Douglas Parker

  • Professor of Meteorology - University of Leeds

Research interests

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 am currently leading, jointly with Alan Blyth, the GCRF African SWIFT project (2017-2021), which aims to improve weather forecasts in Africa, and thereby to increase the resiliance of millions of vulnerable people in the continent to high-impact weather. SWIFT is a consortium of 16 partners, including 10 African universities and agencies, with strong support from the World Meteorological Organisation.

I have played a leading role in the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) programme, 2003-present. AMMA is the largest and most extensive multidisciplinary research programme ever conducted in Africa, and arguably the biggest programme of its kind anywhere in the world. 

I have led and edited a textbook on weather forecasting in West Africa. "Meteorology of Tropical West Africa: The Forecasters' Handbook" is the first book of its kind, collecting together the scientific principles and practical forecasting techniques for a particular climatic region. The book has been translated into French and more than 300 copies have been distributed to the forecasting and training centres in Africa, funded by the Met Office and Météo-France.