Dr Lee Hawkness-Smith

Areas of expertise

  • Radar reflectivity
  • Microphysics
  • Data assimilation

Current activities

Lee is a scientist working on radar reflectivity assimilation. Lee has developed and tested 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.

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 the CloudSat satellite-borne radar to examine the representation of drizzle in the Unified Model and ECMWF Integrated Forecast System (IFS) at the University of Reading.