Sarah is a climate scientist working on El Niño Southern Oscillation.
ENSO is the largest natural interannual climate signal in the tropics and fluctuations between warm (El Niño) and cold (La Niña) phases occur every occur every few years. The centre of action lies in the tropical Pacific, but the impacts are felt worldwide - even in geographically remote regions, such as Europe. Sarah works on better understanding the interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere that give rise to ENSO and assesses the representation of ENSO and its teleconnections in models. This work will inform the development and improvement of our climate models.
Sarah also carries out research aimed at identifying and understanding processes that give rise to predictive skill on monthly to decadal timescales, with a particular focus of European climate. Recent work has included looking at the relationship between ENSO and wintertime climate in Europe and understanding how decadal variations in solar ultraviolet irradiance may help drive regional winter climate variability.
With monitoring of observed conditions in the tropical Pacific and use of forecasts from the Met Office seasonal prediction system, Sarah coordinates the Met Office input to the WMO El Niño/La Niña Update
Sarah joined the Met Office in 1986 and has worked primarily on the development and analysis of ocean-atmosphere general circulation models, with a focus on simulating and predicting climate variability on seasonal to interannual timescales. She played a key role in the development and successful implementation of the Met Office's first operational coupled seasonal forecast model, GloSea.
As an undergraduate Sarah studied Natural Sciences at Durham University and also has an MSc in Applicable Mathematics from Cranfield Institute of Technology.