School of Earth and Environment

Lucy Recchia Lucy Recchia

Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:

Affiliation: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science


2014-2016 BSc Honours in Mathematics, Open University

2009-2013 MEng in Civil & Structural Engineering, University of Leeds


Student member of European Geosciences Union (EGU)

Student member of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS)

Project details

Project title

Dynamics of the Indian monsoon


Dr Stephen Griffiths (School of Maths)

Professor Doug Parker (School of Earth & Environment)


Leeds/York NERC Doctoral Training Partnership

Project outline

The Indian Monsoon is probably the most important circulation system in the Earth’s climate. The monsoon represents a substantial seasonal change in the global atmospheric circulation, and brings the annual rains which are important to the well-being of many millions of vulnerable people. Despite its importance, the monsoon is still very poorly forecast by weather and climate models, largely because we have uncertainties in the physical processes driving the system.

This PhD will develop theoretical, mathematical models of the dynamics of the Indian monsoon, and evaluate these models against new observations collected in a 2016 field campaign (INCOMPASS). The results will be used to test and improve weather and climate models for India.

The project will use the new observations and model simulations to test and develop mathematical theory for the monsoon dynamics. In particular, the work will build on ideas currently being developed in the research group, regarding the ways in which convective clouds (cumulus and cumulonimbus forms of cloud) precondition the atmospheric profiles, making sustained rainfall possible, and the ways in which these clouds interact with the evolving soil moisture in the Indian land surface.

Project aims:

1. Develop a simple mathematical framework representing the monsoon system, incorporating large-scale dynamics, land-surface forcing, convective cloud transports of moisture, and elements of the unique Indian topography. Explore sensitivities of the monsoon to various external and internal factors.

2. Use the field experiment data and numerical model data to evaluate the important physical terms in the system (e.g. convective cloud terms) and to test the theoretical ideas.

3. Make recommendations for how weather & climate models can be improved in the future in order to reliably forecast the onset and advance of the monsoon over India.