Dr Alison Stirling
Alison leads research into convection representation in weather and climate models.
Areas of expertise
- Convection modelling
- Large-eddy simulation
- Turbulence scaling
- Convection parametrization
Alison leads the ParaCon programme, which is jointly funded by the Met Office and NERC to make significant improvements to the representation of convection across model scales. At the Met Office, she manages the convection team, which is part of Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations. The team focuses on improving our understanding of the physical processes related to atmospheric convection and its interaction with the rest of the atmosphere, with the aim of improving convective representation in weather forecasts and climtae simulations.
Currently, Alison is developing improvements to the representation of entrainment in deep convective clouds and its connection to vertical transport. She has a particular interest in understanding the link between local convective processes and larger-scale atmospheric dynamics that give rise to phenomena such as the Madden Julian Oscillation and the Indian monsoon. She is working with others to improve the representation of convective initiation and the role of cold pools in this process.
Alison joined the convection group at the Met Office having obtained a degree in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in astronomy from the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. She took a secondment to work as a post-doc in the Astrophysics Group at the University of Cambridge on atmospheric water vapour fluctuations for the ALMA telescope in Chile, and later worked as a scientific adviser on climate change within the Department of Energy and Climate Change. She has also studied at the Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees in Toulouse, France, where she held an Entente-Cordiale scholarship.