MetOffice@Reading - research groups based within the Department of Meteorology

The University of Reading is part of the Met Office Academic Partnership. Met Office staff have been based at the University of Reading for over 20 years, and currently around 25 scientists from the Met Office are hosted within the Meteorology building at Reading, working on convective-scale modelling and data assimilation, advanced nowcasting research, climate change and satellite observations. The group is known as MetOffice@Reading.

MetOffice@Reading scientists collaborate extensively with university researchers at Reading and elsewhere. Major current and recent collaborative projects include DIAMET (Diabatic Influences on Mesoscale Structures in Extratropical Storms), DYMECS (Dynamical and Microphysical Evolution of Convective Storms), FREE (Flood Risk from Extreme Events), CSIP (Convective Storm Initiation Project) and FASTEX (Fronts and Atlantic Storm Track Experiment). Details of current reserach groups, themes and research leaders are given below.

Research groups and areas


Led by Sue Ballard and including Expert Scientist Graeme Kelly, this group is based entirely at Reading and is part of the Data Assimilation and Ensembles Section of the Met Office. Their work includes:

  • Development of convective scale 3D and 4D variational data assimilation, background error covariances and ETKF
  • Exploitation of novel observations in convective scale data assimilation such as radar Doppler wind and reflectivity data, satellite atmospheric motion vectors, geostationary satellite radiances, ceilometer backscatter
  • Development of an advanced nowcasting system producing 4D-Var analyses and 6 hour forecasts every hour at 1.5 km resolution over Southern England

Atmospheric Process & Parametrizations

Led by Humphrey Lean and including Expert Scientist Nigel Roberts, this group is based entirely at Reading and is part of the Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations Section of the Met Office. Their work includes:

  • Improvement of the convection permitting versions of the Met Office Unified Model, its application and interpretation
  • Investigating convective processes
  • Convective-scale predictability and ensemble prediction
  • Urban and sub-km-scale modelling

Climate and Applied Science

MetOffice@Reading includes a number of Hadley Centre staff from Climate and Applied Science in the Met Office. This includes Principal Research Fellow John Mitchell FRS; Richard Jones, Science Fellow, and Simon Wilson, Expert Scientific Software Engineer, in the International Development team in Applied Science; and Jason Lowe Met Office Hadley Centre Head of Climate Services for UK Government. Their work includes:

  • Providing policy-relevant evidence and research on avoiding dangerous climate change and its impacts
  • Developing models and techniques to produce regional climate information for climate change impacts and adaptation assessments, often with a focus on, and collaboration in, developing country regions
  • Understanding anthropogenic climate change

Satellite Applications

MetOffice@Reading includes staff from the Satellite Applications Section of the Met Office. They work on:

  • NWP Satellite Applications Facility collaborative project that develops tools to exploit satellite data for Numerical Weather Prediction, one of eight Satellite Application Facilities funded by EUMETSAT

Upper Air Observations

MetOffice@Reading includes staff from the Upper Air Observations Group, part of the Observations Research and Development Section of the Met Office and includes Senior Scientist Catherine Gaffard and Zhihong Li. Their work includes:

  • Ceilometer observations
  • Wind profiler observations

Dynamics Research

Terry Davies from the Dynamics Research Section works on the development and maintainance of the atmospheric dynamical core of the Met Office's Unified Model.

Internal reports
Much of the work done by members of the MetOffice@Reading group - previously known as the JCMM - was published in the form of internal reports (discontinued in 2003). If you would like more information on these reports, or if you would like a copy, please send an email to Khalid Mahmood


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