Jenkin Lecture 2013

Weather and Climate Prediction

Met Office LogoDr Andy Brown, Director of Science at the Meterological Office, presented the 2013 Jenkin Lecture. He described weather prediction as computational numerical modelling on a truly global scale. The whole Earth’s atmosphere is meshed as 55 million cells, with local mesh refinement for the UK. Input data comes from many sources: from manually read ground-based instruments to satellites. A 3-day
forecast now is as accurate as a 1-day forecast was 20 years ago.

Dr Brown highlighted that climate forecasting is a similar exercise, but complicated by the need to include the oceans and polar ice in the model. Timescales are much longer and the mesh used in simulations is coarser. The UK is a leading player, benefiting from the Met Office also being a major weather forecaster. Longrange
weather forecasting for months ahead is an intermediate case, and greatly in demand commercially. It is especially difficult for the UK, but remarkable progress is being made, on the basis of extensive study of behaviour of the Gulf Stream.

To read a full account of Dr Andy Brown’s Jenkin Lecture visit: