School of Earth and Environment

Doug Parker Prof Doug Parker

Joint Met Office Professor of Meteorology; Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award holder

Telephone number: +44(0) 113 34 36739
Email address:
Room: 11.106

Affiliation: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science

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Google Scholar profile

I am a Meteorologist studying the physics and fluid dynamics of the atmosphere. My research group investigates the dynamics of weather systems such as cumulonimbus storms, cyclones and monsoons. We conduct observational and theoretical studies to develop new models of these weather patterns, and to explain their role in the climate system. Our work contributes to improving weather and climate predictions, and making these predictions more relevant to society. I have led and participated in a number of field campaigns, in the UK, Africa and India.

I joined the School in February 1997 as a lecturer. Since 2010 I have been responsible for the coordination of the University's formal partnership with the Met Office.


  • MA Mathematics, University of Cambridge
  • PhD Meteorology, University of Reading


  • Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • Member of the American Meteorological Society

Research Interests

  • Dynamics of weather systems, in the tropics and midlatitudes;
  • Interactions between the land surface state (e.g. vegetation cover) and the atmosphere above it;
  • Dynamics of UK weather;
  • North and West African meteorology and climate;
  • Mesoscale meteorology; Cumulonimbus storms.

My research is concerned with the physics and dynamics of weather systems, and their interaction with regional climate systems. For instance, I have studied the way in which rainfall over West Africa leads to patterns of soil moisture which then may initiate and modify subsequent rainfall events. I have also spent time studying different kinds of UK storms, looking at the role of cloud processes in the larger-scale storm dynamics. Much of my work has been conducted in collaboration with the Met Office, and has contributed to improvement in the Met Office's weather and climate forecasting systems. I have been involved in the a number of research and educational programmes including: African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA); Convective Storm Initiation Project (CSIP); Cascade Cloud-resolving simulations of the tropical atmosphere; Ewiem Nimdie - a Partnership for the development of academic programmes in Meteorology and Climate Science at KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana; National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAS)

Teaching Interests

I have taught a wide range of modules here in the School of Earth and Environment at Leeds, including modules in basic Meteorology, Climate and advanced scientific analysis of weather systems. Even when teaching the most abstract and mathematical material, it is always possible in our subject to link the theory to every-day, observable meteorology and climate. Almost everything we study can be seen out of the window. I also try to get good practical and computer-based demonstrations and exercises into my teaching. These act as a bridge between the atmosphere which we can see, but not control, and the scientific ideas describing it. I also like to bring recent research results into my teaching, often in the form of a practical example for students to work on. This kind of example really motivates students - by working on recently-published problems, they can see that they are working close to the "cutting edge" of climate science, and they can see how the basic science learnt in lectures relates to the ways in which we solve real-world problems. Teaching fieldcourses is a stimulating experience: seeing and measuring real atmospheric phenomena in the field gets the staff and students enthusiastic, and opens up lively discussions. It's usually the point where students get to learn that there are always new problems to solve in atmospheric science, and that the professors certainly don't know all the answers. I have led and taught on various field courses over the years, including our level 1 introductory work and the level 2 atmospheric science course in the Lake District. Together with Sylvester Danuor, I developed a Meteorology and Climate Science summer school in Ghana in 2008: staff and students from Africa, Europe and the USA came together for 2 weeks of lectures, fieldwork and weather forecasting. The event was a remarkable academic experience and was repeated in 2010.

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