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Job Opportunity: Research Fellow in Machine Learning for African Storm Prediction

Location: University of Leeds (with scope for hybrid working)
Salary: £37,099 to £44,263 pro rata
Contract length: Fixed Term for 24 months to complete specific time limited work
Contract type: Full time
Closing date: Midnight on Wednesday 03 April 2024

Tropical storms are inherently chaotic, on timescales of a few hours, and therefore daily forecasts of rainfall always have uncertainty. For this reason, “nowcasting” – the communication of real-time observations and short-range (0-6 hour) predictions, is vitally needed across the African continent. However, very few people in Africa currently benefit from nowcasting information.

Through the application of innovative meteorological research to harness satellite data, we are already delivering nowcasts of high-impact storms to Tropical Africa. The new methods you create will lead to improved nowcasting information, released in real time on existing online platforms, including the GCRF African Swift, and the FASTA smartphone app, supported by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at Leeds, and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH). In this way the results of your research will be used to deliver real-time information to users in Africa.

In delivering the real-time nowcasting services, our aim is to provide the capabilities needed for African national weather services and private sector companies to enhance their delivery of weather forecasts and ensure access to high-quality weather information for African populations. We have formal partnerships with a number of African weather services and other organisations. These partners will collaborate in this project, particularly in evaluation and implementation of methods, but also in our support for capacity-building in Africa. Ultimately, better preparedness and informed decision-making using nowcasting information will improve climate resilience and save lives and livelihoods.

The project is led by the UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at the University of Leeds and will be a collaborative enterprise between the Schools of Mathematics, Computing and Earth & Environment in Leeds, and the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH) in Wallingford. Our collaboration with UKCEH is long-standing and has led to many successful outputs over the years.

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To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Professor Douglas Parker, Science Co-ordinator for NCAS at Leeds, douglas.parker@ncas.ac.uk.