Royal Meteorological Society Awards and Prizes 2021 Winners
The Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) is delighted to announce the Awards and Prize Winners for 2021, receiving outstanding entries from across the international community, with strong female recipients and pioneering climate scientists and communicators.
The Royal Meteorological Awards recognise people and teams who have made exceptional contributions relating to weather, climate and associated disciplines and are considered one of the most prestigious accolades in meteorology, with a history dating back to 1901.
This year RMetS is thrilled to be able to once again present the awards in person at their AGM on 8 June in London. However, they will continue to showcase each worthy winner on their website in more detail, outlining achievements alongside a winner's acceptance message. This digital element has been a valuable introduction to the celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among those recognised this year is Professor Andrew Lorenc for his expertise in data assimilation for numerical weather prediction and the significant influence he has had on generations of young scientists, both in the UK and worldwide.
Also celebrated are Dr Hazel Thornton, who brings together key decision-makers to look at winter contingency planning in the UK energy sector, and Professor Michael Montgomery for his work in understanding tropical cyclones as they become more frequent with human-induced climate change.
It is also fantastic to see younger scientists recognised for their passion and knowledge in driving the science forward and engaging with new audiences in innovative ways to help find solutions to addressing climate change.
Thank you to all RMetS members, colleagues and associates who nominated individuals for the awards this year.
Awards and winners for 2021 are detailed below. You can read the citations and acceptance messages on the Society's website at rmets.org/awards2021 These pages will be live from 9am on 8 June, and RMetS will be live-tweeting from the Awards presentation from 4.45pm (BST).
Mason Gold Medal – Not Awarded
The Buchan Prize – Professor Michael T Montgomery, Naval Postgraduate School
Understanding and predicting tropical cyclones will become increasingly acute in the coming century as climate change puts increasing amounts of weather fuel into the atmosphere. Regarded as one of the great pioneers in contemporary tropical cyclone science, Dr Michael Montgomery has made seminal contributions to understanding many theoretical aspects of these storms with outstanding insight and deep knowledge.
The L F Richardson Prize – Dr Beth Woodhams, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research – Troposphere Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Dr Beth Woodhams is an outstanding young scientist who has made an impressive contribution to our understanding of the atmospheric processes controlling convective storms and their predictability in weather forecast models. To gain so much insight from only two research flights is a fantastic achievement for any scientist, particularly for someone so early in their career with no prior experience of research flights.
The FitzRoy Prize – Dr Hazel Thornton, Met Office
Awarded for many years of research, co-development and delivery of climate services for the energy sector. Her research makes an important contribution to our understanding of how the energy sector is affected by climate variability and how seasonal climate forecasts could help pre-winter planning. In addition, working with colleagues from BEIS, major energy infrastructure such as National Grid and private energy suppliers, Dr Hazel Thornton has initiated monthly forecast briefings and invited all major UK energy players to attend. These are now a regular feature of winter contingency planning in the UK energy sector.
The Adrian Gill Prize – Not Awarded
The Climate Science Communications Award – Professor Dan Lunt, University of Bristol
Awarded in recognition of the combination of Dan's groundbreaking work in paleoclimate modelling and his novel and exciting way of communicating the science of the climate. By engaging on digital channels with accessible, yet informative, descriptions and animations of how climate models work, Dan has successfully communicated how changes in a planet's key attributes alter its climate. Work includes founding the EGU journal Geoscientific Model Development and engaging with fantasy fiction to model the climate of fantasy worlds such as Tolkien's Middle Earth and Game of Thrones.
The Society's Outstanding Service Award – Michael Wood, Retired
Michael was Chair of the Royal Meteorological Society's History Group between 1999 and 2005. He then served as Treasurer until stepping down in September 2021. He has given sterling service to this Special Interest Group for around 30 years, including talks and presentations to numerous meetings of the Group and looking after and contributing to the Group's Newsletter. His wry observations on ideas were a valuable 'sense-check' for everyone in the Group.
The Gordon Manley Weather Prize - Rebecca Venton CMet FRMetS, Consultant
Since joining the Weather editorial board, Becky has wholly rejuvenated the role of the Book Reviews Editor. Her successful acquisition of a vast number of reviews of relevant titles, linking them to recent Special Issues (e.g. COP26), with rapid turnaround times, has significantly helped the journal. She has also helped secure special discounts on selected titles for members and reviewed several research articles. Under her leadership, the review process for books is now a smooth and seamless operation.
The Malcolm Walker Award – Chloe Brimicombe, University of Reading and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Chloe is an outstanding researcher undertaking timely and world-class scientific research on heatwave health hazard forecasting. She has also developed the Thermofeel Heat stress software at ECMWF, now being implemented in their meteorological forecasting systems, and has published on the unacceptable deficiencies in UK heatwave policy. What makes Chloe stand out is her ability to communicate her research and the climate emergency passionately and knowledgeably to the public, media, schools, policy and decision makers, and the academic community. She even runs art and poetry outreach events.
Honorary Fellow – Professor Andrew Lorenc, Met Office
As the UK's leading expert in data assimilation for numerical weather prediction, and one of the leading experts in the world in this field, almost since the subject was invented, his achievements and influence have been immense. Andrew has had a considerable impact on generations of young scientists, both in the UK and worldwide.
International Journal of Climatology Editor's Award
Dr Radan Huth FRMetS - Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences and Dept. of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society Editor's Award
Professor Nedjeljka Žagar - Universität Hamburg, Meteorological Institute
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society Reviewer's Certificate
Dr Sergey Frolov - Physical Sciences Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr Lina Boljka - Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
Meteorological Applications Editors' Award
Dr Rebecca Emerton - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Geoscience Data Journal Editor's Award
Dr Claudia Di Napoli - University of Reading
Christopher Barnard - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Professor Christel Prudhomme - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology UKCEH, Loughborough University
Professor Hannah L Cloke OBE FRMetS - University of Reading
Dr Florian Pappenberger - European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Atmospheric Science Letters Editor's Award
Dr Ana Paula M. A. Cunha - National Centre for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN)
RMetS is incredibly proud of the work and achievements of all award winners. Over recent decades the nature and extent of members' contributions have broadened substantially, as meteorology and related disciplines have become more central to education, business and policy.
It's important to the Society that the awards continue to reflect the breadth of work in the meteorological community and maintain a link to more than 170 years of Society history. Therefore in 2021, it carried out an audit and membership survey to help build a modernised portfolio. It will be launching later this month.
If you know someone who should be recognised for their work or commitment to meteorology, please consider nominating them for the 2022 awards. Details will shortly be available at rmets.org/awards-and-prizes