|From||"Roger Brugge" <email@example.com>|
|Date||Tue, 27 Sep 2011 07:47:25 +0000|
PhD Position at the University of Bern Dear all, A PhD position in the field of atmospheric dynamics / forecast verification is available at the newly founded Climate Impacts group at the University of Bern. Funding is available to analyze atmospheric precursors to heavy precipitation events in northern Switzerland. More details are provided in the abstract included at the bottom. The successful candidate will work in the Climate Impact group of Professor Olivia Romppainen-Martius at the University of Bern (<http://www.geography.unibe.ch/content/forschungsgruppen/klimafolgen/index_eng.html>). The project is part of the PANDOWAE research group (<http://www.pandowae.de/>) and the THORPEX initiative. I am looking for enthusiastic candidates with a Masters Degree in atmospheric sciences, geosciences, environmental sciences, physics or a related field. Ideally you have a some background in atmospheric dynamics and a knack for programming. For full consideration please send via email a CV, names and contact information of two references (preferably the supervisors of your master thesis project) to: <firstname.lastname@example.org> . If you need more information your are welcome to contact me by email or by phone to discuss the project. Review of applications will begin in mid-October and will continue until the position is filled. The position will be available from 1 November 2011, but start dates are negotiable. Applications from qualified women are warmly invited. Kind regards Olivia Romppainen-Martius Abstract: Heavy precipitation events occurring in steep terrain such as the Alps often trigger mass movement events (e.g. rock-falls or mud-avalanches) with devastating consequences for population, settlements and infrastructure. Breaking synoptic-scale Rossby waves over western Europe can trigger such high-impact heavy precipitation events on the Alpine south-side. The breaking waves form meridionally elongated upper-level troughs. The southerly wind component along the eastern flank of the breaking waves brings moist air towards the Alps, where the air is forced to rise and precipitation sets in. The breaking waves are in return preceded by upstream Rossby wave trains (precursor RWTs) over the Atlantic and sometimes even the Pacific basin. The extended lifetime of such precursor wave trains may be exploited to improve the forecast of these high-impact weather events on the medium time-scale (5 to 10 day lead time). In contrast, our knowledge of the local synoptic-scale structures triggering heavy precipitation events on the Swiss Alpine north-side and of potential precursor RWTs to these events is limited. The goal of the first part of the proposed project is to fill this gap in knowledge regarding both the local upper-level structures and the upstream precursor waves. We will use a high-resolution observation-based precipitation climatology to identify heavy precipitation events affecting the Swiss Alpine north-side. For these events a detailed statistical and dynamical analysis of the upper-level flow will be conducted using climatologies of synoptic-scale propagating and breaking Rossby waves as well as reanalysis data sets. The second part of the project will use the results from the first part of the project and from previous research projects of the PI to address the question how well heavy precipitation events in Switzerland (both northern and southern Switzerland) are predicted by a state of the art numerical weather prediction (NWP) suite (the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts' (ECMWF) IFS model) for medium-range (5 to 10 days) forecast lead times. The spatial and temporal evolution of forecast errors associated with RWTs including precursor RWTs will be investigated for a three-year period from summer 2008 to summer 2011. This will include the development of novel, sophisticated object-based forecast error measures. A detailed analysis of the processes leading to errors in the medium-range forecast of heavy precipitation events is planed for a small sample of selected heavy precipitation events in collaboration with the group of Michael Riemer (co-PI).
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