Scientist – Earth System Diagnostics

ECMWF, Shinfield Park, Reading, UK
Closing date: 23 January 2020

This position is in the Diagnostics team, within the Evaluation Section of the Forecast Department. The Diagnostics team brings dynamical and physical insight to the understanding of forecast performance and model climate. It carries out a range of activities, including numerical experiments and case studies, to identify and investigate model performance issues. The successful candidate will contribute to the development and use of new diagnostic tools to address the increasing complexity of ECMWF’s state-of-the-art Earth system model.

As a core member of the Diagnostics team, the postholder will evaluate the systematic and flow-dependent behaviour of the model to identify key sources of model errors at all lead-times. Important topics for the team to address include the diagnosis of deficiencies in predictions of severe weather (Magnusson, 2019) and regime transitions (Ferranti et al, 2018), and in the representation of physical and observational uncertainties (Rodwell et al. 2018). Understanding the processes involved, including coupling between the different components of ECMWF’s operational forecasting system (atmosphere, ocean, land) is an important aspect of the work.

The successful candidate will contribute to relevant areas of this work depending on their own background experience and expertise. Their work will include in-depth analysis and interpretation of diagnostic results in collaboration with model developers, to aid the continual improvement of ECMWF’s forecasting system. There will also be the opportunity to develop collaborations with external experts in model diagnostics.

With the ability to cover both research and technical aspects of forecast evaluation, they will also provide appropriate diagnostic support for the evaluation of new IFS model cycles in the medium and extended ranges, and for the model climate.

Main duties and key responsibilities

  • Handling and quality checking observational hydrological data
  • Applying and maintaining diagnostic software and techniques to monitor and understand forecasting system performance
  • Performing in-depth diagnostic evaluation including case studies and numerical experimentation to investigate forecast performance issues
  • Developing new diagnostic methods with application to the ECMWF forecast system
  • Contributing to the scientific evaluation of forecasts and document results in the scientific literature
  • Assessing the operational and pre-operational forecasting and assimilation systems from a meteorological point of view and provide relevant feedback to model developers

Grade remuneration
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 £59,228.40 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: 1 April 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Length of contract: Four years, with the possibility of a further contract.


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