The High Resolution Atmospheric Assimilation Group

Our goal is to perform the fundamental research and development, which will lead to the next generation of high-resolution forecast systems. The HRAA group draws on the expertise of scientists at Reading University (Department of Meteorology) and the Met Office (Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology).

Improving predictions of hazardous weather is currently one of the main challenges for operational meteorological centres. Such phenomena often impact on very localised regions (as in the case of the Boscastle flood in 2004) and current operational models do not have enough spatial resolution for predicting them reliably and with the required accuracy.

Due to uncertainties in initial and boundary conditions, and to approximations in our description of the atmosphere, only by combining models and observations can we hope to get sufficient information for making useful predictions. This is particularly relevant at convective or storm scale, where the motions are three-dimensional and driven by microphysical processes.

Modis visible Met Office forecast

Comparison between a high-resolution satellite picture and high-resolution forecast for roughly the same time. Left: visible MODIS satellite image, right: 1km forecast of rainfall (colours) and outgoing longwave radiation (white (black) represents high (low) cloud). The two pictures share many similarities at large scales, but differ greatly in the detail. This page contains Crown copyright material and should not be reproduced without permission.

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