Dr Lizzie Kendon

Areas of expertise

  • Climate extremes

  • Regional climate prediction for the UK and Europe

  • Reliability of projected precipitation change

My Publications - Kendon, L

Current activities

Lizzie's work aims to gain a better understanding of extreme rainfall processes, and model deficiencies in the representation of these, across space and time scales. Her work links up Met Office expertise in forecasting extreme events on weather and climate change timescales, and exploits the seamless nature of the Unified Model.

A key aspect of her work is developing and running very high resolution (1.5 km) climate simulations for a limited area of the UK. The simulation of extreme rainfall in the 1.5 km model is being analysed and compared with lower resolution model versions. In particular, she is exploring process-links between the large-scale atmospheric circulation and extreme rainfall across model resolution.

Work at the Met Office has shown significant improvements in the representation of extreme rainfall at cloud-permitting scales, with better representation of the diurnal cycle and of internal cloud dynamics (essential for capturing the development and persistence of convective events such as Boscastle in 2004). This suggests the importance of using very high resolution models in climate change studies, in particular for the estimation of changes in convective summer storms and thus flash floods.

New understanding from this work will be applied in the context of developing and improving our climate models, as well as providing guidance to the government on the reliability of future projections of extreme precipitation change.

Career background

Lizzie joined the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2006, where she spent the first three years working in the Regional climate modelling team before moving to the Seamless Ensemble Prediction group, and more recently the Extreme events group. Prior to that, Lizzie did a PhD at Imperial College London using observational data to study the variability of atmospheric water vapour. During this time, she was lucky enough to have the opportunity of combining meteorological research with the ascent of an 8000 m Himalayan Peak, Cho Oyu. Before moving into climate research, Lizzie spent a few years working as a Radiological Analyst. As an undergraduate Lizzie studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Cambridge University and also has an MSc in Pollution and Environmental Control from Manchester University.