What I do
I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (APAM) at Columbia University in the City of New York, working with Lorenzo Polvani. I work on stratosphere-troposphere coupling, large-scale climate dynamics and variability, and subseasonal-to-seasonal predictability and its applications. I am also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the RMetS Weather journal.
My PhD & MMet work
In October 2021, I completed my PhD in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, UK. My PhD, “Stratosphere-Troposphere Coupling on Subseasonal Timescales”, was supervised by Andrew Charlton-Perez and Steve Woolnough at the University of Reading, and Jason Furtado at the University of Oklahoma. The project developed an understanding of the influence of the tropospheric Scandinavia-Greenland pattern on the stratospheric polar vortex and its representation within current S2S forecast models, and characterised the influence of the stratospheric state on North American weather regimes. The primary results from my PhD can be found in four published papers.
Prior to my PhD, I gained a first-class Master’s degree in Meteorology and Climate (MMet) from Reading, during which I spent a year at the University of Oklahoma. My MMet dissertation research was supervised by Paul Williams and Tom Frame. Some of this work was published in a Nature paper, where we show that there has been a significant increase in vertical wind shear at aircraft cruising altitudes over the North Atlantic, with consequences for clear-air turbulence.
I have been interested in weather and climate from a very young age — I’ve written a little bit about that in this Weather in my life article. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do atmospheric science for a living, and I am indebted to numerous great scientists for their inspiration, mentorship, and collaboration.
I am originally from North Yorkshire, and have a fondness for outdoor activities including running, hiking, and road cycling. I also enjoy storm chasing in the US Great Plains, and have seen many tornadoes. My photo of a tornado near Forgan, OK on 17 May 2019 features in the frontispiece of the second edition of Introducing Meteorology: A Guide to Weather by Jon Shonk.
In July 2018, I went viral on Twitter by comparing the UK heatwaves of 2018 and 1976, which showed how the event in 2018 was less unusual with respect to the global background climate. In July 2022, I went viral again comparing a short-range Met Office weather forecast for the UK heatwave in 2022 versus a hypothetical forecast for 2050.