Research themes

The Met Office partnership is structured around six research areas: 

Atmospheric dynamics  

Our research addresses processes relevant across time-scales, including nowcasting, numerical weather prediction, subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasts and climate change. We have particular expertise on UK, Arctic and tropical meteorology, and on cloud dynamics and processes, but our research spans the global atmosphere. We combine observations, theory and models to deliver new understanding to improve Met Office modelling systems and use of those systems to benefit society. 

Atmospheric composition 

Our research combines laboratory and field measurements and new models to explain the composition of the atmosphere, including both gases and aerosols. We contribute to development of Met Office models, e.g. through the Chemistry and Aerosol Scheme (UKCA) and Earth System Modelling (UKESM), and use our research to improve Met Office weather, air-quality and climate forecasts, and impacts predictions. 

Climate impacts 

We develop models for climate impacts, to better understand the influence of climate on agriculture and food systems, ecosystems, energy systems, health, infrastructure and water resources. We work with physical climate models and collaborate with social scientists to convey these impacts through climate services. 

Weather, climate and social science 

Linking the physical science expertise of the partnership with social science expertise in the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) and Leeds University Business School, we apply technical knowledge to support scientific insights, enhance decision making and ultimately contribute to a safer and more sustainable future. This includes weather, climate communication and food security. 

Computational approaches 

Computational approaches are fundamental to weather and climate prediction, but this is a rapidly evolving field with new hardware requiring new approaches for software, approaches such as Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning (AI/ML) and data science allowing new insights and solutions, and computational approaches being applied beyond the ‘core’ of weather and climate, to impacts and decision making. This theme brings together expertise from the Met Office, with CEMAC, as well as other expertise in Leeds, including the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) and the School of Computing


Observations are fundamental to reliable predictions and we develop and use in-situ and remote sensing instrumentation, as well as satellite-borne observing systems. We lead major field campaigns, including aircraft-based campaigns. We research methodologies to make best use of routine data, and develop new data sources through crowd-sourced and opportunistic observations. Leeds is home to the NCAS radar, leads Space Hub Yorkshire, and co-leads the SENSE Earth Observation CDT.