banner with logos and event series title and a collage of drought, wildfire and a high temperature thermometer

Meteorological Masterclasses

Extreme Summertime Weather Events

24 February 2023

Announcing our upcoming series of online Meteorological Masterclasses in partnership with the University of Reading. This popular event will take place next month, with the theme of "Extreme Summertime Weather Events".

Throughout the series, three leading experts from the University of Reading will discuss the latest scientific advances in weather and climate prediction, as well as their impacts. Topics will include droughts, flash floods, heatwaves, wildfires, biometeorology, and meteorology applications for health.

These masterclasses are intended to provide support for professionals working in Meteorology and Climate Science and its operational applications who wish to remain up to date on recent scientific developments in the field. 

These masterclasses are designed to provide support for professionals in the Meteorology and Climate Science field and its operational applications who wish to stay informed about recent scientific developments. The masterclasses will be held on Wednesdays, 1, 8 and 22 March 2023, from 3 pm to 4.30 pm (GMT). Each session will consist of a presentation followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion with the speaker. Whilst the webinars are part of a series, attendance at all three events is not compulsory.

We are delighted to offer FREE registration for anyone interested in attending these events.

Please note: The event recordings will only be available to RMetS members who have registered, with the option to email questions up to one week after the date of the recordings going live. Please visit our website pages for details on becoming a member and other available benefits.





Wednesday 1 March 2023

3 pm - 4.30 pm (GMT)

Droughts and Flash Floods

Speaker: Rob Thompson


Keith Fenwick, Senior Hydro-meteorologist, Flood Forecasting Centre, Exeter

Dan Suri, one of a team of eight Chief Operational Meteorologists at the Met Office

Globally weather extremes are reaching headlines with seemingly increasing regularity, home and aboard. Our changing climate brings with it great scope for drought and floods, a combination that initially appears counter intuitive, but less rain, falling heavier when it occurs, as expected for the UK will bring just that. With the climate emergency making regular headlines and very much now in the public gaze, details other than warming are increasingly important in what appears a rapidly changing world.

In this talk we will consider what is a drought (the different types of drought) and the impacts of it, and hence how exceptional 2022's UK drought was. Then focus on flooding, what is flash flooding which often follows drought (as it did in summer 2022 in the UK). What we can do in a world where intense, flood producing rain becomes more frequent? We will look into forecasting flash floods, from the weather forecasts of intense rainfall to the hydrological models of the water systems that may be overwhelmed. What is still needed in these forecasts - and what systems are needed to make warnings useful? Are there lessons to learn from other places and fields?


Wednesday 8 March 2023

3 pm - 4.30 pm (GMT)

Heatwaves and Wildfires

Speaker: Nigel Arnell

Over the last few years there have been increasing reports in the media of extreme and unprecedented wildfires – in Australia, California, Greece, Portugal, France, Siberia and even the Arctic. Until the summer of 2022, wildfire was typically thought in the UK as a risk in other countries. However, during the extreme heatwave for the first time properties were destroyed by wildfire, and the London Fire and Rescue Service had its busiest few days since the Second World War.

This webinar explores the meteorological and other environmental and social conditions which generate wildfires and wildfire danger in the UK, and assesses how they may change in the future.


Wednesday 22 March 2022

3 pm - 4.30 pm (BST)

Can't stand the heat? Climate Change, Thermal Comfort and Health

Speaker: Chloe Brimicombe

2022 was the hottest year on record in the UK, being in the top 10 hottest globally. We know with this global heating that heatwaves are increasing in frequency, duration and intensity. For Europe the heatwaves of summer of 2022 can be considered to be the most impactful since that seen for the continent in 2003. This is because of the high mortality rate and infrastructure challenges for example data centers shutting. However, heatwave impacts are subjected to under-reporting across sectors, leading to them being known as invisible or silent killers. Climate Change and Extreme Heat presents a number of health challenges whether this is a rise in death rates in the over 65s, a raised risk of pre-term birth in pregnant mothers or a higher incidence of kidney disease in outdoor workers because of dehydration, which are cross-sectional in nature. In this talk, the discussion will focus on how we can move beyond using temperature within heatwaves and the relevance of thermal comfort indices that consider heat stress for sectors including meteorology and health. It will move on to discuss other links between meteorology, climate change and health.

To register for any masterclasses and keep up-to-date, please visit the events page here

You can also follow the discussion on the events using the hashtag #MetMasterclass