An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Peter Sheridan

Areas of expertise

  • Lee waves, lee-wave rotors.

  • Downslope windstorms.

  • Low-level orographic turbulence.

  • Temperature variation in complex terrain.

Publications by Peter

Current activities

Peter is a senior scientist working on orographic processes. His research involves use of detailed, intensive field observations and fine-scale computer models to study the dependence of winds and temperatures in regions of hilly or mountainous terrain on atmospheric conditions. This enables the development of tools to assist forecasters in interpreting the large scale forecast from the Unified Model in terms of local detail, such as windstorms and turbulence in the lee of mountains, or extreme temperature minima that can occur at the bottom of a valley.

Peter makes advanced use of numerical models (Unified Model, Met Office flow over hills model: BLASIUS) for his research, and is experienced in analysing large observational datasets recorded during intensive field campaigns around the world. The main focus of his current work is on understanding the distribution of temperature with elevation in hilly or mountainous regions, and using this knowledge to improve automated temperature post-processing techniques. These are used to "downscale" the basic Unified Model forecast of temperatures to a much finer spatial scale.

Career background

Peter joined the Met Office as a member of Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations in 2003. Prior to this, he obtained an MPhys in the Department of Physics, University of Leeds in 1998, and completed a PhD in Physics in the same department in 2002.  

Peter's work in the orography group has previously focused on understanding the conditions that lead to "rotor" formation induced by lee-waves in different mountainous locations. More recently his interests have broadened to include the study of formation of "pools" of cold air at low levels in complex terrain, and the behaviour of regional wind systems in the vicinity of large mountain-ranges.