The scientific consultancy team at the Met Office

Tom Butcher

Area of expertise

  • Energy
  • Offshore Oil & Gas
  • Surface transport
  • Aviation
  • Water
  • Retail
  • Infrastructure

Current activities

Tom is responsible for a team of scientific consultants and scientists who provide weather and climate expert advice across industry sectors. He leads and develops strategic partnerships to understand complex requirements, design solutions, and ultimately deliver valuable customer outcomes.

Career background

Tom has been working with the Met Office, World Meteorological Organisation and Australian Bureau of Meteorology since 2002. During this time he has built up a strong understanding of the science of weather and climate change and their impact on industry and governments.

Between 2014 and 2017 Tom led the Business Development function at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and delivered several projects:

  • Optimising the application of probabilistic tropical cyclone forecasts for the Australian offshore oil and gas industry to enhance safety and reduce downtime.
  • Improving agricultural decision-making through the installation of three digital weather radars in the Western Australia Wheatbelt.
  • Enhancing aviation forecasts and severe weather warnings in Papua New Guinea through the delivery of training and operational support to the National Weather Service.
  • Setting up a thunderstorm asthma warning service for the state of Victoria following a severe incident in 2016.
  • Improving flood forecasting for a critical catchment in New South Wales.

Before working in Australia, Tom has held a variety of relationship management and consulting roles for the Met Office:

  • Developing international strategy.
  • Managing relationships with UK government Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • Being seconded to the World Meteorological Organisation resource mobilisation office.
  • Heading projects to strengthen weather services in Sierra Leone; and warnings to fishermen on Lake Victoria in Uganda.
  • Working with the UK water sector on a range of projects including: predicting water leaks; and the impact of climate change on extreme weather events.
  • Managing the relationship with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games to develop service requirements for London 2012.
  • Representing the Met Office and the United Kingdom at international meetings on a range of topics including observations, weather forecasting, the international exchange of data, training and climate change.

Tom is originally a physicist who began his meteorological career working on the development of new weather observing instrumentation and networks.