Waves to Weather

Breadcrumb Navigation


PhD position (A1a)

Multiscale analysis of the evolution of forecast uncertainty

This PhD position contributes to project A1 "Multiscale analysis of the evolution of forecast uncertainty".

Primary supervisor: PD Dr. Michael Riemer
Other project leaders: Prof. Dr. Holger Tost and Prof. Dr. George Craig

The Atmospheric Dynamics group at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IPA) of the Johannes Gutenberg University (JGU) Mainz offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center "Waves to Weather" (W2W). JGU is the largest University of Rhineland-Palatinate covering a wide spectrum of disciplines and located close to the city center of one of the most livable cities in Germany. The IPA has a long-standing tradition in Weather Research, Dynamical Meteorology, and Cloud Physics, which are all key areas for W2W. In addition, there are strong ties between IPA and the German Weather Service. The Atmospheric Dynamics group at IPA has a strong focus on diagnosing physical processes in complex atmospheric models by a combination of modeling and theoretical analysis.

Understanding the processes that govern forecast uncertainty plays an important role in identifying limits of predictability and to produce the best forecasts that are physically possible. Project A1, a joint project of JGU and Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, will study the upscale growth and amplification of forecast uncertainty, from the convective to the synoptic scale. The project will combine dedicated numerical ensemble experiments, development of theory, and quantitative process-based analysis and will build on exciting new insight obtained and novel diagnostic tools developed during Phase 1. The overarching goal is to identify the weather situations where upscale growth is most likely to create a limit on predictability, as well as the physical mechanisms that must be represented in ensemble forecast systems to accurately describe this upscale growth.

On the position advertised herein, you will refine diagnostic tools based on potential vorticity (PV) developed during Phase 1 (more details here) and apply them to quantify the role of different diabatic processes in the growth of forecast uncertainty in individual weather systems. Jointly with your project collaborators, you will select a number of interesting cases for detailed process studies, design numerical ensemble experiments, study the upscale impact of different convective-scale processes, and put the results of your PV diagnostics in the context of a multi-scale theory of upscale growth that will be developed at LMU. This close collaboration implies co-supervision of your thesis by Prof. George Craig (LMU) and Prof. Holger Tost (JGU).

As a successful candidate, you will be able to communicate well in English and enjoy working in a collaborative environment. You will have good analytical skills, a strong background and keen interest in atmospheric dynamics, you will be familiar with at least one programming language (e.g., Python), and you hold a Master degree in meteorology, physics, applied mathematics, or a related geoscience. Preferably, you will have experience in the analysis of data from numerical models and, ideally, you will be able to demonstrate scientific writing skills.

We offer work on an exciting and highly relevant problem in a dynamic, collaborative, and international work environment. The successful candidate will share all benefits from the collaborative research center W2W and is welcome to contribute to related events. W2W features an innovative program for the development of early career researchers based on self-government. In addition to self-organized activities such as workshops, trainings, and a guest program, the successful candidate will have the opportunity, if desired, to pursue an international research visit of at least one week. The consortium conducts an ambitious program to gradually enhance gender equality on all career levels within the academic fields combined in W2W. In addition, the successful candidate will have access to extensive training and career development activities offered by JGU Mainz.

The position is initially funded for 3 years with possible extension until June 2023 and should start as soon as possible. It is remunerated according to TV-L E13 (75%). Applicants are asked to specify their desired starting date and to give the contact details of two academic referees.

JGU is an equal opportunity employer. Women are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered if equally qualified.

If you are interested, please apply online here!