The work of a Research Meteorologist ...
Research Scientist, Emily
What does a typical day at work involve?
As a research scientist at Met Éireann there is no such thing as a typical day as the work that I do constantly evolves. I work as a numerical weather prediction modeller; a job that involves making improvements to the HARMONIE-AROME model, which we use for short-range weather forecasting.
Scientists from 26 countries around Europe and North Africa are constantly developing and improving this model to ensure that the forecasts it produces improve over time. HARMONIE-AROME is a large mathematical model, mostly written in Fortran computer code. Because of the complexity of the model, the equations in it cannot be quickly solved at every geographical location. Because it is necessary to have a model that can run fast enough to produce forecasts within a usable time frame, Met Éireann runs the model for a domain that includes Ireland, the UK and part of Northern France. This domain is represented by a mesh of grid boxes similar to that shown in the figure below, with the mathematical calculations computed at each grid point.
Figure: Typical weather model grid representation (from Wikipedia)
In particular, I work on the development of physical processes included in the model such as the representation of solar radiation, clouds, glaciers and more recently soil processes. I work with scientists from all around Europe and closely with researchers from Finland, Denmark, Estonia and the Czech Republic. A typical day involves writing computer code, analysing data, writing scientific papers, preparing or travelling to scientific meetings and conferences and supervising the odd student project here and there.