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Dr Adrian Lock

Adrian leads research into the parametrization of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Adrian leads the research and development of the parametrization of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Current activities

Adrian manages the boundary layer and surface processes team, which is part of Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations. The team focuses on improving our understanding of all processes related to the atmospheric boundary layer and its interaction with the surface, to improve their representation in weather forecasts and climate simulations.

Currently, Adrian is developing improvements to the representation of turbulence in boundary layer clouds, with a particular emphasis on understanding the factors influencing when cumulus spreads into stratocumulus. Partly connected to this he is working with GCSS and CFMIP to improve understanding of cloud responses under climate change. He is also comparing Unified Model simulations of stratocumulus clouds with detailed observations in the south-east Pacific from the VOCALS campaign, to understand and improve the representation of mesoscale (tens to hundreds of kilometres) horizontal structures in stratocumulus clouds.

Adrian is also working with others in several projects to improve forecasts of boundary layer cloud (stratocumulus and fog) and near-surface temperatures over the UK. These include boundary layer heterogeneity and fog in complex terrain (COLPEX), representing boundary layer variability in ensemble forecasts and assessing the Unified Model representation of boundary layer clouds in the Arctic.

Career background

Adrian has worked on atmospheric boundary layer modelling since he joined the Met Office in 1990. Initially, his research focused on improving high resolution numerical models for turbulent flows (large-eddy simulation) and using this model to improve understanding of the physical processes important for the evolution of stratocumulus clouds. Based on this research, in 1996 he was awarded a PhD on 'Entrainment in Clear and Cloudy Boundary Layers', from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Since then, his interests have broadened to include all types of boundary layer and, in particular, the interactions between different physical processes (such as those between turbulence, radiation and microphysics in clouds). In 2003, Adrian spent a year on secondment to RPN in Montreal where he worked on improving the performance of their shallow cumulus parametrization. In 2004, he returned to the Met Office as manager of the team responsible for the research and development of parametrizations of boundary layer processes.

External recognition

  • Adrian is currently the chair of the GCSS Boundary Layer Clouds Working Group. This involves leading international projects aimed at improving the representation of these clouds in forecast and climate models.

  • Adrian received the RMetS L.F. Richardson prize in 1999. The L.F. Richardson prize is awarded annually for an outstanding paper published in the RMetS journals by an author under 35.

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