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Fellows Directory

Tim Palmer

Tim Palmer

Professor Tim Palmer CBE FRS


Elected: 2003


Tim Palmer is an internationally renowned meteorologist with a particular interest in the predictability and dynamics of weather and climate. Tim pioneered the development of probabilistic prediction techniques based on ensembles of forecasts. These techniques were implemented first at the Met Office and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and are now universal worldwide, allowing disaster relief agencies to act pre-emptively ahead of a possible extreme weather event.

Tim's work is theoretical as well as practical. His recent research exploits ideas in imprecise computing to develop computer simulations of weather and climate at very high resolution. His opinion is highly regarded at an international level through serving on multiple government advisory committees and he has been formally acknowledged as contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's award of Nobel Peace Prize.

Tim was appointed as CBE for services to science and has won the top awards of organisations such as the American Meteorological Society, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Astronomical Society. He is an international member of a number of academies around the world, including the US National Academy of Sciences. Remarkably, he also retains an active interest in his original doctorate topic, fundamental physics.

Professional positions

Royal Society Research Professor, Jesus College, University of Oxford
Professorial Fellow, Jesus College, University of Oxford
Director , Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
Inaugural Fellow, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Gravitation, Computational physics, Quantum theory
  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Atmospheric physics and meteorology, Climate sciences, Physical oceanography


Dynamics and predictability of weather and climate, Ensemble forecasting, Inexact computing, Probabilistic prediction of weather and climate, Foundations of quantum theory


  • Royal Society Esso Energy Award

    For their development and introduction of a global weather forecasting model that provided accurate forecasts of wind and temperature for the civil aviation industry by which aircraft routes were selected, making maximum use of prevailing winds, resulting

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