Neil Lareau

Assistant Professor
Headshot of Neil Lareau


Dr. Lareau joined the University of Nevada, Reno in 2018. His research program leverages modern observing and modeling systems to advance our understanding of atmospheric dynamics across a range of scales. Dr. Lareau's previous professional appointments include: Faculty at San Jose State University, post-doctoral scholar at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Post-Doctoral Scholar at San Jose State University. Dr. Lareau earned both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from the University of Utah. He also holds an undergraduate degree (BFA) in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University.

Research interests

My research focuses on high-impact weather in the western United States. Research foci include: Fire weather and wildfire plume dynamics, complex terrain boundary layers, cumulus convection, orographic precipitation, and synoptic-scale weather systems.

Courses taught

  • ATMS 410/610: Airflow and Weather Dynamics
  • ATMS 413/613: Introduction to Synoptic Meteorology


  • Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, 2014
  • M.S. in Atmospheric Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, 2010
  • BFA in Fine Art, Carnegie Mellon University,Pittsburgh, PA, 2002

Selected publications

  • Lareau, N. P., Donohoe, A., Roberts, M., & Ebrahimian, H. (2022). Tracking Wildfires with Weather Radars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 127(11), e2021JD036158
  • Lareau, N. P., Nauslar, N. J., Bentley, E., Roberts, M., Emmerson, S., Brong, B., ... & Wallman, J. (2022). Fire-generated tornadic vortices. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 103(5), E1296-E1320
  • Lareau, N. P., Nauslar, N. J., & Abatzoglou, J. T. (2018). The Carr Fire vortex: A case of pyrotornadogenesis?. Geophysical research letters, 45(23), 13-107.
  • Rodriguez, B., Lareau, N. P., Kingsmill, D. E., & Clements, C. B. (2020). Extreme pyroconvective updrafts during a megafire. Geophysical Research Letters, 47(18), e2020GL089001
  • Lee, J. M., Mirocha, J. D., Lareau, N. P., Whitney, T., To, W., Kochanski, A., & Lassman, W. (2023). Sensitivity of pyrocumulus convection to tree mortality during the 2020 Creek fire in California. Geophysical Research Letters, 50(16), e2023GL104193.
  • Juliano, T. W., Lareau, N., Frediani, M., Shamsaei, K., Eghdami, M., Kosiba, K. A., ... & Ebrahimian, H. (2022). Toward a Better Understanding of Wildfire Behavior in the Wildland-Urban Interface: A Case Study of the 2021 Marshall Fire. Geophysical Research Letters.
  • Daub, B. J., & Lareau, N. P. (2022). Observed Covariations in Boundary Layer and Cumulus Cloud-Layer Processes. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 61(10), 1497-1508
  • Lareau, N. P. (2020). Subcloud and Cloud-Base Latent Heat Fluxes during Shallow Cumulus Convection. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 77(3), 1081-1100.