Straight and crooked thinking in tropical meteorology


For the last 20 years, Prof Roger K Smith had the privilege to spend two or more weeks each year in the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Regional Forecast Office in Darwin, Australia, mostly during the ‘wet season’. During these visits he had the opportunity to attend the daily weather briefings and to interact with tropical weather forecasters. For a research academic, these visits were a humbling experience and gave him the utmost respect for the professionalism and skill of the Darwin forecasters. Perhaps inevitably, there were times in the weather briefings when the scientific arguments provided to underpin the forecasts appeared shaky and he has tried to compile a list of these arguments in an attempt to stimulate discussion about the problems and thereby advance the science. In this talk, he will discuss a few of these dubious arguments in the hope that they will be seen as interesting and relevant to forecasters in Singapore. A major focus of the talk will be on aspects of deep convection.

About the Speaker

Prof Smith gained his PhD in Applied Mathematics/Fluid Mechanics from the University of Manchester, England in 1968. After graduating, he moved to Australia lecturing in the Department of Mathematics at Monash University from 1968 to 1988. In 1988, he was appointed as a Professor of Meteorology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. The main research interests of Prof Smith include tropical cyclone, convection, convection parameterisation, atmospheric dynamics and fluid dynamics.