An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Chris Bunney

Areas of expertise

  •  Ocean and nearshore wave modelling theory
  •  Development and deployment of wave modelling systems
  •  Data processing and visualisation

Current activities

Chris's main role since early 2008 has been the implementation of the 3rd generation WAVEWATCH III® model as a replacement for the Met Office's long standing second generation wave model. Since late 2009, this model has run at the core of the Met Office's operational wave forecasting system.

Recent activities include:

  • Work on improved spectral partitioning techniques in an attempt to provide clearer and more intuitive wind-sea and swell fields to forecasters and customers.
  • Development of automatic sub-grid cell blocking grid generation.
  • Investigation of Garden Sprinkler Effect alleviation of a second order advection scheme that has been added to the Met Office's WAVEWATCH III ®implementation.

In a drive to bring Met Office wave modelling closer to the coast (where the complexities of shallow water physics, tides and complex bathymetries have to be accounted for), Chris is now focusing on the development of Met Office nearshore wave modelling capabilities. This will include sensitivity testing regional configurations of WAVEWATCH III® in macrotidal shelf seas and coastal regions around the UK; comparing available model codes for application to the nearshore environment, and a complete re-development of the current rapid deployment nearshore and surf zone modelling system used at the Met Office.

Career background

Chris has been a member of the Ocean Waves team since October 2007 and is the current system owner for the wave model. Before that, Chris worked in the Post Processing team where he developed a 'Shading and Skyview' scheme in MORST to parameterise incoming shortwave and outgoing longwave radiation.

Before joining the Met Office, Chris studied a BSc in Ocean Science at Plymouth University and after graduation was employed as a research assistant working on the development and deployment of an in situ Submersible Particle Tracking Velocimetry system. This system utilised novel video techniques to track particles in a 3D volume to identify and quantify small scale coherent turbulent structures in the bottom boundary layer of the coastal ocean.