Dr Amanda Kerr-Munslow
Amanda uses surface and balloon-borne instruments to observe and study cloud and radiation processes, so as to improve their representation in Numerical Weather Prediction forecast models.
Areas of expertise:
- Cloud microphysics modelling and observation.
- Instrumentation for boundary-layer and cloud studies.
Amanda is responsible for the use and maintenance of ground based and balloon-borne instruments used for cloud and fog research, both based at Cardington and deployed elsewhere on field campaigns:
- Two microwave radiometers, which are ground based remote sensors used to continually take observations of the total water vapour and liquid water content of the atmosphere overhead.
- Three Doppler LiDARs, which each use a laser to obtain air velocity and cloud layer information. Using these, we can study the properties of the atmosphere over longer time scales than is available from in-situ probes such as radiosondes and balloon-borne turbulence probes.
Amanda uses data collected from these and other instruments to research cloud processes for improving the numerical weather prediction models. Research topics are directed by the needs of the modellers, particularly those working in Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations.
Of particular interest currently is the forecasting of fog; observations of the life cycle of fog will be used to help improve this. Amanda also studies the evolution of stratus and stratocumulus clouds and their homogeneity.
Collaborations with other observational research groups such as FAAM, Observation Based Research and Atmospheric Measurement Facility allow for the scope of an observational campaign to be wider and more comprehensive with a greater instrument base to be deployed.
Amanda received her undergraduate degree in Physics from Imperial College, London, working for the Met Office during her summer holidays as a vacation student in the then Atmospheric Processes Research group. She then went on to do a DPhil at the University of Oxford sponsored by Met Office Climate Research as a CASE student, studying the effects of wave driving on the annual cycle of the tropical tropopause. After her DPhil, she joined the Met Office in 2003, returning to Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations as a Clouds and Radiation Research Scientist. During her time in Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations she worked on the PC2 cloud scheme in the Unified Model and Single Column Model. In 2006, she then transferred to Observational Based cloud research at Cardington, using instruments to observe the processes she had previously been modelling, collaborating with her former team in Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations. Understanding both the modelling and observations aspects of cloud microphysics research helps to bridge the gap between the two areas, with their individual advantages and limitations.