Dr Simon Vosper

Dr Simon Vosper

Simon leads the Orographic Processes team and conducts research into improving the representation of orography (hills and mountains) in forecast and climate models, looking specifically at developing new techniques for local forecasting in mountainous and hilly regions.

The research involves detailed studies of orographic flow using high-resolution numerical models such as the Met Office Unified Model and Met Office flow over hills model (BLASIUS) alongside observations from field experiments.

Simon has recently worked on the scientific development and testing of the post-processing techniques in the Met Office Virtual Met MastTM tool, which predicts site-specific wind climatology for wind farm planning. He is also leading the development of a new very high-resolution modelling system which will lead to improvements in the Virtual Met MastTM approach.

Career background and experience

Simon joined the Met Office in 2001 as a research scientist. Prior to this he was based at the University of Leeds as a postdoctoral research fellow, latterly funded by the NERC postdoctoral fellowship scheme.

Simon completed a PhD on the behaviour of orographic internal gravity waves at the Department of Applied Mathematical Studies, University of Leeds in 1995. Following this he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow on a number of projects at the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds and at the University of Surrey.

External recognition

Simon is Associate Editor for the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. He is a member of the international steering committees for the International Conference on Alpine Meteorology (ICAM) and the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Mountain Meteorology Conference.

Simon was awarded the L.F. Richardson Prize in 2005. The L.F. Richardson prize is awarded annually for an outstanding paper published in the Royal Meteorological Society journals by an author under the age of 35.

Simon was awarded the L.G. Groves Memorial Prize for Meteorology in 2007. This is awarded annually to members of the Met Office and the Royal Navy, Army and RAF for the most important contributions to the science of meteorology, the application of meteorology to aviation or operational meteorology.

"Representing the effect of hills and mountains in our forecast models and techniques allows us to give much more accurate predictions of long-term wind at a specific site. Local variations in terrain can have a significant impact on the airflow, and hence the potential power production at a particular site. Better representation of orographic effects helps to improve the accuracy of Virtual Met MastTM . The high-resolution version involves direct modelling of the flow for sites in complex terrain. This will help provide even greater accuracy."

Relevant scientific papers

  • Vosper, S.B., Mobbs, S.D. and Gardiner, B.A. 2002 Measurements of the near-surface flow over a hill. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 128, 2257-2280.
  • Ross, A.N., Arnold, S., Vosper, S.B, Mobbs, S.D., Dixon, N. and Robins, A.G. 2004 A comparison of wind tunnel experiments and numerical simulations of neutral and stratified flow over a hill. Boundary Layer Meteorol. 113, 427-459.
  • Mobbs. S.D., Vosper, S.B., Sheridan, P.F., Cardoso, R., Burton, R.R., Arnold, S.J., Hill, M.K., Horlacher, V. and Gadian, A.M. 2005 Observations of downslope winds and rotors in the Falkland Islands. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 131, 329-351.
  • Ross, A.N. and Vosper, S.B. 2005 Neutral turbulent flow over forested hills. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 131, 1841-1862.
  • J. D. Price, S. Vosper, A. Brown, A. Ross, P. Clark, F. Davies, V. Horlacher, B. Claxton, J. R. McGregor, J. S. Hoare, B. Jemmett-Smith, P. Sheridan COLPEX: Field and Numerical Studies over a region of small hills. Bulletin American Met. Soc., 92: 1636:1650.

Last updated: 24 April 2012