Norfolk

University of East Anglia scientists research storms

Prof Ian Renfrew
Image caption Prof Ian Renfrew, from the University of East Anglia, said storm research from the flights is vital

Researchers from the University of East Anglia have been flying into storms across the UK to help predict weather more accurately.

In a specially-adapted passenger jet, the group has measured the properties of high winds and rain which have hit the country in recent weeks.

The project aims to improve forecasting techniques.

The condensation and evaporation of water in storms is thought to influence how the weather develops and moves.

The research is led by the Natural Environment Research Council's National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).

Along with 16 aircrew, the scientists change flight direction as the storm builds.

Using specialised equipment, the teams analyse the winds, humidity, temperature and cloud properties.

The group flew into a storm over Scotland in early December, as well as high winds over the south west of England in November.

Prof Ian Renfrew, of UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "The observations we can obtain from these research aircraft flights are vital for working out how these storms work and how we can simplify some of the crucial processes for inclusion in our forecast models."

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