Irish Meteorological Society

Annual Guest Lecture

Tim Hewson, European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, Reading 

“The Activities of ECMWF, with a focus on Severe Weather Prediction"

Thursday, 1 June, 2017, 18.00, the Custom House, Dublin 1.

ECMWF is an international organisation of which Ireland is a member. It runs state of the art global weather prediction models and ensemble forecast systems on very powerful computers and disseminates its results every day to its Member States to assist them in weather forecasting in the medium-range (3 to 10 days). It has also built up a very large database of meteorological reports of all kinds which are an invaluable resource for weather and climate research through, for example, its Re-Analysis projects.

The lecture will give an overview of current ECMWF modelling activities, from the medium range up to and beyond seasonal time scales, and will discuss recent and planned developments. The second part of the talk focus will shift onto how ECMWF provides probabilistic forecasts of severe weather phenomena, such as windstorms, snowstorms and rainstorms, using recent case studies to illustrate, and highlighting a publicly accessible ECMWF website where many severe weather cases are documented. Current work on predicting the risk of flash floods around the world will also be discussed.

Tim Hewson has had a distinguished career in the UK Met Office and at Reading University. His work has included developing new ways to identify weather fronts and cyclones objectively, and also involved experimental campaigns, such as FASTEX, based at Shannon Airport in 1997. Tim became Chief Forecaster in the Met Office before moving to ECMWF, where he is now a Principal Scientist in the Forecast Department. He leads a team responsible for forecast quality control, and also has overall responsibility for ECMWF forecast products. 

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