January 2014
Message 101

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[Met-jobs] Industrial CASE PhD studentship at University of Reading

From Chris Westbrook <>
Date Thu, 30 Jan 2014 16:18:28 +0000

We are seeking a highly motivated individual with a background in physical or mathematical sciences for a PhD studentship on "Using vertical profiles of atmospheric backscatter as observed with the Met Office ceilometer network to improve high resolution weather forecasts". The studentship is based at the Department of Meteorology in the University of Reading, UK.

A new generation of 1km resolution weather forecasts being developed at the Met Office promises to revolutionise the prediction of hazardous weather such as flash floods and episodes of poor air quality. If such models are to realise their full potential they need higher resolution observations so the forecast can be initialised by the current state of the atmosphere. Lidar ceilometers have ben used for many years to measure the height of cloud base by transmitting a series of laser pules and observing the reflected signal. It has recently been realised that they can also provide profiles of backscatter from clouds and aerosols. This PhD project will exploit this currently untapped data source to improve the initialization of the forecast models. You will study how the backscatter profiles can be interpreted in terms of the variables used to represent clouds and aerosols in the models, and then examine any systematic differences between the forecast model and the observations, and how these may be reduced by changes in the model’s representation of clouds, aerosols and fog. The student will have the opportunity to attend collaborative workshops with other European Met services on the contribution made by new ground based profiling instruments on improving high resolution weather forecasts.

This PhD studentship is fully funded via a NERC Industrial CASE studentship with the Met Office, and is available to UK students and EU students who have resided within the UK for 3 years or more.

For instructions on how to apply visit

More details on the project can be found here:

For informal inquiries about the studentship, contact Prof Anthony Illingworth

Chris Westbrook             Department of Meteorology   
Lecturer in Meteorology     University of Reading       
                            Earley Gate                 
Lyle 502                    PO Box 243          
Tel (0118) 378 5570         Reading, RG6 6BB                            


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