Professor in Atmospheric Dynamics
Director of the SCENARIO NERC Doctoral Training Partnership
Department of Meteorology,
University of Reading,
PO BOX 243, Earley Gate,
Reading, RG6 6BB, United Kingdom.
T: +44 118 378 6015
My research interests cover two distinct areas:
1. The dynamics of weather systems with emphasis on the role of Rossby waves. These waves include large-scale meanders on jetstreams in the upper troposphere, as well as temperature waves propagating near the ground. Interactions between these upper and lower level waves can result in their mutual growth and the rapid amplification of cyclones and anticyclones.
2. Airborne transport of atmospheric constituents, such as water vapour and pollution, with emphasis on chemical transformation during inter-continental transport and its effects on the slowly varying background state of the atmosphere.
A theme common to both areas is the use of tracers to tag air masses and infer the recent history of air mass modification by non-conservative processes including diabatic heating, changes in the phase of water or photochemistry. My research projects include:
Diabatic influences on mesoscale structures in extratropical storms (DIAMET)
DIAMET is a large consortium project which included an exciting field campaign in 4 periods spanning September 2011 until August 2012. This involved flying the UK's research aircraft into storms, examining the details of cloud processes and then calculating their effects on the evolution of storms and the structures embedded within them that can bring severe weather. The project continues to make new scientific findings from the campaign dataset and numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. It is funded by NERC within the Storms Risk Mitigation programme.
Fundamental influences of large-scale wave dynamics on tropical weather systems
Examining the dynamics of large-scale waves in the tropics, such as equatorial waves and African easterly waves. Most rainfall in the tropics occurs in mesoscale regions of convective rainfall that are embedded within these wave structures and propagate with them. Forecasts of these waves using models is poor - for example, African easterly waves typically decay in a few days in forecasts, while they are observed to propagate over many days across West Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. This NERC-funded project aims to develop theory of moist waves in shear and use a hierarchy of nonlinear simulations culminating in state-of-the-art NWP models. The goal is to understand the reasons underlying the poor forecast performance and ways in which it might be improved.
The project links with researchers and different stakeholders in Africa via AFCLIX (Africa Climate Exchange). Ros Cornforth is director of AFCLIX and also conducts research for this project, together with Steve Woolnough, Guiying Yang and Simon Peatman.
UK-wide wind power resource: extremes and variability
This project investigates variability and extremes in power generation, focusing on wind power across Great Britain. National Grid (funding the project) is responsible for the energy network across GB and managing energy supply and distribution across the country, in the face of natural variability and human influences, such as energy demand. Since large-scale energy storage is limited, supply must meet demand even on short timescales. Understanding the influence of environmental variability in renewable energy supplies is a central concern of the energy sector. We are also evaluating ensemble forecasts of wind energy and potential uses by the sector.
As part of the project we have created a hourly time series of GB-aggregated wind power generation which is open access.
Within our department I collaborate with the Dynamical Processes Research Group , the Mesoscale Group and the Energy Meteorology Group.
Link back to my staff page in the Department of Meteorology directory which includes links to my publications in the Centaur repository.