An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Bruce Wright

Areas of expertise:

  • Data management
  • NWP model post-processing
  • Nowcasting

Current activities 

Bruce manages one of the Post-Processing teams, which is part of the Verification, Impacts and Post-Processing section within Weather Science. The team is responsible for post-processing Met Office Numerical Weather Prediction model output to produce seamless, automated weather forecasts from 15 minutes to 2 weeks ahead in the form of gridded datasets and spot forecasts spanning the UK and the globe. The process also includes nowcasting (exploiting the latest observations to improve the quality of the model forecasts for just a few hours ahead) and the use of ensembles (a set of slightly perturbed model forecasts) to provide information on forecast uncertainty.

The team are not only responsible for improving the underpinning science, but also work closely with the IT to support and develop the operational system, and with Business to develop new or enhanced products and services. Bruce has the role of solutions architect for a major project to develop a new post-processing system, IMPROVER. This will provide a single processing chain, grid-based and probabilistic, but also deliver consistent spot and deterministic forecasts, fully-integrated with verification to measure the benefits of each stage of processing. It will fully exploit convection-permitting models and ensembles, and support the provision of quality assured dashboard products for Meteorologists, enabling a shift in emphasis of the Public Weather Service offering towards the development of both products for high-impact weather and rapid refresh automation for “ordinary” weather.

Career background

Bruce joined the Met Office 1987, with a First Class Degree in Physics from Imperial College London. Initially, he working on an innovative data analysis system, which allowed the forecaster to control the analysis of a range of surface observations and remotely sensed data through a graphical interface to provide the initial conditions for a high-resolution UK model. During this time, he also gained an MSc in Meteorology from University of Reading.
In 1992, with the introduction of the Unified Model, Bruce adapted the cloud and precipitation processing system, to get high resolution radar, satellite and surface observation information into this model. He then worked on Nimrod (nowcasting system) to improve the rainfall analysis, and then to develop a visibility analysis and forecast. In 1997, Bruce was drafted onto a new initiative to develop the site-specific forecasting capability, eventually managing the team looking after the site-specific forecasting system. 
A re-organisation at the end of 2000, saw Bruce move to the IT side, leading the newly formed database and data management team, followed by a move in 2003 into an IT architecture role, specialising in data management strategy, as part of a re-engineering project. 
In 2012, Bruce came full circle, moving back to Science to lead a team working on the post-processing of gridded NWP model forecasts, very close to the area in which he started his career.

External Recognition

Bruce was a member of the INSPIRE Thematic Working Group on Atmospheric Conditions and Meteorological Geographical Features, from 2010 to 2012.