Dr Mike Thurlow

Mike works in global data assimilation with a special interest in operational NWP suites.

Areas of expertise

Mike's areas of expertise include:

  • operational numerical weather prediction
  • development of data assimilation methods
  • validation and diagnostics for NWP
  • development of research and operational NWP suites
  • use of observations in NWP

Current activities

Mike is a senior scientist working in the area of global data assimilation. In particular he is responsible for the development of NWP suites incorporating observation processing, data assimilation, forecasting and verification components for use in the research environment and then on into operational use. All changes that are made to the operational NWP systems have to be thoroughly tested to ensure their scientific and technical integrity and to evaluate their performance in terms of improved forecasts and efficient use of expensive resources. Mike undertakes the final research testing of all new changes to the operational system before they are passed for further operational testing. The NWP suites Mike develops and maintains use the Met Office's SCS software and he provides advice to other users on suite design and implementation. To further promote understanding and use of SCS Mike also provides training to both Met Office users and external collaborators. In addition Mike monitors the performance of the operational global data assimilation system and provides scientific, diagnostic and technical advice to the operational suite team. Mike also works on developments in the assimilation system through improved use of observations and improvements in processes and algorithms.

Career background

Mike's career in the Met Office began in 1992 as part of the team which developed and coded the variational assimilation system which is currently used operationally. Following a spell in postdoctoral condensed matter physics research he returned to the Met Office and to his current role. Prior to joining the Met Office Mike obtained a PhD in low temperature fluid dynamics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester.

Last updated: 10 April 2014