Dr Beth Woodhams

Dr Beth Woodhams


Beth is a postgraduate research fellow on the GCRF African SWIFT (Science for Weather Information and Forecasting Techniques) project, working with novel convection-permitting ensemble simulations over tropical Africa. Prior to this, she completed her PhD entitled ‘Severe Weather over East Africa’ at the University of Leeds, supervised by Dr Cathryn Birch, Dr John Marsham and Dr Caroline Bain (Met Office). Her PhD was funded by NERC under the Spheres DTP, with additional funding provided by a CASE Award with the UK Met Office. During her PhD, Beth spent three months at the University of Melbourne working with Dr Todd Lane. This visit was funded by the Rupert Ford Award from the Royal Meteorological Society and an Australian Bicentennial Scholarship from the Menzies Centre, King’s College London. 


  • Co-chair of the Met Office UM Partnership Convection Working Group

Research interests

During her PhD, Beth investigated the added-value of a convection-permitting forecast model for predicting high intensity rainfall events over East Africa. Beth was particularly interested in the Lake Victoria Basin, a hotspot for severe convective storms, and ran high-resolution simulations to study key controls on storm formation in the region, in particular the lake—land breeze circulation. Following her work with models, Beth took a lead role in planning the HyVic pilot flight campaign, which successfully completed two flights over Lake Victoria with the FAAM research aircraft to observe the lake—land breeze circulation in unprecedented detail.


Convection-permitting models

  • Much of Beth’s research has included evaluation or utilisation of high-resolution convection-permitting models.
  • As part of the SWIFT project, Beth is extending her research to investigate the benefits of using a convection-permitting ensemble forecast system.
  • As co-chair of the Convection WG at the UK Met Office, Beth is interested in enhancing understanding of biases in the prediction of convection which persist in convection-permitting models.


Lake Victoria Basin

  • Through modelling and observational studies, Beth’s research has contributed to a better understanding of the lake—land breeze circulation and its role in the formation of severe storms.


<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 in Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds (2020)
  • MSci (First-Class Honours) in Physics, Imperial College London (2015)

Student education

  • In 2018, Beth worked with Dr Cathryn Birch to develop a second year undergraduate Python module for environmental scientists.
  • In session 2020-2021, Beth is helping to supervise an undergraduate dissertation project using weather station data from Lake Victoria.

Research groups and institutes

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