Journal of Climate, 32, 2781–2805, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0232.1, 2019.
  • Diao, G.H. Bryan, H. Morrison, and J.B. Jensen, Ice nucleation parameterization and relative humidity distribution in idealized squall line simulations, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74, 2761–2787, https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-16-0356.1, 2017.
  • Stephens B.B. et al., The O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) Study, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99, 381–402, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0206.1, 2018.
  • Wu, C., X. Liu, M. Diao, K. Zhang, A. Gettelman, Z. Lu, J.E. Penner, and Z. Lin. Direct comparisons of ice cloud macro- and microphysical properties simulated by the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 with HIPPO aircraft observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp-17-4731-2017, 2017.
  • D'Alessandro, J. J., M. Diao, C. Wu, X. Liu, M. Chen, H. Morrison, T. Eidhammer, J.B. Jensen, A. Bansemer, M.A. Zondlo, J.P. DiGangi. Dynamical conditions of ice supersaturation and ice nucleation in convective systems: a comparative analysis between in-situ aircraft observations and WRF simulations, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere, 122, doi:10.1002/2016JD025994, 2017.
  • Tan, X., Y. Huang, M. Diao, A. Bansemer, M. A. Zondlo, J. P. DiGangi, R. Volkamer, and Y. Hu. An assessment of the radiative effects of ice supersaturation based on in situ observations, Geophysical Research Letter, 43, 11,039–11,047, doi:10.1002/2016GL071144, 2016.
  • Diao, M., J.B. Jensen, L.L. Pan, E. Jensen, C.R. Homeyer, S. Honomichl, J.F. Bresch and A. Bansemer. “Distributions of ice supersaturation and ice crystals from airborne observations in relation to upper tropospheric dynamical boundaries”, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere, 120, 5101–5121. doi: 10.1002/2015JD023139, 2015.
  • Diao, M., M.A. Zondlo, A.J. Heymsfield and S.P. Beaton. “Hemispheric comparison of cirrus cloud evolution using in situ measurements in HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations”, Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2014GL059873, 2014.
  • Diao, M., M.A. Zondlo, A.J. Heymsfield, L.M. Avallone, M.E. Paige, S.P. Beaton, T. Campos and D.C. Rogers. “Cloud-scale ice supersaturated regions spatially correlate with high water vapor heterogeneities”, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 2639-2656, 2014.
  • Diao, M., M.A. Zondlo, A.J. Heymsfield, D.C. Rogers and S.P. Beaton. “Evolution of ice crystal regions on the microscale based on in situ observations”, Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (13), 3473-3478, doi: 10.1002/grl.50665, 2013.
  • Diao, M., L. Jumbam, J. Sheffield, E. Wood and M.A. Zondlo. “Validation of AIRS/AMSU-A water vapor and temperature data with in situ aircraft observations from surface to UT/LS at 87°N–67°S”, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 118 (12), 6816–6836, 2013.
  • Cziczo, D.J., K.D. Froyd, C. Hoose, E.J. Jensen, M. Diao, M.A. Zondlo, J.B. Smith, C. Twohy and D.M. Murphy. “Cirrus clouds form predominantly on mineral dust and metallic aerosol, not elemental carbon or biological particles”, Science, 340 (6138), 1320–1324, 2013.
  • Kort, E.A., S.C. Wofsy, B.C. Daube, M. Diao, J.W. Elkins, R.S. Gao, E.J. Hintsa, D.F. Hurst, R. Jimenez, F.L. Moore, J.R. Spackman and M.A. Zondlo. “Atmospheric observations of high latitude Arctic Ocean methane emissions”, Nature Geoscience, 5, 318-321, 2012.
  • Wofsy, S.C. et al. “HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO): Fine grained, global scale measurements of climatically important atmospheric gases and aerosols”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 369 (1943), 2073-2086, 2011.
  • Wunch, D. et al. “Calibration of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network using aircraft profile data”. Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1351-1362, 2010.
  • Diao, M. and M. Yao. “Use of Zero-Valent Iron Nanoparticles in Inactivating Microbes”, Water Research, 43:5243-5251, 2009.


Field campaigns



NSF The Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation, Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES)

Hobart, Australia


NSF The O2/N2 Ratio and CO2 Airborne Southern Ocean (ORCAS) Study

Punta Arenas, Chile

2008 - 2011

NSF HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) global campaign deployment #1-5

North America and the Central Pacific Ocean

April 2013

AQUAVIT-2 campaign, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany

May 2012

NSF Deep Convective Clouds & Chemistry Experiment (DC3) campaign, Kansas, US

Jan/Feb 2012

NSF Tropical Ocean Troposphere Exchange of reactive halogen species and oxygenated VOC (TORERO) campaign, Costa Rica and Chile

September 2010

NSF Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) campaign, US Virgin Islands

April-June 2008

NSF Stratosphere-Troposphere Analyses of Regional Transport (START08) campaign, Colorado, US