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PhD Studentship: Maritime Continent Precipitation Processes and Predictability in ECWMF Sub-Seasonal Forecasts

University of Reading - Meteorology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Reading
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Full tuition fees plus UKRI stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 21st November 2022
Closes: 20th January 2023
Reference: GS23-003
 

PhD Studentship in Meteorology         

Supervisors: Prof Steve Woolnough, Dr Chris Holloway, Dr Frédéric Vitart, Dr Peter Bechtold 

Project Overview: The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) modulates tropical convection on timescales of 30-60 days. It’s most active over the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and West Pacific and should provide a source of skill for rainfall forecasts over the islands of the Maritime Continent on sub-seasonal timescales (2-4 weeks in advance), allowing early warning of high impact weather events. The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) sub-seasonal forecasting system; has relatively high skill for predicting the MJO and rainfall over the oceanic regions around Maritime Continent on these timescales, but the skill over the islands is lower.

The convective systems that produce the rainfall are organized on a range of scales from 10-1000km, and are strongly influenced by the diurnal cycle and land-sea and mountain breezes. To understand the lower skill over the islands, in this PhD project, you will analyze how the existing ECWMF forecast model represents the organization of convection in the Maritime Continent region, including the diurnal cycle of convection, and how it is modulated by the MJO. For example, how changes in cloudiness as the MJO passes through the region modulate the strength of the diurnal cycle and how changes in mean wind direction control the strength and location of land sea-breeze circulations. Using simulations with development versions of the forecast model at resolutions where individual convective systems can be explicitly resolved you will investigate the impact of an explicit representation of convection on the representation of the organization the convection, its modulation by the MJO and the impact on sub-seasonal forecast skill. 

As well as working with the ECMWF model this project will make use of modelling from the TerraMaris project, a collaboration between the University of Reading, UEA, the University of Leeds and the Met Office.

Eligibility: 

  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or equivalent in in Physics, Mathematics or a closely related environmental of physical science
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open only to citizens of ECMWF member states. https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/who-we-are/member-states 

Funding Details:   

  • Starts 18th September 2023
  • 3-year award plus a possible 6-month extension
  • Funding covers full tuition fees plus UKRI stipend 

How to apply:   

To apply click “Apply for a Programme”, create your account, and use the link sent by email to start the application process. During the application process please select the PhD in Meteorology.

*Important notes*

  1. Please quote the reference ‘GS23-03’ in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding Section of your on-line application.
  2. When you are prompted by the online application system to upload a research proposal, please omit this step as the project is already defined 

Application Deadline: 20th January 2023 

Further Enquiries:  

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. 

For further details please contact Prof Steve Woolnough (s.j.woolnough@reading.ac.uk

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