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Department of Meteorology – University of Reading

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A collaborative centre in which about 25 Met Office staff embedded in the University of Reading work with the academic staff on strategically important projects of common interest and mutual benefit.



  • Together, to deliver critical elements of the Met Office Science Strategy – notably through research in convective-scale modelling, very-high-resolution modelling, and assimilation of surface-based observations.
  • Together, to deliver operational and broader impact from meteorological, mathematical and Earth-observation research.
  • Reading is one of the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) Universities and has the largest contingent of Met Office staff of any university.



  • MetOffice@Reading is carrying out a number of collaborative research activities mostly relating to km scale modelling systems.
  • Recent key collaborative activities have been DYMECS, urban surface parameterisation, WESCON\ParaChute.
  • In the last 6 years MetOffice@Reading staff have been co-authors on ~30 papers with University of Reading academics and have co-supervised ~10 PhD students and numerous MSc projects aligned to Met Office needs.
  • Involvement in many projects/campaigns with wider academia as well as Reading (e.g. COPE, FFIR,  ParaCon etc).
  • Two Met Office groups based in Reading accounting for 10 members of staff:
    • Convective Scale Modelling Research.
    • Assimilation of Surface-based Observations
  • Other Met Office staff and managers engaged in collaborative work addressing evaluation and process understanding of convective-scale and turbulence-scale modelling systems and [in operational monitoring and evaluation at regional and global scales.


Key MetOffice@Reading Staff

  • Jason Lowe – Principle Science Fellow Applied and Climate Science.
  • Humphrey Lean – Manager Convective Scale Modelling Research.
  • David Simonin – Manager Assimilation of Surface based observations.
  • Sylvia Bohnenstengel – Manager RMED Evaluation Group.
  • Aurore Porson – Manager R2O operational Evaluation.
  • Khalid Mahmood – Administrator and first point of contact for queries.



Name Job Title Research Interests.
Lewis Blunn Research interests: Improving the representation of urban surface exchange and boundary layer turbulence in kilometre-scale and sub-kilometre-scale models
Sylvia Bohnenstengel Manager RMED Regional Systems Evaluation Group Developing and coordinating the RMED regional evaluation system underpinning the evaluation of our convective-scale regional atmosphere land suites (RAL) and convective-scale research models. In addition undertaking urban research.
Neal Butchart Expert Scientist: Stratospheric processes research Stratospheric dynamics and variability and its influence on surface climate and weather. Evaluating and improving the representation of the stratosphere in models. Stratospheric circulation and ozone projections.
Carlo Cafaro Scientist – Convective-scale numerical weather prediction Interested in the generation, verification of ensemble-based probabilistic forecasts as well as their communication to the end-users.

Currently involved in the Research and development on new configurations of UK and South-East Asia (WCSSP project) Met Office ensembles, with a focus on improving ensemble spread/skill relationship.

Cristina Charlton-Perez Senior Scientist, Coupled Data Assimilation (R2O) Improving and maintaining the operational land surface data assimilation system by developing new techniques and new observational products of land-relevant variables such as soil moisture and snow cover.
Terry Davies Develops and maintains the atmospheric dynamical core of the Met Office’s Unified Model Terry’s principal activity is the maintenance and development of Unified Model dynamics and with the coupling between the dynamics and the physics parametrizations.. Improvements to the dynamics code are made to improve its performance for all UM configurations; for the urban scale, the 1.5 km model for the UK, the various regional models, the global forecast model and the climate model, HadGEM.
Laila Gohar Scientist – UK climate Resilience
Paula Gonzalez Senior Scientist – Industry Science and Consultancy Paula is a Senior Scientist in the Industry Consultancy team, which delivers bespoke weather and climate services to clients from sectors such as Energy, Water and Infrastructure.

Paula has over 10 years of experience working on climate variability and change, and climate predictability on timescales ranging from subseasonal to decadal. She is interested in the postprocessing of climate model output for applications such as downstream modelling, multi-model combinations, and skill enhancement.

Jonathan Gregory Met Office Fellow, Oceans Cryosphere and Dangerous Climate Change. Physical understanding and prediction of global and large-scale change in climate on multidecadal and longer timescales, especially climate sensitivity, ocean heat uptake and sea level change, by analysis of climate simulations and comparison with observational data
Kirsty Hanley Senior Scientist, Urban-scale Modelling Research. Improving the representation of convective storms within kilometre-scale and sub-kilometre-scale versions of the Unified Model.
Carol Halliwell Senior Scientist – Urban-scale Modelling Research Group. Improving the representation of convection and turbulence in very high resolution (O(100m)) versions of the Met Office Unified Model and the forecasting of fog over the Delhi urban region as part of the WCSSP India project.
Lee Hawkness-Smith  Senior Scientist, Assimilation of Surface-based Observations group Making better use of radar observations in data assimilation, with a particular interest in radar. Evaluating impact of data assimilation improvements on operational forecasts.
Graeme Kelly Expert Scientist – Assimilation aircraft and satellite data.  Work on Variational Analysis with a particular interest in the use of aircraft and satellite data.
Humphrey Lean Manager – Urban-scale Modelling Research Group.  Convective Scale and Urban Scale modelling. Particular interests in explicit representation of convection in models and the representation of urban meteorology. Also interested in orographic rainfall. Developing next generation Urban Scale models.
Tsz Yan Leung Scientist – Atmospheric and Land Data Assimilation Interested in a wide range of numerical weather prediction (NWP) topics, such as data assimilation, ensemble forecasting and predictability of weather.  He is primarily involved in developing ensemble data assimilation capabilities for the Met Office’s next-generation NWP system.
Dingmin Li Senior Scientist/ Convection Scale NWP Research and development of a limited area high resolution data assimilation and convective-scale forecast system for the WCSSP South Asia area project and building, development and maintenance of Defence Regional Models.
Zhihong Li Senior Scientist Data assimilation methods for 1.5 km resolution NWP-based nowcasting systems.
Jason Lowe Principal Fellow Applied & Climate Science – CsCi Knowledge Integration.
Amy Peace Senior Scientist
Aurore Porson R2O Operational Evaluation and Monitoring Improving the monitoring and evaluation of operational models through the development and updates in the subjective and objective assessments. Coordination of UK testbeds across the Met Office and Met Office partners.
Jon Shonk Senior Scientist, Urban Model Development Improving the representation of the urban surface and its interaction with the boundary layer in urban-scale models.
David Simonin Manager, Assimilation of Surface-based Observations Group Work covers research to improve and develop the assimilation of a wide range of surface-based observation (Weather radar, radiosonde, etc) for both global and limited area NWP systems. Currently in charge of the development of the Met Office Next-Generation Data Assimilation system.
Yongming Tan  Senior Scientist Works on the UK Earth System Model as configuration manager for the high resolution model UKESM-HI.

Research Interest: Developing and Maintaining  the UK Earth System Model (UKESM).


Christopher Thomas

Senior Scientist, Assimilation of Surface-based Observations group Preparing our next-generation observation processing system with a focus on radiosonde data
Joanne Waller Senior scientist, Assimilation of Surface Based Observations Optimising the assimilation of observations and exploring the potential to assimilated novel observations.


Internal reports

Much of the work done by members of MetOffice@Reading – previously known as the JCMM (Joint Centre for Mesoscale Meteorology) – was published in the form of internal reports (discontinued in 2003). If you would like more information on these reports, or if you would like a copy, please send an email to Khalid Mahmood

This page was updated February 2024

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