March 2014
Message 85

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[Met-jobs] Industrial CASE PhD studentship at University of Reading on exploiting ceilometer measurements for weather prediction

From Chris Westbrook <>
Date Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:55:58 +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  or Dr Chris Westbrook
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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