One-year Placement Program at Hong Kong Observatory 2016


Impact of aircraft observations on tropical cyclone forecasts


In a collaborative effort between the Hong Kong Observatory and the Government Flying Service, aircraft equipped with specialised instruments are dispatched to make in-flight weather measurements near tropical cyclones (e.g. around the eye of Typhoon Linfa in July 2015). To reap the full benefits of such valuable observation data in improving weather forecasts, advanced statistical techniques are required to ingest these data into numerical weather prediction (NWP) models, taking into account uncertainties associated with the current atmospheric state vector.


In this project, the student will perform numerical experiments on the sensitivity of tropical cyclone forecast accuracy to aircraft observation data, and develop algorithms for quantifying and utilising such “flow-dependent” sensitivity. The results will provide basis for optimising future data collection flight profiles.

Necessary Skills/Attributes

Second or third year in Maths. Strong academic background. Strong programming skills (Fortran or C++). Good knowledge of statistical physics.