Chair in 1995 and Head of UMIST Physics Dept. during the merger of UMIST and Manchester University and head of SEAES until this year.
2008 - awarded RMetS Mason Gold Medal for contributions to the understanding of processes that determine variability and predictability of weather and climate.
Tom continues to lead an active research group studying the microphysics of mixed phase clouds and cloud aerosol interactions.
Reopening of the Whitworth Meteorological Observatory
The Whitworth Observatory History
1. Meteorological Observatory in Whitworth Park started operation in August 1892.
In 1893 the Residuary Legatees of the late Sir Joseph Whitworth, the Manchester Whitworth Institute and the Owens College endowment an agreement for the maintenance of the “Meteorological Observatory in Whitworth Park”
This observatory was to serve as a source of scientific and popular interest and of education. Data from the Whitworth Observatory were provided by the University to the Guardian newspaper for daily and weekly weather reports for the benefit of Manchester citizens. They were also forwarded to the Met Office
Burned down in 1958 under mysterious circumstances
It was agreed in 2003 that the shares in the fund and the unspent balance should be transferred to the School of Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Science (SEAES) since we "do work relevant to the purposes listed in the original 1893 Agreement."
Sir Joseph Whitworth 1803 – 1887 Mechanical Engineer
Sir Arthur Schuster (1851-1934)
Observations in 1906
Read at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. - Barometer. - Dry Bulb Thermometer - Wet Bulb Thermometer - Maximum Thermometer - Minimum Thermometer - Black Bulb Thermometer - Grass Thermometer - Rain Gauge
Comparison of Observations of Temperature taken at two stations in Manchester from December 4th, 1892, to January 28th, 1893. By J. Wilson. Communicated by Arthur Schuster, Ph.D., F.R.S., F.R.A.S.
Published in Memoirs and Proceedings of The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Series 4, Vol 7, pp 160-168, 1893.
Average maxima at Whitworth Park 41.4 F
Average maxima at Oldham Road, 40.2°F.
January bright sunshine Whitworth Park 17hrs, 20min
January bright sunshine Oldham Road l0hrs, 45mins
January there does not appear to be any connection between the differences in the maxima and the differences in the amount of bright sunshine on a given day. The greatest divergence 8.8°F between the maxima occurs on Jan. 5th.
The minima show a much greater difference than do the maxima,
Daily average Whitworth Park 29.5°F
Oldham Road daily average 32.5F
The days marked by the greatest divergences are December 5, December 6, January 4, January 5, and January 6, these being also the days of greatest cold.
Dr. Michael Flynn
PhD from UMIST in 2000
Now an Experimental Officer in SEAES
Instrumental development and measurement techniques
Broad research interests – Land-atmosphere fluxes, cloud and aerosol measurement etc
The New Whitworth Observatory Michael Flynn
Operating Principles of Selected Instruments
Roof of George Kenyon Building N53.467374, W2.232006, Alt 43m
Rooftop Height 46m AGL
Instrument Heights 1-5m above roof
Choice of Site
Measurements unaffected by surrounding buildings
Wind data representative of flow ventilating the city
Fast response rate (20Hz) – able to capture atmospheric turbulence
3d wind speed – can derive direction and wind angle
No moving parts
Good temporal resolution at all precipitation rates (1min)
Identification of onset of precipitation
Measurement of particle size distribution and particle velocity
Recognition of different precipitation types (drizzle, rain, hail, snow)
No moving parts, cannot get blocked
Precipitation Recognition Matrix Particle Fall Speed Particle Diameter
Figures from “INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE IMPROVEMENT OF AUTOMATED PRECIPITATION TYPE OBSERVATIONS AT KNMI” by Marijn de Haij and Wiel Wauben 2010. Laser Distrometer – Precipitation Type Rain Snow Particle Fall Speed Particle Fall Speed Particle Diameter Particle Diameter
Present Weather Sensor
Meteorological Optical Range
Presence of cloud/fog/haze
Precipitation rate and type
Light Transmission and Extinction Scattering Absorption Extinction = Scattering + Absorption Meteorological Optical Range = 3.00/Extinction Coefficient
Visibility and Meteorological Optical Range Meteorological Optical Range The path length in the atmosphere required to reduce the luminous flux in a collimated beam from an incandescent lamp at a colour temperature of 2700 K to 0.05 of its original value. Where β is the extinction coefficient Daytime Visual Range The limiting distance at which a black target is visible against the horizon sky. Koschmieder’s Law (1924) Where β is the extinction coefficient Night-time Visual Range The distance at which an observer can see lights through the atmosphere at night. Allard’s Law (1876) Where E t is the observers illuminance threshold and β is the extinction coefficient
Present Weather Sensor - Schematic
Present Weather Sensor
Calculated from measured scattering coefficient (45deg forward)
Assume all extinction is due to suspended particles (no scattering by gases – valid for optical range < 100Km)
Assume all extinction is due to scattering (no absorption – valid for most environments except under very heavily polluted conditions)
Between 35 and 55 deg scattering angle, very little variation in scattering phase function for different types of haze and fog
Haze/Fog calibration still valid in snow for 45deg scattering angle
Haze/Fog calibration overestimates extinction coefficient in rain
Integrated particle size distribution used for precipitation intensity
Particle size and velocity matrix and forward/back scatter ratio used for precipitation recognition.
Determination of cloud height using LiDAR principle