Improved rainfall forecasts for the tropics based on tropical waves

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
Closing date: not specified

The Atmospheric Dynamics group at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center “Waves to Weather (W2W)”. The Atmospheric Dynamics group is internationally renowned for its work on the physical mechanisms of weather systems and their implications for predictability, with a particular focus on tropical weather and African meteorology.

This PhD position contributes to project C2 “Statistical-dynamical forecasts of tropical rainfall”.

Predicting rainfall in the tropics remains one of the great challenges of weather forecasting today. Research during Phase 1 of W2W has revealed low skill in our current prediction systems, particularly over Africa with its high degree of convective organization. At the same time we could show that tropical rainfall is modulated by synoptic- to planetary-scale tropical wave phenomena (e.g. Kelvin and Rossby waves, African easterly waves, Madden-Julian Oscillation) to a degree that indicates large potential for successfully forecasts. Realizing this potential is the ultimate aim of our research in Phase 2. In the long run, this could create substantial socio-economic benefits given the high dependency of tropical societies on rainfall.

The ideal candidate holds an MSc in Meteorology, Physics, or a closely related discipline and has a strong background in atmospheric dynamics and an interest or first experiences in (sub)tropical meteorology. Experience with scientific programming (e.g. linux, python, fortran, idl, ncl, cdo, R) is required.

The position is initially funded for 3 years with possible extension until June 2023 and should start as soon as possible. It is remunerated according to TV-L E13 (75%). Applicants are asked to specify their desired starting date and to give the contact details of two academic referees.

Primary supervisor: Prof. Dr. Peter Knippertz
Other project leader: Prof. Dr. Andreas H. Fink


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