Katie Norman

Katie works with quantitative precipitation estimates (QPE) from radar, developing quality control and characterisation techniques.

Areas of expertise:

  • Detection of birds using weather radar.

  • Removal of non-meteorological echoes caused by anomalous propagation (anaprop) of the radar beam.

  • Quantifying uncertainty in radar QPE.

Current activities

Currently Katie is comparing two different methods of generating ensembles of radar observations in order to better represent the errors in weather radar QPE. A better representation of these errors is essential to improving short term precipitation forecasts. The first method uses a physically based model which takes into account errors arising from measuring precipitation at different heights above the earth's surface and the fluctuations in the actual relationship between measured reflectivity and precipitation rate. The second method is an empirical model based on the measured error covariances of historical radar data, using gauge data as a ground truth measurement.

She is also working on defining a quality index for radar data for exchange within Europe. Quality indices are widely used in the data compositing process which decides which radar's data to use in each pixel of the radar composite, where there is coverage from more than one radar.

Career background

Katie has worked in the weather radar development team since July 2008 and for a placement year prior to that (2006/2007). Before joining the Met Office, Katie completed an undergraduate masters in physics at the University of Bath with a research placement at the Met Office.

Last updated: 8 April 2014