The Department of Meteorology, University of Reading hosts around 25 scientists from the Met Office within the Meteorology building at Reading, working on convective-scale modelling and data assimilation, advanced nowcasting research, climate change and satellite observations.

The Met Office has had staff at the University of Reading for over 20 years. This was originally part of the Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology (JCMM) but now that Met Office staff with wider interests are located at Reading the name has been changed to MetOffice@Reading. The University of Reading is also part of the Met Office Academic Partnership.

MetOffice@Reading scientists collaborate extensively with University researchers at Reading and elsewhere. Major current and recent projects that they've collaborated on 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).

Research groups and areas

Advanced Nowcasting Research Group

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 6hour forecasts every hour at 1.5km resolution over Southern England

Mesoscale Modelling Research Group

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 Science

MetOffice@Reading includes a number of Hadley Centre staff from the Climate Science Programme of the Met Office. This includes Principal Research Fellow John Mitchell FRS, Peter Stott the Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution, Richard Jones who leads the Regional Prediction Group and Jason Lowe who leads the Climate Change Advice Group. Their work includes:

  • Developing observational data
  • Monitoring and interpreting climate variations and change
  • Attributing causes of changes to different aspects of the climate system to human and/or natural influences
  • 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, including NWP SAF Manager Bryan Conway. 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
  • EUMETSAT fellowship on next generation geostationary satellite winds

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. Their work includes:

  • Ceilometer observations
  • Wind profiler observations

Dynamics Research

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

Internal reports

Much of the work done by members of 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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