Craig MacLachlan

Manager of Monthly to Decadal Operational Systems, Met Office Hadley Centre


My aim is to predict the climate for the months ahead, it’s a very challenging area of weather forecasting. I’m interested in writing robust and high quality software and encouraging others to do the same. I work with people from scientific and technological backgrounds on both research and operational projects. 

My work

I lead a team of software engineers and scientists responsible for the monthly to seasonal forecast system at the Met Office. We try to predict the climate for the weeks and months ahead.
My team and I tackle a wide range of activities, from model development to data dissemination. The key part of our work sits right in the middle: an ensemble prediction system called GloSea5. This system is a complicated workflow including numerical simulations and data processing and it runs on our supercomputer. This means we have to be experts on a variety of software and hardware platforms. The system runs every day of the year, making predictions of the future climate. Our system is part of the operational work the Met Office does, this means it needs to be robust and reliable.
We help to improve and evaluate the latest Met Office numerical models used for weather and climate prediction. Our forecast system has been designed so that we can include these easily in our operational forecasting work. This means we can use the best available model to make our monthly and seasonal forecasts.
I work with colleagues from across the Met Office who have different scientific and technological skills. Having expertise across these skills is important. As a senior software engineer I mentor other Met Office software engineers and scientists in software development best practices. I am also responsible for collaborations in seasonal forecasting with other national meteorological services (Republic of Korea, Australia).

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