An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Stuart Webster

Areas of expertise:

  • high resolution modelling over complex terrain

  • high resolution modelling of tropical cyclones

  • orographic rainfall

  • convectively generated gravity waves

  • orographic drag parametrization

Publications by Stu

Current activities

 Stu is primarily working on high-resolution modelling over complex terrain using the Unified Model. The aims of this work are to:

  • validate and further improve the performance of the model at very high horizontal resolution (as fine as 100 metres);
  • provide appropriate detailed predictions of the meteorological fields (winds, rainfall etc) for any region of the world that is of interest to a customer (consultancy work); 
  • develop and test improved model configurations to be used for operational tropical cyclone forecasting; 
  • use these simulations as a high-resolution truth to provide guidance on how to improve the parametrizations of orographic drag and convective rainfall that are employed at coarser model horizontal resolutions.  

Much of Stu's recent work has involved scientific consultancy projects. One such project has involved running very high horizontal resolution simulations to assess the climatological impact of a proposed mining development. Another project has involved high resolution modelling work, together with detailed analysis of high-resolution operational weather forecast winds, to derive wind climatologies suitable for wind energy assessment.  

From September 2011 through to January 2012 Stu is on secondment in Melbourne, Australia. He is working with Unified Model collaborators at the University of Melbourne and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology on convectively generated gravity waves and tropical cyclones.

Career background

Stu has worked on improving the representation of orography in the Unified Model since he started work at the Met Office in 1996. Initially his focus was on improving the performance of the global forecast and climate versions of the model but in recent years his focus has been more and more on high-resolution limited area versions of the model.  
Prior to joining the Met Office, Stu did a year's postdoctoral work in the Centre for Global Atmospheric Modelling (now NCAS-Climate) at the University of Reading developing a hybrid-isentropic vertical coordinate version of the UGAMP global circulation model. Before this, Stu completed a Ph.D. on atmospheric predictability in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.