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Estelle de Coning

Chief Scientist at SA Weather Service: Nowcasting and very short range forecasting and part-time lecturer at the University of Pretoria, University of Pretoria

Dr Estelle de Coning holds a BSc, BSc(Hons) and MSc degree in Meteorology. In 2013 she obtained her PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of South Africa under the supervision of Prof Jana Olivier and co-supervisor Dr Marianne Koenig from EUMETSAT in Europe. Her PhD thesis’ title was: “Applications of meteorological satellite products for short term forecasting of convection in southern Africa”.

She joined the South African Weather Service (SAWS) in December 1987 and has since been working in various sections of the SAWS. During this period she has especially contributed to the improvement of short-term weather forecasting techniques in various ways. Her research has led to many internal, national and well as international publications.

Her field of speciality is satellite meteorology and she currently leads the Now-casting and very short-range forecasting research groups in SAWS, and provides guidance in the use of radar, lightning, remote sensing precipitation estimation and satellite products for the 0 – 12 hour forecasting time scale.

She has been an invited speaker for several international conferences and symposiums, including the WMO Nowcasting Seminar that took place in Brazil during 2012 and the 2011 NCAR Integrated Science Program summer colloquium on African Weather and climate in Boulder, Colorado.

She has lead and is leading national research projects and is involved in several international research projects, including the CAeM/WMO Aviation Research Demonstration Project, the WMO Nowcasting project for Lake Victoria (Tanzania) and Rain4Africa project (in collaboration with and sponsored by the Netherlands).

Dr de Coning is a member of the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG). The IPWG is co-sponsored by CGMS and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and focuses the scientific community on operational and research satellite based quantitative precipitation measurement issues and challenges.

Dr de Coning is a member of the Convection Working Group (CWG). The CWG, consisting of scientists from more than 40 countries, has the aim to make a full inventory and evaluation of the existing convection nowcasting products in order to arrive at a "best practices" guideline for future use. Some of her research is also included in the final document of best practices.

Dr de Coning is a member of the WMO Nowcasting and Mesoscale Research group and chosen as co-chair from 2017. She also works closely with the WMO initiatives for Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Projects. Regionally she is actively involved in the development of satellite based precipitation products for the regional Flash Flood Guidance in the southern African region.

She has lectured on a part-time basis at the University of Pretoria.


  • –present
    Chief Scientist: Nowcasting and very short range forecasting, South African Weather Service


  • 2011 
    UNISA, PhD Environmental Science