April 2018
Message 15

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[Met-jobs] PhD opportunity at CNRM, France: dual-pol radar observations and very-short-term NWP

From Olivier Caumont <>
Date Fri, 6 Apr 2018 12:36:35 +0200 (CEST)

There is an exciting opportunity for a full-time PhD studentship for three years within the French National Centre for Meteorological Research (CNRM, in Toulouse, France, on the use of dual-polarization radar observations for very-short-term numerical weather prediction.
Please find additional information below.

PhD title: Use of dual-polarization radar observations for very-short-term numerical weather prediction
CNRM (Météo-France, CNRS), Toulouse, France

Supervisors: Dr Olivier Caumont, Dr Clotilde Augros


In the last years, significant efforts have been devoted world-wide to upgrade operational weather radar networks with a new technology called 'dual polarization'. Besides measuring the intensity and the displacement of precipitation, dual-polarization radars provide additional information about the characteristics of water and ice particles (hydrometeors) within the observed volume. In particular, it has been shown that specific signatures could be observed in distinctive parts of severe thunderstorms (e.g., KDP columns and ZDR arcs and columns).

Concurrently, a new generation of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models with kilometre-scale horizontal resolutions and advanced representations of microphysics is making it possible to represent atmospheric processes at the convective scale with improved realism.

The joint use of dual-polarization radars and high-resolution NWP models opens a new area of investigation with potential breakthroughs in terms of knowledge of the microphysics and dynamics of thunderstorms, as well as improvements in the nowcasting and short-term prediction of these hazardous weather systems. Indeed, the simulation of realistic radar observations might shed light on the unobserved processes that drive the evolution of thunderstorms. Besides, such simulations could be useful to create diagnostics of severe convection for nowcasting applications or to assimilate dual-polarization radar observations in NWP systems.

The goal of the proposed PhD thesis is to leverage the concurrent availability of operational dual-polarization data and of state-of-the-art numerical modelling tools to improve the knowledge and very-short-term prediction of thunderstorms. More specifically, the following scientific questions will be addressed: Are the latest numerical models and their microphysical schemes able to reproduce dual-polarization signatures observed in thunderstorms? Can these models help understand the underlying microphysical and dynamical processes responsible for these signatures? To which extent are these signatures related to the severity of thunderstorms? How can dual-polarization signatures help improve the nowcasting and short-term prediction of severe thunderstorms?

To answer these questions, dual-polarization radar observations from the French weather service will be analysed for severe convection cases. The dual-polarization signatures of thunderstorms will be characterized for each stage of their life cycles and related to their severity. For the same cases, convective-scale numerical simulations will be compared with dual-polarization observations. The ability of the numerical model and its radar simulator to represent dual-polarization signatures will be assessed. This should help identify deficiencies in the model (and more specifically its microphysical scheme) or in the radar simulator and suggest paths of improvements. The suggested changes in the microphysical scheme and the radar simulator will be implemented and evaluated via sensitivity studies.

Application details
Applications are invited from domestic and international high-quality graduates able to start their PhD studies in October 2018. The ideal candidate should have a strong background in atmospheric physics, with a particular interest in severe weather.  The candidate should be self-motivated, with strong research potential, good programming skills, and good oral and written communication skills.

The applications including a detailed resume, an academic transcript, a letter of reference from the M2 supervisor/engineering school, and the names of two references, must be sent to Dr Olivier Caumont ( and Dr Clotilde Augros ( by May 13, 2018.

For further information or informal discussion about the position, please contact Dr Olivier Caumont ( and Dr Clotilde Augros (

Olivier Caumont
CNRM UMR 3589 (Météo-France/CNRS)

42 av G. Coriolis
31057 TOULOUSE Cedex 01 (FRANCE)

Tel: +33 5 61 07 96 46 | Fax: +33 5 61 07 96 26
Personal webpage:

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