Analysis and Assessment of Convective Cloud Nowcasts

Engineering, IT, Mathematics and Statistics


Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian or New Zealand Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.

About the Industry Partner

The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia’s national weather, climate and water agency. Its expertise and services assist Australians in dealing with the harsh realities of their natural environment, including drought, floods, fires, storms, tsunami and tropical cyclones. Through regular forecasts, warnings, monitoring and advice spanning the Australian region and Antarctic territory, the Bureau provides one of the most fundamental and widely used services of government.

The Bureau contributes to national social, economic, cultural and environmental goals by providing observational, meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic services and by undertaking research into science and environment related issues in support of its operations and services.

What’s in it for you?

  • Opportunity to work within a well-respected government agency
  • Real-world application and use of satellite and aircraft tracking data sets within well-known programming languages
  • Expand your real-world research experience
  • Build upon your hard and soft skill sets
  • Make a difference to the community

Research to be Conducted

The Bureau of Meteorology is developing a convective nowcasting capability to mitigate the impacts of convective weather on air traffic flow management.

The first phase of the collaborative convective forecasting project focuses on developing and evaluation nowcasting guidance. Multiple inputs will be evaluated with the aim of determining a single nowcast prediction.

For example, a source input will use satellite data to identify and track convective cloud, then use external and Bureau algorithms and numerical weather model to predict the movement and development of the convection.  An assessment of the guidance against both real-time observations and aircraft tracks will assist in tuning the assessment and classification parameters within the system.

The research to be conducted will analyse satellite observations and aircraft tracking data to investigate the identification and classification of the cloud characteristics that results in aircraft deviation and/or routing changes.

Skills Wish List

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • Well-developed programming skills in a commonly used programming language such as Python, C++, R.
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis techniques
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively through written reports and oral presentations
  • Excellent teamwork and time management skill sets

Research Outcomes

The outputs of the project will be:

  • Verification of the ability of the nowcasting outputs to classify convective parameters and predict the development and track of convection.
  • The identification and classification of the cloud characteristics that results in aircraft deviation and/or routing changes.
  • A presentation of the study results in oral and written reports

As a result of this work the Bureau’s meteorologists will have greater knowledge of the systems’ convective nowcasting capability and the ability of the system to classify and predict the track of convection that may impact en-route aircraft.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Brisbane, QLD
3 months
APR – 1345



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