Dr Bruce Macpherson

Areas of expertise

  • Limited-area data assimilation
  • Assimilation of cloud, precipitation and visibility observations

Publications by Bruce Macpherson

Current activities

Bruce manages the convective-scale NWP team which is part of the Research To Operations section within Weather Science. The team focuses on improving the operational UK models (both deterministic and ensemble) and other limited-area models covering different regions of the globe. The aim is to improve analyses and forecasts of key weather elements such as rain, cloud, visibility, screen temperature and 10-metre wind. An increasing focus is the area of 'NWP-nowcasting', which is concerned with timely issue of frequently updated forecasts for the 0-12 hour time period. A second key aim is to improve the quality of probabilistic forecasts from the UK ensemble, especially in cases of severe weather.

Career background

Bruce has worked mostly on data assimilation since starting at the Met Office in 1985. He began work on initialisation of global models and helped develop the Analysis Correction assimilation scheme used operationally from 1988-1999. Later he worked on assimilation of radar rainfall rates by Latent Heat Nudging and cloud data by moisture nudging, techniques which became operational in the mid-1990s. He moved on to help introduce the first operational scheme for variational assimilation of visibility observations. He was involved in the introduction of a 4D-Var scheme into the North Atlantic and European Model in 2006 and led the development of hourly 4D-Var in the UKV model for operational implementation in 2017.

Prior to joining the Met Office, Bruce graduated in Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics from the University of St Andrews. He then completed a PhD on flow and sediment transport over steep sand ripples at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in the University of Cambridge.

External recognition

  • Bruce is the current chair of the Expert Team on Data Assimilation and Use of Observations of the Short-Range Numerical Weather Prediction Programme of EUMETNET.
  • From 1999-2004, Bruce was chair of Working Group 3 of European Action COST-717: 'Use of Radar Observations in Hydrological and NWP models'.