Sean Milton

Areas of expertise

  • Diagnosis of model systematic errors.
  • Evaluating models against physical process based observations.
  • Evaluating new model formulations
  • Earth system complexity (coupled oceans, aerosols).

Publications by Sean Milton

Current activities

Sean leads the Global Model Evaluation and Diagnostics section, which works to develop the Global Atmosphere configurations of the Unified Model seamlessly across all timescales. In particular, Sean works across a broad range of global modelling activities with a focus on (i) diagnosing global model systematic errors and performance against a range observational satellite and in-situ observations and across weather and climate prediction timescales, (ii) coordinating the trialling and pull through of improvements in model physics, dynamics, and resolution (iii) developing or applying new diagnostic techniques to help understand the source of model systematic error growth, (iv) seamless prediction - promoting development of the global NWP model to include increasing earth system complexity (coupled ocean, aerosols & chemistry, land surface representation (lakes etc.)) essential for short-term environmental prediction.

Sean's interests include (i) diagnosing systematic errors in global Monsoon systems which involves collaboration with University of Reading on the Indian Monsoon and University of Leeds on the African Monsoon (ii) Global water and energy cycles, (iii) tropical (MJO) and extratropical (Blocking, stormtrack) variability, (iv) role of aerosols in numerical weather prediction, (v) role of coupled oceans, sea-ice, land surface, and stratosphere on predictability on 1-15 day timescales, and (v) role of model resolution in NWP performance.

Career background

Having gained a degree in Physics at the University of Sheffield, Sean joined the Met Office in 1986, initially working on the dynamical extended-range (30-day) forecasting. In 1992 Sean moved into NWP to focus on diagnosing systematic errors in the short-range (1-5 day) global NWP forecasts. From 1997 Sean led the Model Diagnostics and Validation team, which in 2002 became the Forecast model development and diagnostics group. In 2008 Sean was awarded a Met Office Technical Research Fellowship, and in 2010 he became the head of the newly created Global Model Evaluation and Development section.

External Recognition

In 2004 Sean received the LG Groves Memorial Prize for Meteorology (awarded annually) for his work on diagnostics and global model development.