Professor Dale Barker

Dale is the Deputy Director (Weather Science)

Current activities

In his role as Deputy Director (Weather Science), Dale oversees the work of ~200 scientists and scientific software engineers. Weather Science activities include:

  • The delivery of science to operations: NWP, ocean forecasting, atmospheric dispersion and air quality prediction.
  • R&D to support the above. In particular:
    • The optimal configuration of current and future observation networks.
    • Better use of observations through QC, bias correction, inversion and data assimilation.
    • Improvements, analysis and applications of reanalysis and hindcast datasets.
    • Multi-user-relevant, probabilistic verification and post-processing techniques.
    • Environmental Prediction: Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice-Wave-Surge-Biogeochemistry-Hydrology-Composition
    • Environmental Impacts modelling.
    • Maintenance/development of current/future IT infrastructure that underpins our science.

Dale also retains strong personal research interests in a) atmospheric data assimilation, and b) tropical convective-scale NWP.

Career Background

Dale's meteorological career began in 1993 when he joined the Met Office following a PhD (Sussex) and post doc (Manchester) in astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics. Between 1993 and 1999 Dale worked within the data assimilation team to develop the Met Office's three-dimensional variational (3D-Var) data assimilation scheme. Dale was also responsible for the Met Office's first in-house ensemble prediction system (based on the 'error-breeding' method) for use within hybrid variational/ensemble data assimilation.

In 1999, Dale left the Met Office to join the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Whilst at NCAR, Dale led the 'WRFDA' data assimilation programme. In 2006, Dale also became an NCAR Program Manager and Director of NCAR's Data Assimilation Testbed Center.

Dale returned to the Met Office in May 2008, and took over from Andrew Lorenc as Head of Data Assimilation and Ensembles section of Weather Science. As Head Data Assimilation and Ensembles between 2009 and 2015, Dale oversaw DAE's six groups (around 40 staff): Global DAE, Convective Scale DA, DA methods, DAE systems, Ensemble Forecasting, DA@Reading and Earth System DA. Dale also led the initial effort to develop a European regional atmospheric reanalysis within the EU co-funded EURO4M project (2010-2014). Dale's research interests have also included advanced 'hybrid' data assimilation algorithms that make use of short-range ensemble forecasts as proxies for forecast errors within current generation four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) data assimilation systems (implement operationally at the Met Office in 2011).

Dale became Deputy Director of Weather Science in April 2015.

External Recognition

Last updated: 1 September 2016

About Dale Barker

Prof Dale Barker

Dale is the Deputy Director (Weather Science).

Areas of expertise

  • Regional Reanalysis
  • Hybrid
    Data Assimilation
  • Modelling of forecast error covariances
  • Community NWP

Dale's publications 

    Share this: