Hua Leighton

Headshot photo of Hua Leighton. Photo Credit: NOAA/AOML

Research Highlights

Research Interests

Rapid intensification of hurricanes and the connection between microphysics and their manifestations on the macro-scale for hurricane development.

Hua Leighton, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist (University of Miami/CIMAS), Hurricane Research Division


4301 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149

Dr. Hua Leighton has studied the rapid intensification of hurricanes for over a decade. Recently she has expanded her interest into microphysics. Hua’s goal is to find the intricate link between the microphysics and their manifestations on the macro scale, such as hurricanes.

Current Work

Improving Bulk Microphysics Schemes for Hurricane Forecast Using In Situ Microphysics Observations and Spectra-Bin Microphysics Model

Ph.D., Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

M.S., Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

B.S., Oceanography, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China

  1. Leighton, H., R. Black, X. Zhang, and F.D. Marks. The relationship between reflectivity and rainfall rate from rain size distributions observed in hurricanes. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(23):e2022GL099332, 2022
    Ref. 4205
  2. Zawislak, J., R.F. Rogers, S.D. Aberson, G.J. Alaka, G. Alvey, A. Aksoy, L. Bucci, J. Cione, N. Dorst, J. Dunion, M. Fischer, J. Gamache, S. Gopalakrishnan, A. Hazelton, H.M. Holbach, J. Kaplan, H. Leighton, F. Marks, S.T. Murillo, P. Reasor, K. Ryan, K. Sellwood, J.A. Sippel, and J.A. Zhang. Accomplishments of NOAA’S airborne hurricane field program and a broader future approach to forecast improvement. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 103(2):E311-E338, 2022
    Ref. 3984
  3. Hristova-Veleva, S., P.P. Li, B. Knosp, Q. Vu, F.J. Turk, W.L. Poulsen, Z. Haddad, B. Lambrigtsen, B.W. Stiles, T.-P. Shen, N. Niamsuwan, S. Tanelli, O. Sy, E.-K. Seo, H. Su, D.G. Vane, Y. Chao, P.S. Callahan, R.S. Dunbar, M. Montgomery, M. Boothe, V. Tallapragada, S. Trahan, A.J. Wimmers, R. Holz, J.S. Reid, F. Marks, T. Vukicevic, S. Bhalachandran, H. Leighton, S. Gopalakrishnan, A. Navarro, and F.J. Tapiador. An eye on the storm: Integrating a wealth of data for quickly advancing the physical understanding and forecasting of tropical cyclones. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101(10):e1718-e1742, 2020
    Ref. 3802

2012 – 2013 National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship