Dr Leon Hermanson

Leon is a Willis Research Fellow and works on understanding predictability of windstorms and on decadal climate prediction.

Areas of expertise

  • Mechanisms of predictability of European windstorms
  • Drivers of the North Atlantic Oscillation
  • Monthly to decadal climate prediction
  • Atlantic hurricane landfall

Publications by Leon

Current activities

Leon is a member of the Willis Research Network (WRN) and spends most of his time working on questions relating to European windstorms together with Willis and other WRN partners, chiefly the University of Exeter and the University of Reading. After Atlantic hurricanes, European windstorms (mainly in winter) are the leading natural cause of loss in the insurance industry.

Leon is interested in understanding the reasons why some winters produce many violent storms that impact Europe and other winters are relatively quiet. He is investigating this by trying to learn more about the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO provides the background state upon which the windstorms develop. When the oscillation is in its positive phase, strong windstorms are more likely than when it is in its negative phase (though exceptions do occur).

As part of the Met Office Decadal Prediction Group, Leon works on developing and running the Met Office Decadal Climate Prediction System DePreSys. He also helps with the analysis and interpretation of the experimental forecasts made with DePreSys.

Leon also works alongside other researchers in the Met Office to understand and predict tropical cyclones on monthly to decadal time scales. He is particularly interested in understanding what, if any, predictability there is for Atlantic hurricanes making landfall on these time scales.

Career background

Leon joined the Decadal Prediction Group at the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2011. Previously, he worked at the University of Reading with Prof. Rowan Sutton, researching decadal prediction since 2006. He was seconded to the Met Office in 2009 to work closely with the Decadal Prediction Group on initialisation of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) in DePreSys. Leon completed a PhD in Meteorology in 2006 at the University of Reading supervised by Sir Brian Hoskins.

Last updated: 4 April 2014