An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Jenna Thornton

Areas of Expertise

  • Cloud microphysics

  • Fog development

  • Analysis of observations of boundary layer meteorology

Jenna's publications

Current Activities

Jenna is largely involved in the SOFOG3D campaign which took the form of a six-month international field campaign followed by a longer period of data analysis. The project sought to improve the understanding of fog processes at small scales using meteorological observations made with a network of measurement sites over south-west France. Jenna has been using these observations to assess radiation-fog variability over a heterogeneous forest plantation. She has also been using this dataset to investigate the interactions between radiation-fog and very low stratus.

Additionally, Jenna has been involved in the development of a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) capability operated by OBR. This has included writing an algorithm to determine wind properties from the UAV dynamics, i.e. pitch and roll, and validating this using ground-based measurements. Jenna is also currently undergoing UAV-pilot training.

Jenna has also recently been involved in the testing of a new Lidar based in the Falkland Islands to assist in the forecasting of rotors. This involved statistical data analysis of the wind properties captured by the Lidar, and the writing of a detailed document designed to advise the multiple stakeholders if and how the Lidar could be used to aid in the forecasting of rotors.

Career Background

After completing a MSci in Astrophysics at UCL (University College London) Jenna went on to obtain a PhD in atmospheric physics from the University of Hertfordshire. This thesis explored the effect of meteorological conditions on the properties of ice particles in cirrus cloud using observations made with the FAAM atmospheric-research aircraft. Jenna then joined FAAM as a cloud-physics instrument scientist during a major field campaign in India to measure meteorological conditions during monsoon season. After this Jenna joined UKCEH (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) as an instrument engineer where she was involved in the management of a large soil-moisture measurement network (COSMOS-UK) and a greenhouse-gas flux measurement network. Jenna joined the Met Office in 2019 as a member of the Boundary Layer research group within Observation-Based Research (OBR) and is based at the Cardington field site.