Univ.-Prof. Dr. Volkmar Wirth

University Professor for Theoretical Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics at the

Institute for Atmospheric Physics
Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
Becherweg 21
55128 Mainz
Room 04-183 (426)
Phone +49 6131 39-22868
E-Mail vwirth@uni-mainz.de

Brief CV

  • 1987: Physics Diploma (University of Bonn) [more]
  • 1990: Master of Science in Meteorology (M.I.T.) [more]
  • 1992: PhD (University of Munich)  [more]
  • 1999: "Habilitation" (University of Munich)  [more]
  • 2000: Full Professor (University of Mainz)

Research interests

Rossby wave packets, forecast errors, tropopause dynamics, mountain meteorology, hurricanes, general circulation.

For more information about the research activities of my group at the University of Mainz, please follow this link.


At the University of Mainz I am involved in teaching courses for master and PhD students in Meteorology.
If you are interested in doing Bachelor, Master of PhD research in my group, please do not hesitate to contact me in order to find out current topics of interest.


Submitted --- in revision --- accepted --- in press:


  • R. White, K. Kornhuber, O. Martius, V. Wirth, 2021. From Atmospheric Waves to Heatwaves: A Waveguide Perspective for Understanding and Predicting Concurrent, Persistent and Extreme Extratropical Weather, DOI: 10.1175/BAMS-D-21-0170.1
  • G. C. Craig, A. H. Fink, C. Hoose, T. Janjic, P. Knippertz, A. Laurian, S. Lerch, B. Mayer, A. Miltenberger, M. Riemer, K. Tempest, , and V. Wirth, 2021. Waves to weather: Exploring the limits of predictability of weather. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 102:E2151–E2164, doi: 10.1175/BAMS–D–20–0035.1.
  • F. Grazzini, G. Fragkoulidis, F. Teubler, V. Wirth, and G. C. Craig. 2021. Extreme precipitation events over northern Italy. Part II: Dynamical precursors. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 147:1237–1257, https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.3969.
  • V. Wirth and C. Polster. 2021. The problem of diagnosing jet waveguidability in the presence of large-amplitude eddies. J. Atmos. Sci., 78, 3137–3151, https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS–D–20–0292.1.
  • Fragkoulidis, G., and V. Wirth, 2020: Local Rossby wave amplitude, phase speed, and group velocity: Seasonal variability and their role in temperature extremes. J. Climate, 33, 8767–8787, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0377.1.
  • Wirth, V., 2020: Waveguidability of idealized midlatitude jets and the limitations of ray tracing theory. Weather Clim. Dynam. Discuss. [Link to online version.]
  • Wirth, V., P. Bubel, J. Eichhorn, E. Schoemer, T. Kremer, R. Erbes, S. Schappert, and I. Prestel, 2020: The role of wind speed and wind shear for banner cloud formation. J. Atmos. Sci., [Link to online version]
  • Ghinassi, P., M. Baumgart, F. Teubler, M. Riemer, and V. Wirth, 2019: A budget equation for the amplitude of Rossby wave packets based on finite amplitude local wave activity. J. Atmos. Sci., early online, https://doi.org/10.1175/JASD190149.1, 2019.
  • Baumgart, M., P. Ghinassi, V. Wirth, T. Selz, G. Craig, and M. Riemer, 2019: Quantitative view on the processes governing the upscale error growth up to the planetary scale using a stochastic convection scheme. Mon. Wea. Rev., 147, 1713–1731. [Link to online version.]
  • Ghinassi, P., G. Frakoulidis, and V. Wirth. 2018: Local finite amplitude wave activity as a diagnostic for Rossby wave packets. Mon. Wea. Rev., 146, 4099–4114. [Link to online version.]
  • Zschenderlein, P., A. Fink, G. Fragkoulidis, V. Wirth 2018: Large-scale Rossby wave and synoptic-scale dynamic analyses of the unusually late 2016 heat wave over Europe. Weather, 73, 275–283.
  • Wirth, V., M. Riemer, E. K. M. Chang, O. Martius, 2018: Rossby Wave Packets on the Midlatitude Waveguide --- A Review. Mon. Wea. Rev., 146, 1965-2001. [Link to online version.]
  • Baumgart, M., M. Riemer, V. Wirth, F. Teubler, and S. T. K. Lang, 2018: Potentialvorticity dynamics of forecast errors: A quantitative case study. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 1405–1425, DOI:10.1175/MWR-D-17-0196.1.[Link to online version.]
  • Fragkoulidis, G., V. Wirth, P. Bossmann, and A. H. Fink, 2018: Linking Northern Hemisphere temperature extremes to Rossby wave packets. Qart. J. Roy. Met. Soc.144, 553-566. [Link to online version.]
  • Wolf, G., and V. Wirth, 2017: Diagnosing the horizontal propagation of Rossby wave packets along the midlatitude waveguide.Mon. Wea. Rev.145, 3247-3264. [Link to online version.]
  • Wirth, V., 2016: Orographische Bannerwolken: Systematische Untersuchungen zu einem faszinierenden Naturphänomen. PROMET98, 95-101.
  • Simmer, C., and collaborators, 2016: HErZ: German Hans-Ertel centre for weather research. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 1057--1068. [Link to online version.]
  • Prestel, I., and V. Wirth, 2016: What flow conditions are conducive to banner cloud formation? J. Atmos. Sci.73, 2385-2402.[Link to online version.]
  • Schappert, S., and V. Wirth, 2015: Origin and Flow History of Air Parcels in Orographic Banner Clouds. J. Atmos. Sci.72, 3389-3403. [Link to online version.]
  • Frueh, B., V. Wirth, J. Egger, A. Pfeiffer, and J. W. Schipper, 2015. In: Regional Assessment of Global Change Impacts: The GLOWA-Danube Projekt. Chapter on Precipitation and Temperature. DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-16751-9-32, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
  • Rendon, A. M., V. Wirth, J. F. Salazar, and C. A. Palacio, 2015: Temperatur inversion breakup with impacts on air quality in urban valleys influence by topographic shading. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol.54, 392-321. [Link to online version.]
  • Wolf, G., and V. Wirth, 2015: Implications of the semigeostrophic nature of Rossby waves for Rossby wave packet detection. Mon. Wea. Rev.143, 26-38. [Link to online version.]
  • Kunkel, D., P. Hoor, and V. Wirth, 2014: Can inertia-gravity waves persistently alter the tropopause inversion layer? Geophys. Res. Lett.41, 7822-7829, doi:10.1002/2014GL061970.
  • Broetz, B., R. Eigenmann, A. Doernbrack, T. Foken, and V. Wirth 2014. Early-morning flow transition in a valley in low-mountain terrain under clear-sky conditions. Boundary Layer Meteorology, 152, 45--63, DOI 10.1007/s10546-014-9921-7. [Link to online version.]
  • Yelash, L., A. Mueller, M. Lukacova-Medvidova, F. X. Giraldo, and V. Wirth 2014: Adaptive discontinuous evolution Galerkin method for dry atmospheric flow. J. Computational Physics268, 106-133, doi:10.1016/j.jcp.2014.02.034. [Link to online version.]
  • Rendon, A. M., J. F. Salazar, C. A. Palacio, V. Wirth and B. Broetz, 2014: Effects of Urbanization on the Temperature Inversion Breakup in a Mountain Valley with Implications for Air Quality. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol.53, 840-858. [Link to online version.]
  • Wirth, V., and J. Eichhorn, 2014: Long-lived Rossby wave trains as precursors to strong winter cyclones over Europe. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc.140, 729-737. [Link to online version.]
  • Glatt, I., and V. Wirth, 2014: Identifying Rossby wave trains and quantifying their properties. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc.140, 384-396. [Link to online version.]
  • Voigt, M., and V. Wirth, 2013: Mechanisms of Banner Cloud Formation. J. Atmos. Sci.70, 3631-3640. [Link to online version.]
  • Mueller, A., F. X. Giraldo, and V. Wirth, 2013: Comparison between adaptive and uniform discontinuous Galerkin simulations in dry 2D bubble experiments. J. Comput. Phys.235, 371-393. [Link to online version.]
  • Blackburn, M., and collaborators, 2013: The Aqua-Planet Experiment (APE): CONTROL SST simulation. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan91A, 17-56. DOI:10.2151/jmsj.2013-A02.
  • Williamson, D. L., and collaborators, 2013: The Aqua-Planet Experiment (APE): Response to changed meridional SST profile. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan91A, 57-89. DOI:10.2151/jmsj.2013-A03.
  • Williamson, D. L., and collaborators, 2012: The APE Atlas. NCAR Techniacl Note, NCAR/TN-484+STR. [Available online.]
  • Wirth, V., M. Kristen, M. Leschner, J. Reuder, and J. H. Schween, 2012: Banner clouds observed at Mount Zugspitze. Atmos. Chem. Phys.12, 3611-3625. [Available online.]
  • Glatt, I., A. Dörnbrack, S. Jones, J. Keller, O. Martius, A. Müller, D. H. W. Peters, and V. Wirth, 2011: Utility of Hovmöller diagrams to diagnose Rossby wave trains. Tellus63A, 991-1006.
  • Erler, A., and V. Wirth, 2011: The Static Stability of the Tropopause Region in Adiabatic Baroclinic Life Cycle Experiments. J. Atmos. Sci.68 1178-1193.[Link to online version.]
  • Reinert, D., and V. Wirth, 2009: A New Large-Eddy Simulation Model for Simulating Air Flow and Warm Clouds Above Highly Complex Terrain. Part II: The Moist Model and its Application to Banner Clouds. Boundary-Layer Meteorology133 113-136.
  • Wirth, V., and T. J. Dunkerton, 2009: The Dynamics of Eye Formation and Maintenance in Axisymmetric Diabatic Vortices. J. Atmos. Sci66, 3601-3620.[Link to online version.]
  • Müller, A., and V. Wirth, 2009: Resolution dependence of the tropopause inversion layer in an idealized model for upper tropospheric anticyclones. J. Atmos. Sci66, 3491-3497. [Link to online version.]
  • Reinert, D., and V. Wirth, 2008: The Origin and Dynamics of Banner Clouds: An Analysis Based on Large Eddy Simulations.Proceedings of the 13th Conference of Mountain Meteorology, 11-15 August 2008, Whistler, Canada10B4[reprint]
  • Reinert, D., J. Eichhorn, W.-G. Panhans, and V. Wirth, 2007: A new LES model for simulating air flow and warm clouds above highly complex terrain. Part I: The dry model. Boundary Layer Meteorology125, 109-132, doi: 10.1007/s10,546-007-9183-8.
  • Frueh, B., and V. Wirth, 2007: Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) in mixed phase cloud conditions. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc.133, 561-569 .[Link to online version.]
  • Schween, J., J. Kuettner, D. Reinert, J. Reuder, and V. Wirth, 2007: Definition of 'banner clouds' based on time lapse movies.Atmos. Chem. Phys.7, 2047-2055. [Available online.]
  • Wirth, V., and T. Szabo, 2007: Sharpness of the extratropical tropopause in baroclinic life cycle experiments. Geophys. Res. Lett.34, L02809, doi:10.1029/2006GL028369. [Link to online version.]
  • Früh, B., J. W. Schipper, A. Pfeiffer, and V. Wirth, 2006: A pragmatic ap​_proach for downscaling precipitation in alpine-scale complex terrain. Met. Z. (N.F.)15, 631-646.
  • Wirth, V., and T. J. Dunkerton, 2006: A unified perspective on the dynamics of axisymmetric hurricanes and monsoons. J. Amos. Sci63, 2529-2547. [Link to online version]
  • Engel, A., and collaborators, 2006: Highly resolved observations of trace gases in the lowermost stratosphere and upper troposphere from the SPURT project: an overview. ACP6, 283-301. [Available online.]
  • Hegglin, M. I., D. Brunner, Th. Peter, J. Staehelin, V. Wirth, P. Hoor and H. Fischer, 2005: Determination of turbulent diffusivity in the lowermost stratosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett32 L13812, [Link to online version]
  • Wirth, V., H. Borth, J.-F. Lopez, W.-G. Panhans, M. Riemer and T. Szabo, 2005: Dynamics in the Extratropical Tropopause Region: A Case of Transition Between Dynamically Active and Passive Tracer Advection? Q. J. Roy. Met. Soc.131, 247-258.[Link to online version]
  • Engel, A., et al., 2004: Trace gas transport in the tropopause region (SPURT). AFO 2000 Newsletter9, 11-14
  • Wirth, V., 2004: Sommerlich Wetterextreme: Zufall oder Zeichen? Forschungsmagazin der Johannes Guternberg-Universität Mainz20, 46-51
  • Hoor, P., et al., 2004: New insights into upward transport across the extratropical tropopause derived from extensive in-situ measurements during the SPURT project. SPARC Newsletter22, 29-31
  • Wirth, V., 2004: A Dynamical Mechanism for Tropopause Sharpening. Met. Zeitschrift13 , 477-484. [Link to online version]
  • Stohl, A., et al., 2003: Stratosphere-troposphere exchange: A review, and what we have learned from STACCATO. J. Geophys. Res.108, doi:10.1029/2002JD002490
  • Wirth, V., 2003: Static Stability in the Extratropical Tropopause Region. J. Atmos. Sci.60, 1395-1409. [preprint]
  • Zängl, G., and V. Wirth, 2002: Synoptic-scale variability of the polar and subpolar tropopause: Data analysis and idealized PV inversions. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc.128, 2301-2315. [preprint]
  • Wirth, V., 2001: Detection of Hidden Regimes in Stochastic Cyclostationary Time Series. Phys. Rev. E64, 016136(6). [preprint]
  • Hauck, Ch., and V. Wirth, 2001: Diagnosing the impact of stratospheric planetary wave breaking in a linear model. J. Atmos. Sci., 581357-1370.
  • Wirth, V., 2001: Cyclone-Anticyclone Asymmetry Concerning the Height of the Thermal and the Dynamical Tropopause. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 26-37. [preprint]
  • Zängl, G., J. Egger, and V. Wirth, 2001: Diurnal winds in the Himalayan Kali Gandaki valley. Part II: modelling. Mon. Wea. Rev.129, 1062-1080.
  • Forster, C., and V. Wirth, 2000: Radiative decay of idealized stratospheric filaments in the troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 105, 10,169-10,184.
  • Wirth, V., 2000: Thermal versus dynamical tropopause in upper tropospheric balanced flow anomalies. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 126, 299-317.
  • Egger, J., et al., 2000: Diurnal winds in the Himalayan Kali Gandaki valley. Part I: observations. Mon. Wea. Rev., 128, 1106-1122.
  • Wirth, V., and J. Egger, 1999: Diagnosing extratropical synoptic-scale stratosphere-troposphere exchange: a case study. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 125, pp. 635-655.
  • Wirth, V., 1998: Thermally forced stationary axisymmetric flow on the f-plane in a nearly frictionless atmosphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 55, pp. 3024-3041.
  • Zierl, B., and V. Wirth, 1997: The role of radiation for stratosphere-troposphere exchange in an upper tropospheric anticyclone. J. Geophys. Res., 102, pp. 23,883-23,894.
  • Wirth, V., Ch. Appenzeller, and M. Juckes, 1997: Signatures of induced vertical air motion accompanying quasi-horizontal roll-up of stratospheric intrusions. Mon. Wea. Rev., 125, pp. 2504-2519.
  • Wirth, V., 1996: Quasi-geostrophic dynamics of an upper tropospheric PV anomaly in two idealized high resolution models and related stratosphere-troposphere exchange. Contr. Atmos. Phys., 69, pp. 333-347.
  • Wirth, V., 1995: Comments on "A New Formulation of the Exchange of Mass and Trace Constituents between the Stratosphere and Troposphere". J. Atmos. Sci., 52, pp. 2491-2493.
  • Wirth, V., 1995: Diabatic heating in an axisymmetric cut-off cyclone and related stratosphere-troposphere exchange. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 121, pp. 127-147.
  • Wirth, V., 1993: Quasi-Stationary Planetary Waves in Total Ozone and Their Correlation With Lower Stratospheric Temperature. J. Geophys. Res., 98, pp. 8873-8882.
  • Wirth, V., 1991: What causes the seasonal cycle of stationary planetary waves in the southern stratosphere? J. Atmos. Sci., 48, pp. 1194-1200.
  • Wirth, V., 1989: Effective energy resolution and scatter rejection in nuclear medicine. Phys. Med. Biol., 34, pp. 85-90.

This page was last updates on 10 December 2019