An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Graeme Marlton

Areas of expertise

  • Lightning detection using remote sensing methods
  • Atmospheric electricity observation methods
  • Novel measurements using Infrasound, radiosondes, unmanned aerial systems and lidar.
  • Energetic particles in the atmosphere and space weather

[email protected]

Current activities

The Met Office has been making observations of lightning using radio waves since the 1920s. Graeme is the scientific lead developing the algorithms behind the Met Office’s next generation long range lightning location system, LEELA. LEELA will allow the Met Office to maintain and deliver a lightning locations system that helps people stay safe and thrive. Graeme is the UK representative on the mission advisory group for EUMETSAT’s Lightning Imaging sensor aboard the MTG satellite. Graeme is also a committee member of GEL-81 the British standard committee for lightning protection. Graeme is a module co – convener for Energetic Particles: From the Sun to their Terrestrial & Planetary Impacts  at EGU. Internally Graeme is a member of the scientific seminar co-ordination committee helping facilitate Met Office staff share their work with others through seminars.

Career background

Dr Graeme Marlton, obtained a BSc in Meteorology from the University of Reading in 2012 and continued to obtain a PhD on measuring atmospheric turbulence with specially adapted radiosondes carrying accelerometers in 2016. The PhD involved comparing the sensors with remote sensing methods such as doppler lidar, radar and MST wind profilers. Having completed his PhD, he took on a postdoctoral position at the University of Reading on the Atmospheric Research Infra Structure in Europe (ARISE) 2 project, utilising different techniques to measure gravity wave parameters using infrasound, radiosondes, and stratospheric temperature lidar. This was then followed by a second postdoctoral position working on the United Arab Emirates Rain Enhancement program at the University of Reading. During this post Graeme developed sensing systems to measure the electrical properties of fog and clouds using a combination of ground based and in situ measurements using unmanned aerial systems and radiosondes. Graeme took on the role of lightning scientist at the Met Office in 2020. He has authored six peer reviewed papers and co-authored an additional 23. Following the publication of “Asperitas – a newly identified cloud supplementary feature” and “Precipitation Modification by Ionization”. Graeme was interviewed about them on BBC radio Berkshire and BBC south today respectively. Graeme also co-supervises his PhD student Mark Prosser, who is studying change in aviation effecting turbulence using ERA5 at the University of Reading.

External recognition

  • 2012 - Met Office prize for best undergraduate dissertation – University of Reading
  • 2015 – PhD student of the year – University of Reading,