An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Bernard Claxton

Areas of expertise

  • Boundary layer meteorology

  • Machine learning

  • Fog and visibility modelling

Publications by Bernard 

Current activities

Bernard is a scientist working in the Boundary Layer Research group, located at the Met Office's research unit at Cardington, Bedfordshire, helping to provide research quality atmospheric observations in support of model development.

Recent work involves the development of Vera, a novel scheme for fog prediction. Vera is capable of utilising polydisperse forecast aerosol to diagnose the probability of fog forming in operational forecast models. This guidance is especially important for airports, where fog can have a major impact.

Other work involves liaising with collaborators in India to share knowledge about sub-km scale modelling, particularly of cities. As part of this activity, Vera has been coupled to a Delhi forecast model run by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.

Career background

Bernard obtained a degree in Natural Sciences (Physical) from the University of Cambridge before joining the Met Office in 1993. Whilst at Cardington, Bernard completed a PhD at UMIST, with a thesis exploring in-situ observations of entrainment at the top of the atmospheric boundary layer.

One of Bernard’s early projects was evaluating and optimising the Met Office's capability to forecast road surface temperatures. This product is used to anticipate when to grit roads during the winter.

Much recent work has been focussed on fog prediction. In 2008 Bernard published a paper describing how to utilise a neural network to simulate a fog parametrisation. Since this pioneering work, machine learning has matured into a very active area of meteorological research.

Bernard has participated in numerous field campaigns, e.g. sea breezes at Bridlington, valley flow in South Wales, the Pennines and the Clun Valley, fog in southwest France and surface moisture exchange in northern Spain.

Bernard is both a Chartered Physicist and Member of the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.