Dr Sam Clarke

Dr Sam Clarke


Having a background in both Mid-latitude and Tropical meteorology, from convective to synoptic scale, I have developed a keen interest in how the Mid-latitudes and Tropics interact (and indeed higher latitudes) and influence each other and the complexities involved in forecasting this. I have experience in simulating and analysing UK Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) forecasts at differing resolutions both convection-permitting and convection-parametrizing, and have an interest in the uncertainty and predictability of weather and climate forecasts. My recent projects have allowed me to work closely with forecasters, researchers and users to gain extensive knowledge of operational weather forecasting in developing countries and has given me first-hand experience of the need for accurate, timely weather and climate forecasts in these countries, to minimise the socio-economic consequences of extreme weather events and to be better prepared for the changing climate. Unfortunately, these experiences also highlighted the difficulties and challenges faced to produce these accurate forecasts due to the unpredictability of forecasting (especially in the Tropics due to the lack of initial conditions), the difficulty with forecasting across the globe due to the need for parametrizations in the forecast models and the lack of resources in developing countries. Therefore, I have become passionate about helping to improving forecasting models, tools and techniques through research, training and exchanging knowledge to aid in reducing devastating socio-economic consequences through improved forecasting of weather and climate.

Currently, I am a research fellow working on the NERC CloudSense project as a numerical modeller for the M-Phase team. The overall goal of CloudSense is to reduce the uncertainty in climate sensitivity due to clouds with the aim of M-phase being to reduce sensitivity associated with shallow mixed phase cloud in the oceanic mid- to high latitudes.

Previously, I was a research fellow on the African Science for weather information and forecasting techniques (SWIFT) project (https://africanswift.org/). My role in the SWIFT project is to research the synoptic dynamics of West and East Africa and to collaborate with other SWIFT scientists (internationally and nationally) for related research, event planning, developing forecasting techniques and writing papers. I have also helped to plan and deliver synoptic forecasting training and convection-permitting weather forecasting training in several events across Tropical Africa in collaboration with SWIFT and SWFDP WMO project and I have participated in co-production events. 

The research I conductied for SWIFT is split into parts:

  1. Synoptic drivers of extreme rainfall across East Africa.
  2. Climatology of subtropical high pressure systems.
  3. Relative vorticity tracking across Tropical Africa.
  4. Development of automated synthetic analysis charts for synoptic forecasting across West and East Africa. 
  5. Analysing and testing new convection-permitting Tropical Africa ensemble forecasts from the Met Office Unifed model. 

My previous work (for my PhD) was in mid-latitude dynamics where I investigated the impact of model resolution on the representation of MCSs (namely the differences in the way that convection is represented in the models) and the effect that the different resolutions have on the downstream forecast evolution and predictability. This work involved simulating and analyising both operational and newly developed Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) forecasts from 1.5 km to 25 km resolution (convection-permitting and convection-parametrizing), both deterministic and ensemble. 


<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>


  • PhD University of Reading
  • MMATH, BSc University of Leeds

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science