August 2019
Message 72

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[Met-jobs] Postdoctoral Researcher: stratospheric polar vortex and extreme weather

From Dann Mitchell <>
To "" <>
Date Wed, 21 Aug 2019 14:54:02 +0000

Stratospheric Dynamics Position for PEGASUS Research Associate / Senior Research Associate


The University of Bristol seeks to employ a Research Associate / Senior Research Associate in atmospheric dynamics. This work falls under the larger PEGASUS program led by the University of Bath.


Sudden Stratospheric Warmings (SSWs) can cause extreme weather in the mid-latitudes, such as the Chicago deep-freeze in January of this year. PEGASUS aims to understand the drivers of these SSW events. Anomalous planetary wave forcing can be an important contributor to SSW development, but is not required. Instead, precursor processes including both planetary waves and smaller-scale gravity waves can modulate the polar atmosphere before the SSW begins. This reconfigures the vortex into a state where the massive dynamical changes of an SSW can be triggered by normal planetary waves.


The PEGASUS team will use new observational techniques and state-of-the-art reanalyses to assess the evidence of planetary and gravity waves as drivers of SSWs in the observational record. Idealised models will be used to build upon these observations, allowing us to explain the mix of underlying geophysical processes which affect how an SSW forms and evolves. Leading climate models will be studied to understand how and why this affects surface weather and what the mechanisms are. Finally, we will use global wind radar and satellite TEC data to understand how SSWs can couple via lunar tides into the ionosphere, affecting upper-atmosphere electrodynamics at the global scale


The University of Bristol researcher will work as part of Dann Mitchell’s group on the climate modelling and reanalysis aspects of this work, but will also work closely with postdoctoral researchers at Bath who will do the satellite research (led by Corwin Wright), and UCL who will do the idealized modelling research (led by Gavin Esler) feeding into the wide satellite and modelling PEGASUS goals.


The ideal candidate will have a PhD in a physical science discipline, with a track record in climate/atmospheric dynamics. Other desired, but not essential qualities, include climate modelling and proficiency in Python.


Application closing date: a month after advertising


Interview date: TBC


Project start date: From the 1st of October, or soon thereafter


Line manager: Dr Dann Mitchell


External collaborators: Met Office


Job advert, and how to apply at

Dann Mitchell
Associate Professor in Atmospheric Science
University of Bristol
Tel: +44 (0)117 95 45978
Twitter @ClimateDann

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