Prof Adrian Matthews, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Ben Webber, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Dr Tim Graham, Met Office
Dr Prince Xavier, Met Office
Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is the main tool behind weather forecasting of rainfall, temperature, winds and other meteorological variables. These forecasts are relied on for business planning, to protect life and property and by the general public. NWP is based on computer models of the physical laws that govern the atmosphere. The Met Office (CASE partner) runs one of the most advanced NWP systems in the world. As part of their ongoing drive to improve forecasts, they are moving beyond their “atmosphere-only” model and trialling a new “coupled ocean-atmosphere” NWP system including ocean processes. This is likely to improve forecast skill, particularly in the Tropics, where there are long-lived weather systems that interact strongly with the ocean, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), which is hard to forecast and linked to hazardous weather.
You will join a team of weather, climate and NWP experts at UEA and the Met Office. You will assess the forecast skill of atmosphere-only and coupled configurations of the Met Office NWP model to quantify the benefit of coupling, focusing on the Tropics and the MJO. Additionally, you will perform a process-based analysis to determine the atmospheric and oceanic mechanisms behind any increase in skill. You will provide recommendations to the Met Office for future development of their coupled NWP system.
You will be trained in the analysis of NWP model output using the python programming language, including use of specific python modules developed by the Met Office for analysing and visualising model output. Depending on your background, you will be trained in atmospheric physics, meteorology and oceanography to equip you for the process-based analysis. In addition to frequent teleconferences with the Met Office co-supervisors, you will undertake visits to the Met Office for training in running and analysing the Met Office model. You will present your work at an international scientific conference.
You will be a physical sciences graduate (physics, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, or similar), with a keen interest in applying theoretical understanding to solve real world environmental problems. Programming skills (e.g., Python, Matlab, Java) will be beneficial.