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Department of Meteorology – University of Reading

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Check out our latest departmental blogs:


Aerosol particle pollution may have increased cloud and offset global warming more than expected

  • New research in Nature Geoscience used the volcanic plume from a Hawaii volcano as a laboratory to improve understanding of how tiny aerosol particles affect cloud

Extreme weather in net-zero world the focus of new research

Brian Hoskins receives Japan Prize

  • Sir Professor Brian Hoskins was awarded the Japan Prize for establishment of a scientific foundation for understanding and predicting extreme weather events

University of Reading tops sustainable universities league table

  • The University of Reading has been ranked as the number one university in the UK in the latest People & Planet University League table and was recognised for managing carbon emissions, providing climate education resources and a sustainable food policy

University of Reading win THE award for Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership

    University of Reading representatives collect THE award

  • University of Reading “Planet Partners” scoops the Times Higher Education award for leading collaboration on climate action and impact including world-leading scientific research and global policy impact, with a strong contribution from the department

Ex-Reading student helps ECMWF improve model

  • Rebecca Emerton, previously an MMet and PhD student in the department, is now part of a team that strives to improve ECMWF’s weather model by looking for the causes of errors.

More wet and dry extremes

Collage of RMetS award winners

Royal Meteorological Society Awards for our Scientists

  • David Brawshaw receives the Adrian Gill Award, Ed Hawkins the Hugh Robert Mill Award, Bryan Lawrence the Award for Innovation in Development of Computational Models, Tools or Visualisation and Roger Brugge the Award for Outstanding Contribution to The Society or Profession. Congratulations to all award recipients (see full list)!

Climate warming stripes projected onto White Cliffs of Dover

Warming stripes projected onto The White Cliffs of Dover as a stark climate change message

  • The iconic climate stripes, created by our very own Ed Hawkins to depict progressive warming of climate, were projected onto The White Cliffs of Dover, The Tate Modern chimney and landmarks in Reading, the USA and Canada on Wednesday, 21 June, to mark Show Your Stripes Day.

Summer rain mystery to be investigated with balloon squadron

  • Thorwald Stein leads research in the WesCon Observing the Evolving Structures of Turbulence project

Aviation turbulence strengthened as the world warmed

Met Office partnership lead appointed

Climate ‘spiral’ threatens land carbon stores

      • The world’s forests are losing their ability to absorb carbon due to increasingly ‘unstable’ conditions caused by humans activities according to a new study in Nature, with contributions from our very own Patrick McGuire

Tropical storms signalled by atmospheric waves

      • Identifying westward-moving atmospheric wave disturbances near the equator can help to improve forecasts of destructive tropical cyclones up to 2 weeks ahead according to new research from the Meteorology department

Greener flights work wins science prize at Times Higher Education Awards

      • Work by Paul Williams and Nancy Nichols as part of a project to cut carbon emissions by using hard maths to better direct aircraft across the Atlantic has been named as the THE awards best UK science project of 2022


Take climate-changing aerosols seriously, scientists say

      • Scientists, including Laura Wilcox from the department and NCAS Climate, have called for a more heightened consideration of the the uncertainties related to particle aerosol pollution in climate risk assessment

Salt more important than temperatures in sea ice formation

Powerful hurricanes get second wind in Europe

      • New research led by Elliott Sainsbury has found that stronger hurricanes that are reenergised by jet stream winds are twice as likely to cross the Atlantic and wreak havoc in Europe than weaker ones

Cocoa and climate expertise showcased to Nicaragua diplomats

Running Out Of Time Relay 2022

Reading in top 200 Universities globally and 4th best for Atmospheric Sciences

Continued and strenthened partnership with Met Office will further climate research

      • The department is central to a renewed and strengthened Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) as part of an expanded initiative to understand the increasing impacts of extreme weather and climate change.

Fluctuations in Atlantic weather patterns found to impact India’s food and water supply

      • New research led by Kieran Hunt has for the first time indentified a causal link between the North Atlantic Oscillation and winter precipitation over the Western Himalaya, of great importance to the year-round water supply for Indian agriculture

Department scientist wins prestigious American Meteorological Society Award

BBC news article showing view from within the research aircraft

Climate Scientists Chase Arctic Cyclones

      • Researchers from the University of Reading are involved in an important field campaign to understand how summertime Arctic cyclones affect, and are affected by, sea ice and their role in the rapidly changing climate

World leading research environment


The Meteorology building has been renamed the Hoskins Building

      • Our department building has been named after Professor Sir Brian Hoskins. A member of the University of Reading since 1971, including as Head of the Department of Meteorology between 1990-96, Sir Brian began the Department’s growth into the major global force it is today. It was under his leadership that the conception, planning and construction of the Meteorology Building that will bear his name began.

Hunga Tonga volcano created biggest explosion on record

      • Department scientists contributed to research published in the journal Science showing the Hunga Tonga volcano in the South Pacific created an explosion bigger than anything else ever recorded by modern geophysical equipment.

Ozone may be heating the planet more than we realise

      • Important new research involving Associate Professor Michaela Hegglin has revealed that changes to ozone levels in the upper and lower atmosphere were responsible for almost a third of the warming seen in ocean waters bordering Antarctica in the second half of the 20th century.

Rescued Victorian rainfall data smashes former records

      • Professor Ed Hawkins, Rainfall Rescue Project Lead, said: “I am still blown away by the response this project got from the public. Transcribing the records required around 100 million keystrokes, yet what I thought would take several months was completed in a matter of days.”

Department’s climate change research helps secure Queen’s Anniversary Prize

      • The University of Reading was presented with a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in a ceremony at St James’s Palace in London attended by joint head of the Department, Professor Joy Singarayer.

Professor Joy Singarayer receiving Queen's Anniversary Prize

How does electric charge in cloud affect rain?

      • New research led by Department of Meteorology professors advances understanding of how electric charge influences cloud drop growth that can ultimately lead to rainfall

New home for ECMWF on University of Reading campus

New maps of future climate risk in the UK

      • Future risks from climate change affecting the UK have been mapped in a new interactive website as part of work led by Prof. Nigel Arnell

Climate Risk Indicators

Professor Keith Shine elected as prestigious American Geophysical Union Fellow

New research suggests climate simulations may underestimate the impact of climate change

      • Reading researchers, led by Dr Christopher O’Reilly, have found that climate models may be underestimating the impact climate change will have on the UK and North America due to a missing element – wind variability.

Tropical crops could suffer as climate change brings longer dry spells

      • Research led by Dr Caroline Wainwright investigates how tropical wet and dry seasons change as climate warms
        Future changes in wet and dry seasons

Climate scientists play leading role in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

      • The report, which warns that damaging effects of climate change are already being seen across the globe and featured prominently in the COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow

2021 Distinguished Edith Morley Seminar – Dr Florence Rabier, Director-General of ECMWF, delivered the Distinguished Edith Morley Seminar 

Rainfall records provide glimpse into Britain’s scientific and social history

      • Thousands of citizen scientists have combined to rescue more than 5 million rainfall records in just over a fortnight to help improve understanding of Britain’s weather – and get a new take on its social history.

Iconic climate stripes depicting global warming shared worldwide

Climate Stripes


UAE Ambassador Visits University of Reading Weather Scientists

      •  His Excellency Mansoor Abulhoul, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the UK, paid a visit to the University of Reading’s world-leading weather scientists this week.

Met department scientist explained why May was so cold

Award for scientist providing cutting edge atmospheric electricity data

Our scientists use weather forecasts to direct conservation of elephants

Leaders in climate change research, communication and action

      • Department scientists play leading role in climate change research and communication

Missions to return humans to the Moon at risk from solar storms

      • New research improves understanding of the link between extreme space weather and the solar cycle

Department’s NCAS and NCEO research centres certified as world-leading

      • Two national science centres for the study the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice, both with key groups at the University of Reading, have been certified as world-leading

New techniques to better use weather forecasts for a green electricity grid

      • New research on how weather influences renewable electricity production

Sudden stratospheric warming increases chance of cold spell

      • Our scientists provide expert assessment of how changes many kilometres above our heads have a bearing on weather patterns over the next few weeks

Data assimilation – from model-driven to data-driven

Irreversible sea level rise from Greenland ice melt?

      • New research led by Professor Jonathan Gregory has demonstrated how climate change could lead to irreversible sea level rise far in the future as temperatures continue to rise and the Greenland ice sheet continues to decline

UK still lacks serious plan to address invisible threat of heat

      • a new study involving members of the department argues that the UK’s approach to dealing with heatwaves is inadequate compared to visible, yet far less deadly, disasters like floods and storms.

Alliance of top Universities urge G20 leaders to prioritise net zero emissions

      • The University of Reading has joined an international coalition of leading climate research universities in issuing its first declaration ahead of the G20 Summit

New research could improve prediction of tropical rainfall changes

Professor Giles Harrison to receive 2021 EGU Christiaan Huygens Medal

Our climate scientists play leading role in climate change adaptation event

      • Professors Rowan Sutton, Ted Shepherd, Nigel Arnell and Pier Luigi Vidale contribute to Is the UK on track to adapt to climate change? conference, jointly hosted by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), the UK Climate Resilience programme (UKCR) Champions and the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

Awards for our scientists advancing weather forecasting, climate science and aviation safety

      • Internationally renowned climate scientist Professor Keith Shine has been awarded the Mason Gold Medal, the premier award of the Royal Meteorological Society
      • Dr Dacre, Associate Professor of Dynamical Meteorology at Reading, received the FitzRoy Prize for her leading research on volcanic ash clouds and their risk to aviation.
      • Dr Joanne Waller was jointly awarded the L F Richardson Prize for her innovative research, undertaken while in the department, into better understanding uncertainties in weather forecasting methods, and how doing so can improve weather predictions.

Solar storm forecasts for Earth improved with help from the public

      • Solar storm analysis carried out by an army of citizen scientists has helped researchers devise a new and more accurate way of forecasting when Earth will be hit by harmful space weather.



Our speaker for the Seventh Annual Distinguished Morley Seminar was Professor Gwyneth Stallard, OBE, Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University. The Seminar was held on Wednesday 23rd October 2019.





Our Changing Climate: Past, Present and Future – Public Lecture by Professor Ed Hawkins in the Palmer Building, Wednesday 17th October (View lecture)

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