Stephen Dorling


  • 2.42 Sciences

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Fusing observations and modelling of lightning for improved forecasting of thunderstorm risk

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Personal profile


I am a Chartered Meteorologist ( with many interests in how weather and climate interface with environmental problems.

My main current research activities address science which tackles the major over-lapping security challenges facing the world in food, water and energy.

I am working with Norwich Research Park colleagues at the John Innes Centre (JIC) to better understand the effect of current weather and climate on disease resistance in wheat and on flowering in brassica, to help identify genetic traits which will be needed in the future to respond to anticipated climate change. This work is funded by BBSRC and the Defra Hort-Link programme. These interests have developed through the research agenda of the “Environmental Life Systems Alliance” (ELSA), the JIC-UEA strategic collaboration (, expanding my earlier agriculture-related work in which we studied the potential of satellite remote sensing as a possible operational source of real-time soil moisture conditions in the field. A NERC PURE project is supporting my group to collaborate with Maplecroft Ltd during 2013-14 in the development of a risk analytics approach to climate change impacts on global agriculture.

I am a member of the UEA Water Security Research Centre.  Together with US and South African partners, we are working on a new 2013-15 Belmont Forum funded project addressing water scarcity and security in Southern Africa, developing tools to assist with water allocation amongst multiple stakeholders.

In the energy and risk fields, my group is also active in natural hazard research, quantifying and diagnosing the causes of and studying the impacts related to recent trends in windspeed in North-west Europe, a topic of interest, but from contrasting perspectives, to both the insurance and wind energy sectors – this work has been funded by the Worshipful Company of Insurers and NERC. Our wind-related research embraces both extreme events and local scale wind systems such as sea breezes.  I am a member of the Organising Committee of the 2015 International Conference on Energy Meteorology (ICEM 2015).  I also act as a consultant to Horizon Nuclear Power. 

Key tools which underpin the work of my research group include numerical weather prediction models (such as WRF, the Unified Model and ensemble prediction systems through TIGGE), the Met Office’s Regional Climate Model (PRECIS) and long-term observational records of surface weather. My group has used WRF and PRECIS to dynamically downscale model output to produce high-resolution climatologies for both current and possible future climate in NW Europe and in SE Asia. The Defra-funded River Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) is also developing into an equally significant research platform which my work is interfacing with.

I teach Meteorology at Undergraduate and Masters levels and supervise many student research projects in pure and applied meteorology.  In 2013 Wiley published my text on "Operational Weather Forecastine".

In 2001 I helped launch Weatherquest Ltd, a weather forecasting and analysis consultancy based at UEA. Since then I have acted as Innovations Director at Weatherquest, providing work experience and internship opportunities to UEA students and over £6M of operational consultancy services, much of this in the food, water and energy sectors.

Operational Weather Forecasting
Peter Michael Inness, Steve Dorling
To be published 21 December 2012
For more information click here


  • 2001 onwards, Innovations Director, Weatherquest Ltd
  • 1997 onwards, Chartered Meteorologist
  • 1994 onwards, Faculty Member, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
  • 1993 Visiting Research Fellow, Atmospheric Environment Service, Environment Canada, Toronto
  • 1986-1992 BSc/PhD University of East Anglia
  • 1985-1986 Assistant Scientific Officer, UK Meteorological Office  

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences.  However, feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

I am interested in all the diverse ways in which weather and climate affect food, water and energy security.

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Key Responsibilities

  • School of Environmental Sciences, Director of Engagement
  • Weatherquest Innovations Director
  • Co-chair, Royal Meteorological Society East Anglian Centre

Professional Activities

  • Chartered Meteorologist 1997-2013 Administered by the Royal Meteorological Society requiring biennial CPD evidence
  • Innovations Director, Weatherquest Ltd 2001-2013
  • Consultant to Horizon Nuclear Power 2013-2014
  • Member of the NERC Natural Hazards Advisory Group 2013
  • Member of the Organising Committee for the 2015 International Conference on Energy Meteorology 2013-2015


Synoptic meteorology; air pollution meteorology; computer-aided learning; pattern recognition; climate change; artificial intelligence; weather forecasting.

Teaching Interests

My teaching is wholly in Meteorology and its applications.  In 2013, Wiley published my text on "Operational Weather Forecasting".  Most years I lead a week-long residential Meteorology fieldcourse in the Lake District, designed to give hands-on experience with meteorological instrumentation and experimental design.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science, University of East Anglia

1 Oct 198614 Jul 1989

Award Date: 14 Jul 1989


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or