ECMWF symposium for Adrian Simmons

A Symposium for Adrian Simmons, ECMWF, Shinfield Road, Reading

Former University of Reading meteorologist and Visiting Professor, Adrian Simmons, is being honoured with a research symposium as he retires from his current role at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts this year.

Adrian has, over several years, contributed to numerical weather prediction and climate science in fields ranging from dynamic meteorology and numerical models to atmospheric composition and climate science.

Speakers at the symposium will cover topics such as Adrian’s early academic career (Brian Hoskins) as well as his contributions to numerical aspects and the spectral model (Michel Jarraud); supercomputing (Walter Zwieflhofer); data assimilation (Florence Rabier); climate reanalysis (David Burridge); the Global Climate Observing System (Carolin Richter) and the GEMS and MACC atmospheric composition projects (Vincent-Henri Peuch). The symposium will start at 14:00 and will be followed by a drinks reception at 17:30.

For further information and to register, please visit the symposium webpage:

The symposium will be live streamed and access details will be available on the event page from 20 November.

Saving lives and reducing damage with flood early warnings

By Professor Hannah Cloke, hydrologist, Water@Reading

If you knew there was a strong chance that your local river was about to burst its banks and sweep away your house, you’d get yourself, and your family, out of harm’s way.

Yet tragically, despite major advances in flood forecasting, hundreds of people every year still die in floods. Either warnings are not getting through, or people and authorities are failing to take appropriate action.

Severe flooding brought on by a strong coastal El Nino has left more than 90 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless in Northern Peru [photo: Maria-Helena Ramos]

This month has again seen severe flooding in many parts of the world, including Peru and Australia, leading to loss of life and destruction of homes and livelihoods.

We will never be able to stop such awful floods. But there are some vital steps that we can take to reduce the risk from these events and to save lives.

In recent years we have been taking great strides in our capability to provide early flood warnings, so that people can prepare for upcoming floods – often before it even starts to rain.

The Water@Reading research group at the University of Reading works alongside flood forecasters to develop better forecasts and warnings, such as those of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) and the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), part of the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service.

But how do we know if we’re doing a good job? How can we convince people that the warnings are accurate, and worth acting on?

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