Dr Sam Hardy

Dr Sam Hardy


Sam is a postdoctoral researcher working on tropical cyclone intensification (see below) within the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds. Sam’s undergraduate degree was in Meteorology at the University of Reading (2007–2011), including a year spent at the University of Oklahoma where he learned about severe convective storms. During his PhD (2012–2017), he used the September 2012 UK floods as a case study to investigate the role of ice phase microphysical heating and interacting upper-level PV anomalies on cyclone intensification.

Project outline (supervised by Dr Juliane Schwendike, and Dr Cathryn Birch)

Tropical Cyclone Predictions in Southeast Asia using Numerical Weather Prediction (part of the Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership Programme (WCSSP) Southeast Asia project)

Landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs) are one of the most devastating and costly atmospheric phenomena, causing damage and loss of life via destructive winds, heavy precipitation and storm surges. Around 80% of major TCs undergo a period of rapid intensification (RI), in which the maximum surface windspeed increases by more than 15 m/s (35 mph) in 24 hours. However, although TC track forecasts have noticeably improved in recent decades, correctly forecasting the timing and magnitude of RI remains much more difficult.

This project investigates the processes responsible for RI in global and convection-permitting configurations of the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM). In particular, we focus on the merging of vorticity patches into a larger vorticity monopole (vorticity aggregation) and the transitions in eyewall structure from symmetric to asymmetric or polygonal (vacillation cycles). The aim of this research is to better understand how RI is represented in the MetUM, with the overarching goal of improving TC forecasts and thus saving lives.

Peer-reviewed publications

Hardy, S., D. M. Schultz, and G. Vaughan, 2017. Early evolution of the 23–26 September 2012 UK floods: Tropical storm Nadine and diabatic heating due to cloud microphysics. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 543-563, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0200.1

Hardy, S., D. M. Schultz, and G. Vaughan, 2017. The 23–26 September 2012 UK floods: Using PV surgery to quantify sensitivity to upper-level forcing. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 4055-4079, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0434.1.

Research interests

  • Rapid intensification of tropical cyclones
  • Extratropical transition of tropical cyclones
  • Extratropical cyclone structure and intensification
  • Deep, moist convection
  • Convection-permitting models
  • Atmospheric blocking
  • Cloud microphysics
<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>

Professional memberships

  • Associate Member of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • Member of the American Meteorological Society

Research groups and institutes

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