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PhD position (A1b)

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

The group for "Environmental Modelling in the Climate System" at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IPA) at the JGU Mainz offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center "Waves to Weather" (W2W). JGU Mainz is the largest University of Rhineland-Palatinate covering a wide spectrum of disciplines. 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 group has long experience on atmospheric modelling with a focus on both convective processes and chemistry-climate interactions. The first aspect is covering the topic of this position.

An important prerequisite to identify limits of predictability and to produce the best forecasts that are physically possible is an improved understanding of the processes that govern the evolution of forecast uncertainty. In project A1 in W2W, we will study the upscale growth and amplification of forecast uncertainty, from the convective to the synoptic scale, in different weather situations. Based on the results obtained from Phase 1 of W2W, we will continue the analysis of the origin of this uncertainty from the convective scale as the main part of the announced position. For this purpose we will combine dedicated numerical ensemble experiments, development of theory, and quantitative process-based analysis. The overarching goal is to identify the weather situations where upscale growth of uncertainty is most likely to create an intrinsic limit on predictability, as well as the physical mechanisms (especially convective scale processes) that must be represented in an ensemble forecast system to accurately describe this upscale error growth process.

This project is designed as a joint project of JGU and LMU, with two PhD positions at JGU and one Postdoc at LMU. On the position advertised herein, you will analyze various processes on the convective scale (e.g., redistribution of moist static energy, latent heat release, convective momentum transport) and quantify the importance of these processes on
the forecast uncertainty (in terms of a divergent disturbance of the mean flow). For this purpose you will run numerical experiments and modify the model code accordingly to obtain data on these processes, both with parameterized as well as "resolved" convection. 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 convective uncertainty via a PV diagnostic 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. Dr. George Craig from LMU and PD Dr. Michael Riemer from JGU.

As a successful candidate, you will be able to communicate well in English and enjoy working in a collaborative environment. You will have a strong background and a keen interest in atmospheric convection and dynamics, with good analytical skills, and you will be familiar with at least one programming language (optimal would be FORTRAN). We expect you to hold a Master degree in Meteorology, Physics, Applied Mathematics, or a related science. Preferably, you will already have some 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 JGU is located close to the city center of Mainz, one of the most livable cities in Germany. The successful candidate will share all benefits from the collaborative research center W2W and will be expected to contribute to related events. 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.

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.

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!