ECMWF – Scientist to work on boundary layer, turbulence and drag processes

ECMWF, Reading, UK, or Bonn, Germany
Closing date: 16 December 2021

The position is in the Earth System Modelling Section of the Research Department. The Scientist will work in the Physical Processes team and report to the Physical Processes Team Leader but they will closely collaborate with the Coupled Processes, Numerics and Model Uncertainty teams. The role of this position is to improve the representation of near-surface weather and large-scale circulation in ECMWF operational forecasts from days to seasons ahead, by maintaining and further developing the representation of the boundary layer and of turbulent mixing in ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). It will also include monitoring the performance and adapting, as necessary, the turbulent orographic drag and low-level blocking and gravity-wave drag parametrizations. Finally, the Scientist will also contribute to improving the land surface and ocean-wave-sea-ice coupling with the atmosphere, by focusing on the representation of surface heat, moisture and momentum fluxes.

The Scientist will work on the representation of turbulence and drag processes and identify model errors and parametrization improvements with the aid of in-situ observations and high-resolution simulations combined with targeted diagnostics and numerical experimentation. The results will be tested in coupled (ensemble) forecasts and in ECMWF’s data assimilation framework with the aim of enhancing forecast skill across timescales (hours to seasons) and resolutions (km to tens of km).

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Maintaining and further developing the representation of parametrized turbulent fluxes and drag processes in ECMWF’s IFS, particularly with a view of increasing horizontal resolution towards km-scale in the next years
  • Contributing to improving the land-atmosphere and the ocean-waves-sea-ice-atmosphere coupling, and the forecasts of near-surface weather parameters, together with colleagues in the Coupled Processes Team
  • Conducting coupled (ensemble) forecasts (across a range of timescales and in the ECMWF data assimilation framework) and evaluating predictive skill using NWP metrics
  • Evaluating the representation of the boundary layer and the momentum budget using near-surface meteorological observations and/or high-resolution simulations, and identifying systematic errors related to the representation of turbulence and drag processes

Other information

The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual basic salary will be £62,166.00 or EUR 75,178.92 net of tax. ECMWF also offers a generous benefits package, including a flexible teleworking policy.
This position is assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: As soon as possible.
Length of contract: Four years with the possibility of a further contract.

As a multi-site organisation, ECMWF has adopted a hybrid organisation model which allows flexibility to staff to mix office working and teleworking.

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.


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