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Centre for Atmospheric Science

NCAS Weather

The NCAS Weather directorate conducts research on dynamical and physical processes in the atmosphere on the local and regional scale. This involves atmospheric flows ranging from building-scale turbulence up to the country-wide influence of the jetstream, cyclones, anticyclones and embedded structures that dominate the weather of the UK.  The work is organised in two broad themes: urban meteorology, pollution transport and air quality; and convective processes, severe weather and predictability. The NCAS Weather directorate is a distributed centre comprising groups at seven UK universities: Reading, Leeds, Southampton, Manchester, Lancaster, Oxford and Hertfordshire. 


NCAS Weather @ Manchester

Prof. Geraint Vaughan – NCAS Director of Observations
Prof. Vaughan's research interests are concerned with measurements of atmospheric dynamics and chemistry, and interpreting those measurements in terms of the meteorological processes involved. He oversees a programme of research on the weather across seven UK Universities. Prof Vaughan has a particular interest in active remote sensing, using light and radio waves; he is a major user of the NERC Mesosphere-Stratosphere-Troposphere radar facility near Aberystwyth, and operates a number of lidars at this site to measure profiles of ozone, aerosols and humidity. He is also responsible for mobile remote sensing instruments as part of the Atmospheric Measurement Facility, another NCAS facility.

Dr Jonny Crosier – NCAS Scientist
Dr Crosier’s research interests are concerned with the microphysical properties of clouds, specifically mixed phase and ice clouds. He participates in a host of field campaigns and also provides technical support for data processing of cloud microphysical instrumentation. Dr Crosier has significant experience in shadow imaging of ice particles, and has developed commercially available software for processing such data. Much of his research is conducted on the UK Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM), frequently in conjunction with remote sensing measurements from the Chilbolton Facility for Atmospheric and Radio Research (CFARR).

Dr Hugo Ricketts – NCAS Scientist
Dr Ricketts’ research interests lie in the area of boundary layer structure. He is responsible for operating lidar systems in different environments on both ground sites and also airborne platforms. He was directly involved in measuring the structure of the Eyjafjallajökull ash plume as it passed over the UK. Dr Ricketts is involved in the development of new lidar systems, such as a night-time temperature lidar, as well as developing analysis tools and procedures for lidar systems.

Miss Julie Samson – Secretary
Miss Samson administers much of NCAS Weather's activities. She also organises project meetings and workshops as needed.


NCAS Activities

Major projects currently being undertaken by NCAS Weather with Manchester involvement include:
ClearfLo, a project to study the urban boundary layer and air pollution in London.
DIAMET, a project to study diabatic process in cyclones.
COPE, a project to improve the analysis and forecasting of storms.
CAST, a joint project with NASA to study convective transport in the tropics
ACCACIA, a project to study aerosol/cloud processes in the Arctic


Recent publications

·  D. A.Waddicor, G. Vaughan, T. W. Choularton, K. N. Bower, H. Coe, M. W. Gallagher, P. I. Williams, M. Flynn, A. Volz-Thomas, W. Pätz, P. Isaac, F. Arnold, H. Schlager and J. A. Whiteway. Aerosol observations and growth rates downwind of the anvil of a deep tropical thunderstorm. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2012 July; 12: 6157-6172. eScholarID:171039 | DOI:10.5194/acp-12-6157-2012

·  G. Allen, G. Vaughan, T. Toniazzo, H. Coe, P. Connolly, S. Yuter, C. D. Burleyson, P. Minnis, J. K. Ayers. Gravity wave–induced perturbations in marine stratocumulus. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 2012 May; eScholarID:171052 | DOI:10.1002/qj.1952

·  A. Russell, G. Vaughan and E. G. Norton. Large scale potential vorticity anomalies and deep convection. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 2012 January; eScholarID:171053 | DOI:10.1002/qj.1875

·  Min Zhu, P. J. Connolly, G. Vaughan, T. W. Choularton and P. T. May. Numerical simulation of tropical island thunderstorms (Hectors) during the ACTIVE campaign. Meteorological Applications. 2012 February; eScholarID:171057 | DOI:10.1002/met.1295

·  M. W. Gallagher, P. J. Connolly, I. Crawford, A. Heymsfield, K. N. Bower, T. W. Choularton, G. Allen, M. J. Flynn, G. Vaughan and J. Hacker. Observations and modelling of microphysical variability, aggregation and sedimentation in tropical anvil cirrus outflow regions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 2012 July; 12: 6609-6628. eScholarID:171032 | DOI:10.5194/acp-12-6609-2012

·  N. J. King and G. Vaughan. Using passive remote sensing to retrieve the vertical variation of cloud droplet size in marine stratocumulus: an assessment of information content and the potential for improved retrievals from hyperspectral measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres. 2012 August; 117: D15206. eScholarID:171047 | DOI:10.1029/2012JD017896

· Marenco, Franco; Johnson, B; Turnbull, Kate; Newman, Stuart; Haywood, JM; Webster, Helen; Ricketts, HMA; Airborne lidar observations of the 2010 Eyjafjallaj�kull volcanic ash plume. Journal Of Geophysical Research, 116, [doi:10.1029/2011jd016396] 2011

·  Crosier J, Bower K, Choularton T, Westbrook C, Connolly P, Cui Z, Crawford I, Capes G, Coe H, Dorsey J, Williams P, Illingworth A, Gallagher M, Blyth A. Observations of ice multiplication in a weakly convective cell embedded in supercooled mid-level stratus. ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS. 2011; 11(1): 257-273. eScholarID:144386 | DOI:10.5194/acp-11-257-2011

·  Huang Y, Blyth A, Brown P, Cotton R, Crosier J, Bower K, Gallagher M, Jones H, Gadian A, Choularton T, Cardwell J, Coe H, Mobbs S, Hagen M. Development of ice particles in convective clouds observed over the Black Forest mountains during COPS. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY. 2011 January; 137(1, SI): 275-286. eScholarID:144380 | DOI:10.1002/qj.749

·  Jones H, Crosier J, Russell A, Flynn M, Irwin M, Choularton T, Coe H, McFiggans G. In situ aerosol measurements taken during the 2007 COPS field campaign at the Hornisgrinde ground site. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY. 2011 January; 137(1, SI): 252-266. eScholarID:144383 | DOI:10.1002/qj.727

·  Martin C, Allan J, Crosier J, Choularton T, Coe H, Gallagher M. Seasonal variation of fine particulate composition in the centre of a UK city. ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT. 2011 August; 45(26): 4379-4389. eScholarID:144395 | DOI:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.05.050