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Convective organization over Germany

Academic Advisor
George Pacey, Lisa Schielicke, Stephan Pfahl
Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)


Every year, convective hazards (e.g., hail, rain and strong winds) are responsible for large financial loss and some fatalities across Germany. Strong events can cause damage totals of up to EUR 1 billion like the severe hailstorm in south-west Germany in July 2013 (Kunz et al. 2018). The storms on this day were initially triggered by a convergence zone ahead of a cold front. Alongside environmental information, forecasters use the convective organisational mode as seen on radar data to assess the likelihood of certain hazards. In this project, you will analyse the convective organisation from radar data for selected case studies where convection initiated in proximity to a front. The convective organisation will be analysed at different locations relative to the front: ahead of the front, at the front and behind the front. You will also have the opportunity to use data from the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD) to identify the convective organisation associated with severe weather reports.
Prerequisites for this project are an interest in atmospheric convection and analysing radar data. Experience with a scripting language (e.g., Python) is desirable but not essential. The student should be willing to communicate in English as one of the supervisors is not a native German speaker, however the thesis may still be wrote in German.

  • Kunz, M., Blahak, U., Handwerker, J., Schmidberger, M., Punge, H.J., Mohr, S., Fluck, E. and Bedka, K.M. (2018), The severe hailstorm in southwest Germany on 28 July 2013: characteristics, impacts and meteorological conditions. Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., 144: 231-250.
  • Mulder, K. J., & Schultz, D. M. (2015). Climatology, Storm Morphologies, and Environments of Tornadoes in the British Isles: 1980–2012, Monthly Weather Review, 143(6), 2224-2240.