Press Releases

Meteorologists discuss changing weather and climate extremes – University of Reading

Release Date : 20 January 2004

Extreme weather and climate – such as the Summer 2003 heat wave and the Autumn 2000 floods – will be the subject of lively debate at a Royal Meteorological Society meeting on Wednesday 21 January. Speakers at the meeting, which has been organised by David Stephenson and Chris Ferro of the University of Reading's Department of Meteorology, will discuss the forecasting, analysis and modelling of extreme weather and climate conditions. Dr David Stephenson will open the meeting with a talk discussing the definition of extreme events and some of the important attributes needed to characterise and interpret such events. Recently developed statistical methods will be presented for analysing and understanding changes in weather and climate extremes. Professor Martin Beniston, of the University of Fribourg, will look at how the 2003 heat wave that affected much of Europe from June to September bears a close resemblance to what many regional climate models are projecting for summers in the latter part of the 21st century. The forecasting of extreme weather events will be discussed by Dr Francois Lalaurette European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, while Dr Chris Ferro will look at statistical analyses of extremes from a regional climate model. Dr Simon Brown, of the Met Office, Hadley Centre, will focus on changes and uncertainty in extreme events due to increased CO2 from a large model ensemble. Dr Nick Reynard will at models used to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on flood flows. The full list of topics and speakers at the meeting is: Extremes: what are they and why study them? Dr David Stephenson, University of Reading. The 2003 heatwave in Europe: a shape of things to come? Prof Martin Beniston, University of Fribourg. Extreme weather events: could we be warned earlier? Dr Francois Lalaurette, European Centre for Medium- Range Weather Forecasts. Statistical analyses of extremes from a regional climate model Dr Chris Ferro, University of Reading. Changes and uncertainty in extreme events due to increased CO2 from a large model ensemble Dr Simon Brown, Met Office, Hadley Centre. Modelling the impacts of climate change on flood frequency in the UK Dr Nick Reynard, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford. End Notes for editors -The meeting takes place on Wednesday 21 January at 2.00 pm in the Zoological Society of London Meeting Rooms, London Zoo, Regent's Park. -Any journalists wishing to attend should contact Mark Best at London Zoo. Tel: 020 7449 6260, e-mail: -For more information about the Royal Meteorological Society and its regular Wednesday Meetings, go to


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