Dr Helen Wells

Helen leads the Civil Aviation Research and Development group and conducts research into improving the meteorological products and data available to the aviation community.

Areas of expertise

Helen's areas of expertise include:

  • Clear air turbulence
  • Aviation Meteorology
  • Orographic drag
  • Gravity waves

My Publications - Wells, H

Current activities

Helen leads the Aviation applications team within Applied weather. The main focus of the work is on improving the meteorological products and data available to the aviation community in order to enhance flight safety, operational efficiency and economic benefits and minimise the environmental impact of aviation worldwide.

Helen's research is currently focused on clear air turbulence. In the past she has done a significant amount of work on orographic processes, using modelling and theory to develop understanding of the underlying physical processes. This work culminated in the development of a new mountain drag parametrization for the Unified Model.

Helen has significant expertise in numerical modelling, regularly using the Unified Model, the BLASIUS model and simplified linear models of gravity waves as research tools.

Career background

Helen joined the Met Office in 2002 as a research scientist in the Orography group in Parametrizations. Prior to joining the Met Office, Helen completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Geophysics at the University of Edinburgh. In 2007 Helen completed a PhD on idealised flow around high mountain ridges in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. Her work in the Orography group focused on developing understanding of orographic drag with a view to improving orographic drag parametrizations. Helen also developed secondary interests in orographic precipitation and in the effect of mountain waves on clear-air turbulence. In 2011 Helen became manager of the Aviation applications team within Applied weather.

Last updated: 28 April 2014

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