Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Organisation: University of Leeds
Dates: Jan 2014-Dec 2018
Summary: I am a Meteorologist studying the interaction of cumulonimbus storms with larger-scale weather systems and with the land surface. Cumulonimbus storms have a rich organisation and structure, yet are notoriously difficult to predict. I have conducted studies in various parts of the world; particularly the North Atlantic and Northern European region, West Africa and India. I use new observations to test theoretical and modelling results, and I have led and participated in a number of international observational campaigns. My work has direct application to the understanding and forecasting of weather and climate, and is therefore of significant value to society.
My research group is currently addressing three problems in which the behaviour of cumulonimbus storms is critical in the Earth’s climate system. We are studying the interaction of convection with the land surface and the monsoon circulations of Africa and India. We are using computer simulations to link field measurements with theory of the monsoon circulation in each of these regions. We also study the internal fluid dynamics of storms; in particular the intense downdraughts which are driven by precipitation and cause severe winds when they impact on the ground. Closer to home, we study the role of clouds in cyclones moving over the Atlantic, and the way in which clouds influence the feedback between the cyclones and the ocean surface. Better mathematical understanding of such weather patterns will benefit weather forecasting, and will enable us to better understand the climates of the past and future.