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Hannah Cloke

Black and white image of Professor Hannah Cloke
  • Co-Director of Water@Reading with Dr Liz Stephens
  • Research in modelling environmental processes and forecasting natural hazards
  • Independent scientific advisor to government, forecasting and humanitarian agencies
  • Postgraduate research supervision and undergraduate/postgraduate teaching

Areas of interest

  • Forecasting floods, droughts, heatwaves, landslides and other natural hazards
  • Early warning and evidence based decision-making for disaster risk management
  • Global earth system modelling and applications of Numerical Weather Prediction
  • Climate change impact on environmental processes, natural hazards and water resources
  • Forecast verification and uncertainty analysis
  • Science communication

Postgraduate supervision

Hannah currently supervises a number of postgraduates:

  • Chloe Brimicombe: Pan-African heatwave health hazard forecasting. With ECMWF. Funded by a University of Reading regional bursary.
  • Jeff Da Costa: Early Warning of hydrometeorological hazards on a local scale. 
  • Early warning of flash flood and landslide risk in S Asia. Funded by NERC SHEAR Programme. With ECMWF and British Geological Survey.
  • Karolina Krupska: Projecting intensive rainfall events and their impact on bathing water quality in SW England. With Environment Agency.
  • Clare Lewis: Meteotsunamis in a changing climate: The future of coastal vulnerability & resilience. With Plymouth Marine Lab.
  • Joy Ommer: Reducing risk to hydrological extremes with Nature-based Solutions. OPERANDUM project. With industry partner Kajo Services.
  • Statistical analysis of ECMWF Ensemble to improve rainfall inputs in real-time flood forecasting systems. Forecast Department, ECMWF.
  • Verification and diagnostics of ensemble-based earth-system models. Funded by a Wilkie Calvert Studentship at ECMWF.
  • Global flood predictability, early warning and the communication of probabilistic forecasts. Funded by the Met Office.
  • Maureen Wanzala: Seamless seasonal to sub-seasonal forecasts of flood risk in River Nzioa Basin. Funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship .
  • Understanding global flood hazard climatology for improved early flood warning. Funded by a Wilkie Calvert Studentship at ECMWF.

Hannah also co-supervises a number of other student projects:

  • Global Real Time Flood Risk Forecasting. Open University/HR Wallingford.
  • Extended range hydrometeorological forecasting for improved flood early warning to supporting earlier flood preparedness. Funded by NERC SHEAR.
  • Developing a Quaternary Lake Basin Model for the Ponto-Caspian Basins (Black Sea, Caspian Sea). Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher.
  • Multi-model data assimilation techniques for flood forecasting. Funded by EPSRC.
  • Phiala Mehring: Implementing Natural Flood Risk Management. Funded by University of Reading regional scholarship.
  • Climate variability and extended-range flood forecasting for the Peruvian Amazon. With Red Cross Climate Centre. Funded by NERC SCENARIO.
  • Hydrological extremes and society: case studies. At Uppsala University.
  • Impact-based forecasting of drought event. At Uppsala University. With ECMWF & SMHI.

Postdoctoral researchers and research fellows:

  • Dr David Mason (Senior research fellow in remote sensing and data assimilation for hydrology)
  • Dr Mal├ęki Badjana LANDWISE project
  • Dr Claudia Di Napoli, With ECMF
  • Dr Andrea Ficchi, FATHUM project
  • Dr Linda Speight, FATHUM project

Research projects

  • Hydrosocialextremes. Led by Prof Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Uppsala University. 2018-2023.
  • Earth System modelling, land surface processes and flood forecasting. ECMWF Fellowship. 2020-2023.
  • EVOFLOOD. The Evolution of Global Flood Risk. Led by Prof Dan Parsons (Hull) and Prof Steve Darby (Southampton) NERC Large Grant. 2021-2026.
  • DARE (Data Assimilation for the REsilient City) Pilot project: Improved urban flood mapping: dependence of SAR double scattering on building orientation. Led by Dr David Mason & Prof Sarah Dance. EPSRC 2019-2022.
  • Learning from Cyclone Idai and Kenneth: Presenting and using flood forecast information to support humanitarian response. NERC/DFID Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) Programme. 2019-2021.
  • LANDWISE LAND Management in lowland catchments for Integrated flood riSk rEduction, NERC Natural Flood Management Programme. Led by Prof Jo Clark. 2018-2021.
  • FATHUM. Forecasts for AnTicipatory HUManitarian action (FATHUM). NERC/DFID Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) Programme. See: Forecast based Financing. Led by Dr Liz Stephens. 2017-2021.


  • Professor Dr Hannah L. Cloke OBE is a physical geographer, natural hazards researcher, climate scientist and hydrologist specialising in earth system modelling, flood forecasting, catchment hydrology, applications of Numerical Weather Predictions and science communication. She leads a wide programme of research on the theoretical and practical development of early warning systems for natural hazards, particularly for floods, droughts, heatwaves and disaster risk management.
  • Hannah advises government, forecasting authorities and humanitarian agencies on national and international flooding incidents and forecasting science and provides expert commentary in the media. She is currently a Fellow of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) where she is researching Earth System modelling, land surface processes and flood forecasting. Hannah's research also partners with the Environment Agency, the UK Met Office, the Red Cross Climate Centre & many other climate services, forecasting agencies and humanitarian actors. Hannah is a member of is a member of HEPEX and has worked as research partner for the EU's Copernicus Emergency Management Service for Floods since 2003.
  • Hannah was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to flood forecasting and the development of hazard early warning systems. She has also been awarded the NERC Early Career Impact Award in 2015, the 2018 Plinius Medal of the European Geosciences Union and the 2019 British Hydrological Society's President's Prize. Hannah is an elected fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society and since 2020 has been a member of UKRI-NERC Council.
  • Hannah obtained a BSc (1999) and PhD (2003) in Geography from the University of Bristol, UK. She then worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy on the European Flood Alert System and then from 2004 lectured at in the Department of Geography at King's College London, UK. In 2012 she moved to the University of Reading; to a joint post between the Department of Geography and Environmental Science and the Department of Meteorology.

Hannah is co-located in the University of Reading Department of Meteorology and is Visiting Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden.


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