The IMPALA project aims to deliver improvements to the modelling of weather and climate over Africa, working jointly with members of the academic community, and is funded by the Department for International Development (DfID). This position will be based in the Global Model Evaluation and Development team and work very closely with the Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations team (APP), combining two related aspects, (i) research on the interactions of convection with the large-scale dynamics of the atmosphere, and (ii) process based evaluation of improvements to global model predictions across a range of timescales assessing benefit over Africa.
Convection has a major influence on the atmosphere, and its accurate representation in models has wide-reaching implications, from improving the predictability of NWP to increasing the reliability of climate projections. One long-standing research question has been to understand how convective clouds interact with larger-scale atmospheric motions that can span continents, and consequently significantly affect the rainfall behaviour over large regions. Recent developments in observational and modelling tools present an exciting opportunity for making significant progress in this field, with consequences for the representation of convection in models both over Africa and globally.
Integrating the above advances in convection along with other improvements is a key objective for the IMPALA project. This involves trialling and evaluating the impacts of revised parametrizations (convection, aerosols etc.) with the specific aim of understanding physical process interactions and assessing impacts on precipitation and large-scale dynamics over the African continent using knowledge gained from the first activity.