Dr Rory Fitzpatrick


Having completed my PhD on the predictability of the West African Monsoon onset in 2016, I am currently employed as a research fellow in the NERC/DFID funded African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis 2050 (AMMA-2050) project at the University of Leeds. My role on this project primarily involves looking at the future change in intensity and frequency of high impact weather events (such as droughts and floods) over West Africa. I am also researching the atmospheric controls over West Africa that determine the relative intensity of mesoscale convective systems. Outside of my core responsibilities on AMMA-2050, I am interested in the process of co-production of climate knowledge and the associated value of climate information in academia for non-expert audiences.

In an ever-evolving climate with scepticism in climate sciences present both in the general public and with certain policy makers, understanding how researchers can strengthen bonds with decision makers is a vital avenue of research. Through collaborations undertaken within the AMMA-2050 project I have lead a team of individuals from various academic and non-academic backgrounds in exploring the role of co-production in improving West African meteorology. How science can better improve the socio-economic status of inhabitants within West African countries is a passion of mine and fundamental to all my research.

2012 - 2016 PhD in West African Meteorology, University of Leeds

My work included extensive literature review of definitions for the West African Monsoon including highlighting differences between local and regional monsoon onset. I also analysed the level of spatial coherence of the monsoon onset and identified potential drivers of monsoon onset variability.

2011- 2012 MSc Atmosphere Ocean Dynamics: Merit, University of Leeds

2008 – 2011 BSc Mathematics and Music: 2:1, University of Leeds

  • West African Monsoon
  • Co-Production of climate information
  • Impacts and decision making strategies for forecast users
  • Local monsoon Onsets
  • Spatial homogeneity of localised high weather events

Fitzpatrick, R. G. J. (2015), RMetS National Meeting - Forecasting in Africa, Weather, 70(6), 176-177.

Fitzpatrick, R. G. J. (2016), Analysis and Prediction of the West African Monsoon Onset, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.

Fitzpatrick, R. G. J., P. D. Willetts, and D. J. Parker (2016a), Assessing the level of spatial homogeneity of the agronomic Indian Monsoon onset, Geophys. Res. Let., 142, 2256-2272.

Fitzpatrick, R. G. J., D. J. Parker, J. H. Marsham, P. Knippertz, and C. L. Bain (2015), The West African Monsoon Onset - A Concise Comparison of Definitions, J. Clim., 28, 8673-8694.

Fitzpatrick, R. G. J., D. J. Parker, J. H. Marsham, P. Knippertz, and C. L. Bain (2016b), On what scale can we predict the agronomic onset of the West African Monsoon?, Mon. Weather Rev., 144, 1571-1589.

Fitzpatrick, R. G. J., et al. (in review), Improving the Co-development of Climate Information in West Africa: Lessons from a recent co-production workshop in Burkina Faso, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.

Visman, E., et al. (2017), Learning Paper #6: Developing decision-relevant climate information and supporting its appropriate application.Rep., King's College London and Christian Aid.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Atmospheric and Cloud Dynamics