Dr Bernard Claxton

Bernard improves the Met Office's Numerical Weather Prediction capability through gathering and analysing boundary layer meteorological observations.

Areas of expertise:

  • Boundary layer meteorology, especially fog and visibility modelling;

  • Application of neural networks;

  • Using observations to evaluate forecast model fields.

Publications by Bernard 

Current activities

Bernard is a scientist working in the Observations Based Research section of Forecasting Research and Development, located at the Met Office's research unit at Cardington, Bedfordshire.

Currently, Bernard is developing a neural network, with the aim of improving the forecast of visibility. This work builds on a previous study whereby Bernard demonstrated, by verifying against visibility observations made at Cardington, that a NN could outperform the diagnostic visibility scheme within the Unified Model. Bernard is now extending the capability of the NN to other sites, e.g. airports.

Other work involves characterising the aerosol fields observed at Cardington. This project utilises instrumentation at Cardington: an aerosol size spectrometer, nephelometer, visiometer, particle counters and other meteorological observing instruments.

Bernard is also responsible for the operation of a sky radiometer deployed at Cardington, performing both regular maintenance and processing of the observations. Observations from this POM-01L, a remote sensing instrument, can be used to derive the characteristics, e.g. size distribution, of the columnar aerosol population over Cardington.

Career background

Bernard has been based at Cardington since joining the Met Office in 1993. One of his first projects was investigating the Met Office's capability to forecast road surface temperatures. This product is used to anticipate when to grit roads during the winter.

Whilst at Cardington, Bernard completed a PhD at UMIST. The thesis explored observations of entrainment at the top of the atmospheric boundary layer. In-situ observations were collected using the tethered balloon / turbulence probe system at Cardington.

Bernard has also been involved in the evaluation of a surface exchange scheme used within the Unified Model. This work involved testing the inputs and verifying the outputs of the parametrization scheme using field observations.

Recently, Bernard was seconded to another group at the Met Office that used observations collected by the FAAM aircraft during the EUCAARI campaign to investigate the representation of aerosol within the Unified Model.

Bernard has participated in numerous field campaigns, e.g. sea breezes at Bridlington, valley flow in South Wales, the Pennines and the Clun Valley.

Bernard is both a Chartered Physicist and Member of the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Last updated: 8 April 2014