Regional climate model prediction of intense extratropical cyclones, © BGS NERC

The TEMPEST project aims to improve our understanding of how climate change will affect extratropical cyclones. TEMPEST stands for Testing and Evaluating Model Predictions of European Storms.

The project is a collaboration between the universities of Reading, Exeter and Oxford, the Met Office and ECMWF (the European Centre for Mid-Range Weather Forecasting).

Impacts from extratropical cyclones

Wind and flood damage from extratropical cyclones has dramatic social and economic impacts. An example of this are the three storms (Anatol, Lothar and Martin) that crossed North Western Europe in quick succession during December 1999. The devastating damage from these storms cost an estimated 18.5 billion euros.

Understanding the impacts of climate change on extratropical cyclones is critical to assessing future weather risk. At present, however, there is little consensus as to how climate models predict European extratropical cyclones will change in the future.

Objectives of the TEMPEST project

The TEMPEST project aims to:

  • Assess how extratropical cyclones are predicted to change in the international co-ordinated climate model experiment (CMIP5: the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project) which will inform the next IPCC assessment report on climate change
  • Understand which processes are leading to the large spread of climate model predictions for European extratropical cyclones
  • Investigate the response of extratropical cyclones to climate change using very high-resolution global atmospheric models, which are capable of resolving storms in greater detail

Key project members of TEMPEST

Principal Investigator: Dr. Len Shaffrey


Dr. Mike Blackburn

Dr. David Brayshaw

Dr. Helen Dacre

Dr. Kevin Hodges

Sir Professor Brian Hoskins

Professor Tim Palmer

Professor David Stephenson

Dr. Renato Vitolo

Dr. Tim Woollings

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