Atmospheric Dynamics

Group Leaders:

We are interested in all aspects of atmospheric dynamics. Our research focuses on the mid-latitude troposphere and on the large-scale dynamics of the jet streams, storm tracks and weather patterns such as blocking. These circulation features between them determine much of the weather and climate variability of the mid-latitudes. We aim to improve our understanding of these systems and also the all-important links to higher and lower latitudes and to the oceans and the stratosphere. It is likely through these linkages that we may be able to make improvements to prediction systems on timescales of months to decades, and we are working on these questions in some ongoing projects.

A complementary question concerns how these flow features will respond to anthropogenic climate change. Some robust changes are now predicted by climate models but we need much greater understanding of the underlying physics before we can be confident in these projections. Our work uses a hierarchy of models to probe the physical mechanisms of circulation changes and attempts to relate these to theoretical arguments or to recent observations wherever possible.

We work closely with the Met Office in evaluating their weather and climate models. In particular the Met Office / Universities Process Evaluation Group on Blocking and Storm tracks is organised by Tim Woollings. This group meets every few months to discuss modelling progress but also relevant dynamics in general. We welcome new members so please get in touch if you are interested in joining.