An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Sarah Millington

Areas of expertise

  • Atmospheric dispersion modelling
  • Satellite data processing and application for forecasting
  • Simulating satellite images using a radiative transfer model
  • Volcanic ash detection and retrieval using satellite data

Current activities

Sarah leads the Radiological and Biological group in the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality team. The group's focus is on research in the field of atmospheric dispersion and the development and application of the Met Office's Met Office Dispersion Model for emergency response events including the spread of animal and plant diseases and nuclear accidents. Examples of such events include the spread of Bluetongue virus in 2006/07 and the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March 2011. This work is essential to the activities of many UK and international organisations.

Career background

Sarah joined the Met Office in 1998 and worked in the Satellite Applications group until 2005. Her work involved research and development of satellite image products using primarily MSG data. Sarah's work focused on retrieving information about clouds, and identifying volcanic ash and desert dust clouds.
Between 2005 and 2009 Sarah worked on developing defence products to aid military operations in the Defence applications team. The main areas of Sarah's work were the use of NWP data for radar propagation prediction and the development of a tool to forecast night-time light levels to aid the use of night-vision goggles.

In 2009 Sarah returned to the Satellite Applications group to work on the provision of sea surface temperature data to climate research. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, in 2010 led to Sarah advising the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) and subsequently developing simulated volcanic ash imagery using NAME ash concentration forecasts to support the service.

Sarah moved to the Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group in 2014.

Prior to starting work at the Met Office, Sarah gained a degree in Physics at Nottingham University, and since starting work has gained an MSc degree in Meteorology from Reading University.