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PhD position (A6b)

Big ensembles to represent the evolution of forecast uncertainty

This PhD position contributes to project A6 "Representing the evolution of forecast uncertainty".

Primary supervisor: Dr. Christian Keil
Other project leaders: Prof. Dr. George Craig

The Theoretical Meteorology group at the Meteorological Institute (MIM) at the LMU Munich, offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center "Waves to Weather". The Theoretical Meteorology group at MIM has a strong focus on predictability of weather and has established a leading international reputation in atmospheric predictability, stochastic parameterization and data assimilation. As one of Europe’s leading research universities, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich is committed to the highest international standards of excellence in research and teaching. Building on its more than 500-year-long tradition, it offers a broad spectrum that covers all areas of knowledge within its 18 Faculties, ranging from the humanities, law, economics and social sciences, to medicine and the natural sciences.

Forecasting convective precipitation remains one of the key challenges in weather forecasting. In the first few minutes, radar observations can be used to give very accurate predictions of individual storms, but after a few hours only a vague probabilistic forecast is possible. The aim of project A6 of W2W is to understand how predictability of convective precipitation decays with forecast lead time, and how it should be represented in a prediction system at different stages of the evolution. We will use very large ensembles of forecasts from a modern weather forecasting system to accurately represent the nonlinear evolution of the probability density.

The backbone of this project is the new Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic (ICON) model of DWD at convection permitting resolution put in ensemble mode. The planned ensemble of up to 1000 members is technically, computationally and scientifically very challenging and, in Germany, unprecedented. We will closely cooperate with DWD (and their SINFONY project) to perform a targeted set of numerical experiments. In project A6 there is another PhD position open at LMU developing and using an idealized, computationally efficient modelling framework to run 10.000 or more ensemble members. The parallel use of a simple, computationally efficient, model, together with a realistic numerical weather prediction system is central to the strategy of this project. The project is organized so that similar experiments with the two modelling systems are being carried out in parallel wherever possible, allowing the PhD students to influence the design of the experiments in both directions.

The ideal candidate holds a MSc in Meteorology, Physics, Mathematics, or other Geosciences and has already some experience in numerical modelling and/or skills to evaluate huge data sets. Besides very good knowledge of English, experience with Fortran, Unix, and statistical/visualisation software (e.g. python, R) would be an advantage.

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.

LMU is an equal opportunity employer. Women are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered if equally qualified. The successful candidate will work in the city center of Munich and will have access to extensive training and career development activities offered by the LMU.

If you are interested, please apply online here!