UK Environmental Prediction

The UK Environmental Prediction Prototype project brings together scientists from a number of environmental science organisations to accelerate the pull through and integration of national-scale high resolution environmental prediction capabilities to useful science and service.

It has long been understood that accurate prediction and warning of the impacts of severe weather, including flooding, drought, storm surge, harmful algal blooms and poor air quality episodes, requires an integrated approach to forecasting. As the societal impacts of hazardous weather and other environmental pressures grow, the need for a more complete prediction of our complex and interdependent environment is greater than ever to help society make more informed decisions, protecting lives, livelihoods and property, and enabling social and economic prosperity.

To address this need, the Met Office, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, NERC National Oceanography Centre and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, working under the banner of JWCRP, have begun to develop the foundations of a coupled high resolution probabilistic forecast system for the UK at km-scale. This links together existing model components of the atmosphere, coastal ocean, land surface and hydrology. Our initial focus on a 2-year Prototype project will demonstrate the UK coupled prediction concept in research mode, including an analysis of the winter 2013/14 storms and its impacts. By linking science development to operational collaborations such as the UK Natural Hazards Partnership, we will root science priorities in user requirements.

Met Office research teams contributing to the Prototype project include team working on Coupled DevelopmentLand SurfaceHigh Resolution Model Development and Weather forecasting models.

Prototype Project Objectives

  1. Build and evaluate a first look regional coupled prediction system for the UK at ~1km scale.
  2. Identify key scientific and technical issues to be addressed (within the timescale of the prototype project and for longer term R&D) to enable the UK Environmental Prediction vision to be achieved.
  3. Demonstrate the UK coupled prediction concept in research mode.
  4. If suitable, identify and pick some 'low hanging fruit' for improved operational capability and/or societal application using the UK Environmental Prediction prototype system.   


Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

National Oceanography Centre

Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Last updated: 29 December 2015