Over the past 50 years, we have been carrying out research into processes that control the evolution and predictability of weather from hours to days. Using a combination of numerical weather prediction modelling and field experiments we conduct research into atmospheric dynamics, such as the movement of storms and jet streams, and into physical processes such as clouds, rainfall and land-atmosphere interactions. We are also developing new research into high resolution modelling and data assimilation at the convective scale as well as ground-based remote sensing.
Alongside our core research, we tackle problems of societal interest. For instance, we investigate meteorological processes that determine air quality, from dispersion by urban turbulence in a street, to weather systems that transport pollutants over large distances. We model and observe severe weather events, such as intense convection and weather systems. We have recently grown our expertise in areas of environmental prediction, such as hydrology and flooding, urban meteorology, and energy meteorology. Research into weather processes is a key part of our long-standing relationship with the Met Office with whom we have an Academic Partnership.
Several of our postdoctoral staff are funded by the Atmospheric Physics Weather Directorate of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).
We have developed and tested models that predict the dispersal of volcanic ash.
- Martinez-Alvarado, O., Madonna, E., Gray, S. L. and Joos, H. (2015) A route to systematic error in forecasts of Rossby waves. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. ISSN 1477-870X doi: 10.1002/qj.2645 (In Press)
- Novak, L., Ambaum, M. H. P. and Tailleux, R. (2015) The life cycle of the North Atlantic storm track. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 72 (2). pp. 821-833. ISSN 1520-0469 doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0082.1
- Barlow, J. F., Halios, C. H., Lane, S. E. and Wood, C. R. (2015) Observations of urban boundary layer structure during a strong urban heat island event. Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 15 (2). pp. 1567-7419. ISSN 1567-7419 doi: 10.1007/s10652-014-9335-6
The threat of terrorist attacks, like the risk of accidents, is an unfortunate probability that we need to take seriously and be prepared for.
Find out more about our current projects:
Working with National Grid (Dan Drew, Janet Barlow, Phil Coker, Omduth Coceal)
Since 2001, researchers from the Research Division have carried out a retrospective analysis of data from the Great Storm of October 1987. Results have led to identifying and understanding a region of extremely strong winds within some storms. We have termed these winds a “sting jet”.
In collaboration with the Met Office, our researchers have developed ways to identify sting jets in current and imminent weather. They have also developed methods to forecast these extremely damaging events up to several days in advance. Our techniques are now used in the UK National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS) and in European storm forecasts.
Since the development of this new early warning capability, events have been too few to compile proper statistics; however, there is general agreement amongst the emergency services, local government officials and insurers that the improved warnings of extreme winds have saved lives, minimised disruption and generated considerable cost savings.
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