School of Earth and Environment

Sam Hardy Dr Sam Hardy

Research Fellow in Dynamical Meteorology

Email address:
Room: Fairburn House

Affiliation: Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science


Sam is a postdoctoral researcher working on tropical cyclone intensification (see below) within the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds. Sam’s undergraduate degree was in Meteorology at the University of Reading, including a year spent at the University of Oklahoma where he learned about severe convective storms. During his PhD, he used the September 2012 UK floods as a case study to investigate the role of ice phase microphysical heating and interacting upper-level PV anomalies on cyclone intensification.


  • MMet with a year in Oklahoma – University of Reading (2007–2011)
  • PhD in Atmospheric Science – University of Manchester (2012–2017)


Associate Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society

Research Interests

  • Rapid intensification of tropical cyclones
  • Extratropical transition of tropical cyclones
  • Extratropical cyclone structure and intensification
  • Deep, moist convection
  • Convection-permitting models
  • Atmospheric blocking
  • Cloud microphysics

Project details

Project title

Tropical Cyclone Predictions in Southeast Asia using Numerical Weather Prediction (part of the Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership Programme (WCSSP) for Southeast Asia)


Dr Juliane Schwendike, Dr Cathryn Birch

Project outline

Tropical cyclones (TCs) that make landfall are one of the most devastating and costly atmospheric phenomena, causing damage and loss of life via destructive winds, heavy precipitation and storm surges. Around 80% of major TCs undergo a period of rapid intensification (RI), in which windspeed increases by more than 15 m/s (35 mph) in 24 hours. However, although TC track forecasts have noticeably improved in recent decades, correctly forecasting RI remains one of the main challenges in modern-day meteorology.

This project investigates the processes responsible for RI in global and convection-permitting configurations of the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM). In particular, we focus on the merging of vorticity patches into a larger vorticity monopole (vorticity aggregation) and the transitions in eyewall structure from symmetric to asymmetric or polygonal (vacillation cycles). The aim of this research is to better understand how RI is represented in the MetUM, with the overarching goal of improving TC forecasts and thus saving lives.


Hardy, S., D. M. Schultz, and G. Vaughan, 2017. Early evolution of the 23–26 September 2012 UK floods: Tropical storm Nadine and diabatic heating due to cloud microphysics. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 543-563, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0200.1

Hardy, S., D. M. Schultz, and G. Vaughan, 2017. The 23–26 September 2012 UK floods: Using PV surgery to quantify sensitivity to upper-level forcing. Mon. Wea. Rev., 145, 4055-4079, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0434.1.

Academic CV (pdf file)