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Dr Lee Hawkness-Smith

Lee works on the assimilation of radar reflectivity.

Lee works on the assimilation of radar reflectivity. He works in the Data Assimilation @ Reading Group based at MetOffice@Reading Unit at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

Areas of expertise

Lee's areas of expertise include:

  • Radar reflectivity
  • Microphysics
  • Data assimilation

Current activities

Lee is a scientist working on radar reflectivity assimilation. Lee is developing and testing a system for the direct assimilation of radar reflectivity data from the Met Office radar network in 4D-Var. As the Unified Model is run at higher resolutions, it is important to constrain the model with high resolution observations with good coverage in space and time. Radar provides high resolution data across the UK at frequent intervals.

Radar reflectivity provides direct observations of rain and snow as they fall through the atmosphere, and its inclusion in the 4D-Var data assimilation system should allow the Unified Model thermodynamic and moisture fields to be updated in a manner consistent with the model dynamics and rain and snowfall observations. Lee is a participant in the Flooding from Intense Rainfall project, with an interest in using radar data with improved quality to improve weather forecasts and flood warnings.

Career background

Lee has been working on the assimilation of radar reflectivity data since joining the Met Office in 2009. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Theoretical Physics from Durham University in 2004. In 2010, he completed a PhD on the use of theCloudSat satellite-borne radar to examine the representation of drizzle in the Unified Model and ECMWF Integrated Forecast System (IFS) at the University of Reading.

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