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PhD position (B3a)

Sources of uncertainty for convective-scale predictability using ensembles

This PhD position contributes to project B3 "Sources of uncertainty for convective-scale predictability".

Primary supervisor: Dr. Christian Keil
Other project leader: Dr. Christian Barthlott

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. The predictability of convective precipitation depends on many factors including uncertainties in the synoptic-scale flow, inaccuracies in the state and description of the atmosphere as well as of the underlying land surface, and approximations in the representation of key physical processes in weather models. In project B3 of W2W, we will identify sources of uncertainty for convective-scale predictability by investigating the individual and collective impact of soil moisture and microphysical uncertainties, to better understand the mechanisms for convection initiation, cloud formation and subsequent precipitation. The numerical simulations will be conducted with the new Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic (ICON) forecasting system (used for operational forecasting at Deutscher Wetterdienst) at kilometre-scale horizontal resolution. ICON will be used in ensemble mode including data assimilation to examine how the new sources of uncertainty affect predictability for multiple case studies including days in May/June 2016 that led to high impact weather events across Germany.

The project is designed as a twin project of LMU and KIT, where another PhD position is open. The PhD student at LMU will perform own numerical experiments with the pre-operational ensemble forecasting system (ICON-D2-KENDA) in close cooperation with DWD and examine the relative importance of land surface and microphysical uncertainties. There will be a close cooperation between the PhD students at KIT and LMU, namely a selection of common cases, the use of the same forecasting model ICON with identical perturbations, common analysis of the same ICON ensemble dataset, common use of shared ensemble tools for diagnostics, and joint and regular discussions about the model results.

The ideal candidate holds a MSc in Meteorology, Physics, or other Geosciences and has already some experience in numerical modeling 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 remunerated according to TV-L E13 (75%), it is initially funded for 3 years with possible extension until June 2023 and should start as soon as possible. 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!