Claudia Christine Stephan Why and How Do Clouds Form in Particular Locations?

Awarded a Minerva Fast Track Position in 2019, Dr. Claudia Stephan leads the Cloud Wave Coupling Group at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. Having completed her PhD at the University of Colorado, Stephan has also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Reading. Her main research interests include convection, atmospheric gravity waves and numerical modeling. Stephan is the Principal Investigator of the Radiosonde network of the EUREC4A field study.

Area of Research

Atmospheric Science

since 2019

Principal Investigator

Max Planck Society (more details)

EUREC4A field campaign

since 2019

Group Leader

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology


Postdoctoral Scientist

Max Planck Society (more details)

GWING Project - Gravity Wave Interactions in the Global atmosphere


Postdoctoral Scientist

University of Reading

National Centre for Atmospheric Science (Climate Division)



University of Colorado Boulder

Improving the Realism of Gravity Waves Generated by Convection in Numerical Models


Diploma of Physics

University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

Phenomenological Aspects of Local F-Theory Models


Studies of Physics and Meteorology

University of Bonn (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

© Maximilian Dörrbecker

Max Planck Society

Hamburg, Germany

"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)


Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

"The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) is an internationally renowned institute for climate research. Its mission is to understand Earth's changing climate. Scientists at the MPI-M investigate what determines the sensitivity of the Earth system to perturbations such as the changing composition of its atmosphere, and work toward establishing the sources and limits of predictability within the Earth system. For that purpose MPI-M develops and analyses sophisticated models of the Earth system. Targeted in-situ measurements and satellite observations complement the model simulations." (Source)


Our planet’s cloudiness has been heretofore understood as being controlled by the slowly varying, large scale, atmospheric circulation known as the Hadley cell. In this video, CLAUDIA STEPHAN argues that this model is overly simplistic. Bringing recent measurements taken over the Atlantic into dialogue with observational data gathered in Darwin on gravity waves, Stephan suggests that relationships between clouds and atmospheric waves can provide important insight into, and ultimately improve, weather and climate modeling.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Gravity Wave Influences on Mesoscale Divergence: An Observational Case Study

  • Claudia C. Stephan, Todd Lane and Christian Jacob
  • Geophysical Research Letters
  • Published in 2020
Claudia C. Stephan, Todd Lane and Christian Jacob. "Gravity Wave Influences on Mesoscale Divergence: An Observational Case Study." Geophysical Research Letters (2020). doi:10.1029/2019GL086539.