David Lavers

Forecast Department, Evaluation Section, Diagnostics


David is a scientist working in the Climate Intelligence Team of the Forecasts and Services Department. His research focuses on the global water cycle which includes the evaluation of precipitation forecasts and the use of observational campaign data for ECMWF model diagnostics of atmospheric rivers and extratropical cyclones. He also contributes to C3S climate monitoring activities, namely the monthly Climate Bulletins and the annual European State of the Climate (ESOTC) report.

Professional interests:
  • Atmospheric rivers and the forecasting of hydrological extremes.
  • Observational campaigns.
  • Model diagnostics.
  • Climate monitoring.
Career background:
  • 2016 - present: Scientist, ECMWF, U.K.

  • 2014 - 2015: Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.

  • 2014: Visiting Scientist, ECMWF, U.K.

  • 2013 - 2014: Postdoctoral Research Scholar, IIHR – Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, U.S.A.

  • 2011- 2013: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, U.K.

  • 2009: Visiting Assistant Professional Specialist, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, New Jersey, U.S.A

  • 2007 - 2011: PhD on seasonal hydrological prediction at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Wallingford) and the University of Birmingham, U.K.

  • 2005 - 2006: MSc Applied Meteorology and Climatology, University of Birmingham, U.K.

  • 2002 - 2005: BSc Meteorology, University of Reading, U.K.

External recognitions
  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, UK
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) 2014 Tison Award.

Selected peer-reviewed publications (61 published articles in total from 2009; 30 as lead author)

  • Lavers, D. A., et al. 2024: Advancing Atmospheric River Science and Inspiring Future Development of the Atmospheric River Reconnaissance Program. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 105, E75–E83, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-23-0278.1.
  • Lavers, D. A., Hersbach, H., Rodwell, M. J., and Simmons, A. 2024: An improved estimate of daily precipitation from the ERA5 reanalysis. Atmospheric Science Letters, 25(3), e1200. https://doi.org/10.1002/asl.1200
  • Lavers, D. A., Torn, R. D., Davis, C., Richardson, D. S., Ralph, F. M. and Pappenberger, F. 2023: Forecast evaluation of the North Pacific jet stream using AR Recon dropwindsondes. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 120. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.4545
  • Lavers, D. A., Simmons, A., Vamborg, F. and Rodwell, M. J. 2022: An evaluation of ERA5 precipitation for climate monitoring. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 148 (748) 31243137. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.4351
  • Lavers, D. A., Harrigan, S. and Prudhomme, C. 2021: Precipitation Biases in the ECMWF Integrated Forecasting System. Journal of Hydrometeorology, https://doi.org/10.1175/JHM-D-20-0308.1
  • Lavers, D. A., Ralph, F. M., Richardson, D. S. and Pappenberger, F. 2020: Improved forecasts of atmospheric rivers through systematic reconnaissance, better modelling, and insights on conversion of rain to flooding. Commun Earth Environ 1, 39 https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-020-00042-1
  • Griffith, H. V., Wade, A. J., Lavers, D. A. and Watts, G. 2020: Atmospheric river orientation determines flood occurrence. Hydrological Processes. 19. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13905
  • Ralph, F. M. et al. 2020: West Coast Forecast Challenges and Development of Atmospheric River Reconnaissance. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 101, E1357–E1377, https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0183.1
  • Lavers, D. A. Ingleby, N. B., Subramanian, A. C., Richardson, D. S., Ralph, F. M., Doyle, J. D., Reynolds, C. A., Torn, R. D., Rodwell, M. J., Tallapragada, V. and Pappenberger, F. 2020: Forecast Errors and Uncertainties in Atmospheric Rivers. Weather and Forecasting, https://doi.org/10.1175/WAF-D-20-0049.1
  • Lavers, D. A. et al. 2020: A Vision for Hydrological Prediction. Atmosphere, 11, 237, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030237
  • Lavers, D. A., Harrigan, S., Andersson, E., Richardson, D. S., Prudhomme, C. and Pappenberger, F. 2019: A vision for improving global flood forecasting, Environmental Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab52b2
  • Gascón, E., Lavers, D., Hamill, T. M., Richardson, D. S., Bouallègue, Z. B., Leutbecher, M. and Pappenberger, F. 2019: Statistical postprocessing of dual‐resolution ensemble precipitation forecasts across Europe. Q J R Meteorol Soc,118. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.3615
  • Lavers, D. A., Beljaars, A., Richardson, D. S., Rodwell, M. J. and Pappenberger, F. 2019: A Forecast Evaluation of Planetary Boundary Layer Height Over the Ocean, Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JD030454
  • Lavers, D. A., Rodwell, M. J., Richardson, D. S., Ralph, F. M., Doyle, J. D., Reynolds, C. A., Tallapragada, V. and Pappenberger, F. 2018: The Gauging and Modeling of Rivers in the Sky. Geophysical Research Letters. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL079019
  • Lavers, D.A., Richardson, D. S., Ramos, A. M., Zsoter, E., Pappenberger, F. and Trigo, R.M. 2018: Earlier awareness of extreme winter precipitation across the western Iberian Peninsula. Meteorol Appl. 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1002/met.1727
  • Lavers, D. A., Zsoter, E., Richardson, D. S. and Pappenberger, F. 2017: An assessment of the ECMWF extreme forecast index for water vapor transport during boreal winter. Weather and Forecasting, 32(4), 1667–1674. https://doi.org/10.1175/WAF-D-17-0073.1
  • Lavers, D. A., Pappenberger, F., Richardson, D. S. and Zsoter, E. 2016: ECMWF extreme forecast index for water vapor transport: a forecast tool for atmospheric rivers and extreme precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 11852–11858. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL071320
  • Lavers, D. A., Pappenberger, F. and Zsoter, E. 2014: Extending medium‐range predictability of extreme hydrological events in Europe, Nat. Commun., 5, 5382, https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6382
  • Lavers, D., Prudhomme, C. and Hannah, D. M. 2013: European precipitation connections with large-scale mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) fields. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58:2, 310-327, https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2012.754545
  • Lavers, D. A., Allan, R. P., Wood, E. F., Villarini, G., Brayshaw, D. J. and Wade, A. J. 2011: Winter floods in Britain are connected to atmospheric rivers. Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L23803. https://doi.org/10.1029/2011GL049783
  • Lavers, D., Luo, L. F. and Wood, E. F. 2009: A multiple model assessment of seasonal climate forecast skill for applications. Geophysical Research Letters, 36. L23711, https://doi.org/10.1029/2009GL041365