An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Darren Lyth

Areas of expertise

  • Present Weather sensors
  • RVR
  • Visibility
  • Surface sensor field trials

Current activities

Darren is a Senior Scientist, and has been a member of the Surface Sensor Development Team, in the Observations Department, since 2005. His responsibilities include improving and maintaining the quality of surface instrumentation and observations provided by the Met Office, so that internal and external customers needs and objectives are met.

His scientific work currently concentrates on ascertaining whether new technology can replace both older sensors and people in determining "Present Weather". To this end, Darren has conducted winter field trials in Eskdalemuir, Scotland, the purpose of which was to gain knowledge of new technology Present Weather laser disdrometers, and allow trial results and recommendations to inform solutions which will enable newly installed MMS systems ("Meteorological Monitoring System" - a project to replace existing Met Office automatic weather stations) to provide additional Present Weather capability. The final deliverable will be a fully developed next generation system with the necessary software to integrate data from a wide range of sensors.

Darren has also recently been involved in project managing the "AWS Sensor Development" mini-programme, and he has also investigated solutions for increasing the number of visibility sensors in the UK Observing Network.

Darren has recently completed an MSc in Environmental Decision Making, in order to increase effectiveness in both management and participation in departmental and organisational environmental decision-making processes.

Career background

Darren joined the Met Office in 1989, working as a "CLIMAT" Lab Team Member, in the newly opened Hadley Centre. His principal duties included development of Fortran programs to quality control monthly worldwide upper-air "CLIMAT TEMP" messages, prior to use by climate models. He also, investigated step changes in data quality (for example, by instrumentation changes).

In 1994, Darren joined the Upper-Air Development team as a Field Trials Scientist. He was responsible for testing, operating and evaluating upper-air observing systems, conducting post-trial data analyses, and developing software to evaluate and visualise data. He also organised and project managed field projects.

From 2002 until 2005, Darren took over as Project Manager/ Project Scientist for the 78GHz Development Cloud Radar Project. He was responsible for project managing the development of a demonstrator cloud radar (designed and built by the Rutherford Appleton Lab). As Project Scientist, he was responsible for the evaluation of the radar against other systems, production of a final report, and recommendations for future systems.

In 2005, Darren joined the Surface Sensor Development team, and also acquired postgraduate qualifications in Technology Management.