An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Andrew Bennett

Areas of expertise

  • Use of MOSciTools for processing and visualising data 
  • Software engineering in various languages such as Python, C++ and FORTRAN-90
  • STEM Ambassadorship

Current activities:

Andrew is a scientific software engineer working on Post-Processing and Nowcasting systems. These systems add value to the unprocessed Weather forecasting model data. These data are used to produce automated products for customers and by Met Office operational meteorologists to interpret the weather. Andrew works as part of a team of scientists to support, maintain and develop the post-processing software infrastructure to ensure it is fit-for-purpose and continues to deliver high-quality data to customers. This includes the effective management of software releases to ensure modifications are implemented operationally with minimal disruption to customers.

Andrew is also actively involved in a project researching techniques to optimally combine the outputs from the Numerical Weather Prediction models from the Met Office and other forecasting centres. The project will eventually replace the current post-processing system by rationalising data feeds and using standard file formats (such as GRIB and NetCDF) and open-source tools (such as Python and MOSciTools). The objective is to improve the efficiency and scientific consistency of the production process, and improving the pull-through of new research and techniques into post-processing.

Andrew is a STEM Ambassador and has frequently taken part in Met Office Science Camp events, demonstrating the science behind the weather forecasts.

Career background:

Andrew joined the Met Office in 2004 after graduating from the University of St Andrews with a BSc in Astrophysics. His first role within the organisation supported the development, implementation and maintenance of hydro-meteorological nowcasts including precipitation, snowmelt, soil moisture, runoff and river flow. This work was largely focused on the development and maintenance of STEPS and MOSES-PDM-RFM. The PDM and RFM were developed by colleagues at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Andrew also designed and developed a new version of the STEPS software to generate high resolution ensemble precipitation forecasts with a range of several days. This work was implemented as part of the post-processing systems to improve pluvial and fluvial flood warnings issued by the Flood Forecasting Centre.
In 2012, Andrew was part of a team which implemented a showcase of probabilistic products using the state-of-the-art convective-scale ensemble MOGREPS-UK. These products were used during the London 2012 Olympics to provide guidance of any severe weather to meteorologists, event organisers, emergency responders and the general public, to inform travel plans and ensure the smooth running of the Games. A big focus of the showcase was to communicate the probabilistic information, and the science behind it, to everyone in an understandable way. Andrew was nominated for the Met Office Awards for Excellence for his part in this work.