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Elizabeth Kendon

Professor of Climate Science, University of Bristol

Lizzie is a Met Office Science Fellow and Professor of Climate Science at the University of Bristol Cabot Institute for the Environment. She is a climate scientist working on extreme rainfall processes and their evaluation in models across space and time scales.

Lizzie's work aims to gain a better understanding of extreme rainfall processes, and model deficiencies in the representation of these, across space and time scales. Her work links up Met Office expertise in forecasting extreme events on weather and climate change timescales, and exploits the seamless nature of the Unified Model

A key aspect of her work is developing and running very high resolution (1.5 km) climate simulations for a limited area of the UK. The simulation of extreme rainfall in the 1.5 km model is being analysed and compared with lower resolution model versions. In particular, she is exploring process-links between the large-scale atmospheric circulation and extreme rainfall across model resolution.

Work at the Met Office has shown significant improvements in the representation of extreme rainfall at cloud-permitting scales, with better representation of the diurnal cycle and of internal cloud dynamics (essential for capturing the development and persistence of convective events such as Boscastle in 2004). This suggests the importance of using very high resolution models in climate change studies, in particular for the estimation of changes in convective summer storms and thus flash floods.

New understanding from this work will be applied in the context of developing and improving our climate models, as well as providing guidance to the government on the reliability of future projections of extreme precipitation change.


  • –present
    Senior Climate Scientist, Hadley Centre