|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students|
|Funding amount:||From £15,609|
|Placed On:||21st October 2021|
|Closes:||10th January 2022|
Location: Streatham Campus - Exeter
Extreme rainfall events that cause flooding are often caused by atmospheric fronts (Catto and Pfahl 2013). For example, the flooding associated with Storm Desmond in December 2015, which, along with the subsequent storm Eva, caused economic losses estimated between £1.3 and £5.8 billion, was from the rain that fell along the storm’s front (Matthews et al 2018). Predicting the location of fronts and their intense rainfall can present a challenge in weather forecasting, resulting in difficulties giving accurate weather warnings.
Understanding the characteristics of high impact fronts and their dynamical precursors in observations can help to improve these predictions and future projections. In this project, the goal will be to develop greater understanding of high impact fronts, to then apply this understanding to evaluate both ensemble weather forecasts and climate projections of extreme precipitation events associated with fronts.
Project Aims and Methods:
The aims of this project will be to understand the lifecycle and dynamical and thermodynamic characteristics of fronts that contribute to extreme precipitation events in observations. Further, the methods developed will be applied to the Unified Model (UM) Climate Model, and the Numerical Weather Prediction model (specifically the Met Office Global and Regional Ensemble Prediction System – MOGREPS) in order to understand how well the models can represent these features.
Errors in frontal structure identified in the climate model may be able to provide insight into the causes of errors in the Met Office’s weather forecasts. We will investigate whether the systems that are simulated poorly in the climate model responsible for causing the largest uncertainty in the ensemble forecasts? Answering this may directly contribute to improving the representation of fronts in the models, and therefore the Met Office’s weather and climate forecasts, as well as improving their weather warnings.
With the guidance of the supervisors, the candidate will be given the opportunity to modify the research focus and weighting of the different aspects of the project to reflect their interests and strengths. This studentship comes with a generous budget for travel and training (£17k).
Applicants should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in Mathematics, Physics, Meteorology, Statistics, Environmental Science or another related field. Knowledge of scientific programming languages (e.g., Matlab, Python, IDL, R) would be advantageous.
This project is supported by a CASE partnership with the Met Office with Dr Duncan Ackerley as the main Met Office supervisor. Links with the Met Office will ensure access to data and expertise from their seamless modelling capability across prediction time scales.
The candidate will be based within the internationally recognised Exeter Climate Systems Research Centre. They will receive training on data analysis of large datasets (Big Data), weather and climate modelling, scientific writing and presenting in accordance with the postgraduate programme at the University of Exeter, GW4 initiatives such as the Water Security Alliance, and through participation in Met Office training. The candidate will be expected to take part in relevant national and international conferences and workshops.
Prospective applicants: For information about the application process please contact the Admissions team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition fees and an annual stipend allowance at Research Council rates, currently £15,609 per year for 2022-23
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