PhD Studentship in Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate

University of Reading - SCENARIO Doctoral Training Partnership/Meteorology

Project title: The impact of atmosphere-wave-ocean coupling on extreme surface wind forecasts

Supervisors: Prof. Suzanne Gray (Meteorology) and Dr Huw Lewis (Met Office)

Project Overview: Skilful weather and climate forecasts are vital for protecting lives and livelihoods and managing the effects of climate change. New capabilities in the use of observations, convective-scale numerical weather prediction models (models capable of representing individual convective clouds), coupled modelling (coupling between models of the atmosphere and ocean, wave or land surface models) and ensemble prediction systems (multiple, equally likely, forecasts of the same event to quantify probability and uncertainty) can improve weather forecasts and so improve early warnings. Our project will contribute to improved prediction of localised extreme wind speeds and gusts using a new convective-scale coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean model.

The aim of this project is to determine whether and how atmosphere-wave-ocean coupling improves surface wind speed and gust forecasts associated with extratropical cyclones through improved boundary layer characteristics.

Our CASE partner is the Met Office and our collaboration is with the Environmental Prediction Development Team, part of Weather Science. This project will exploit the new UK Environmental Prediction (UKEP) regional coupled system that was developed by this team. The UKEP system is the first convective-scale coupled model for the UK. Extratropical cyclones (also known as winter storms, windstorms, or low-pressure depressions) are a major wind hazard for the UK. We will work with our Met Office collaborators to determine whether this UKEP system can yield improved forecasts of surface winds (and gusts) associated with extratropical cyclones and, if so, the reasons why this occurs.

Training opportunities:

This project is in collaboration with the Met Office, the UK’s national weather service. The student will spend at least three months at the Met Office working with the Environmental Prediction Development Team during his or her PhD project.


  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in physics, mathematics or a closely related environmental or physical science
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students.

Funding Details:

  • Starts 1st October 2018
  • 4 year award
  • Tuition fees plus RCUK stipend
  • This project has CASE support from the Met Office

How to apply:

As the studentship is being administered by SCENARIO DTP, to apply please submit an application for a PhD in Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate at

*Important notes*

  • Please quote the reference ‘SC2018-CO1’ in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding Section of your on-line application.
  • When you are prompted to upload a research proposal, please omit this step.

Further Enquiries:

For further details please contact the Prof Suzanne Gray (, or email

Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

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South East England