Shaun Harrigan

Forecast, Evaluation, Verification and Observation Monitoring


Shaun is working on operational hydrological forecasting of both floods and low flows from short and medium range to subseasonal-to-seasonal lead times at continental and global scales. He specialises in forecast evaluation and has a particular interest in understanding where and when forecast products are useful to different end users. Previously he led Ensemble Streamflow Prediction (ESP) implementation, evaluation and development within the operational Hydrological Outlook UK service at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (2016-2017). He has been involved in the development and analysis of Reference Hydrologic Networks (RHNs) in Ireland and the UK so has a strong background in observed hydrometric networks that underpin hydrological modelling and forecast evaluation. He holds a PhD in Hydroclimatology from the National University of Ireland Maynooth (2012-2015). 

Professional interests:
  • Ensemble hydrological forecasting 
  • Forecast verification
  • Hydrological extremes (floods and droughts)
  • Detection & Attribution of change
  • Reference Hydrologic Networks (RHNs)
  • Hydroclimatology
Career background:

Employment and Education

  • Jan 2018-Present: Scientist, Hydrological Forecast Evaluation, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Reading, UK
  • Jan 2016-Dec 2017: Research Associate, Hydroclimatologist, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Wallingford, UK
  • Nov 2012-Dec 2015: PhD in Hydroclimatology, Title: 'Exploring the Hydroclimatology of Floods: From Detection to Attribution', National University of Ireland Maynooth
  • Jan 2011-Oct 2012: Hydroclimate Researcher, Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units (ICARUS), National University of Ireland Maynooth
  • Jan 2010-Sep 2015: Lectured on undergraduate and MSc level courses covering topics on hydrology, climate change, statistical methods, and R programming, National University of Ireland Maynooth
  • Sep 2009-Jul 2010: MSc in Climate Change, National University of Ireland Maynooth


External recognitions


  • European Geosciences Union (EGU)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
  • British Hydrological Society (BHS)
  • European Meteorological Society (EMS)
  • Irish Meteorological Society (IMS) 

External duties and awards

  • 2018-Present: WMO Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS)
  • 2015-2017: European Geosciences Union (EGU) Early Career Scientist Representative for the Hydrological Sciences Division
  • 2011: 'Peter Wolf Early Career Hydrologists' Presentation Award' (British Hydrological Society)
  • 2010: 'Professor Patrick J Duffy Award' (National University of Ireland Maynooth)