The core mission of the METEO research group is to conduct high-impact meteorological and wildfire research, thereby providing improved tools, services and policies to the community and stakeholders, both in Greece and around the world. The outcomes of the research group include new scientific knowledge, improved prediction tools, and early warning systems that promote adaptation and enhance resilience to climate change.
b. Research Focus and Main Scientific Directions
In particular, the research efforts of the METEO group concentrate on the development of new knowledge, tools and services relevant to:
- Improving the scientific understanding of the physics and dynamics of severe and extreme weather (e.g., Mediterranean cyclogenesis, lightning activity, deep convection)
- Improving the capability to forecast severe and extreme weather (including lightning activity, hail occurrence, tornados, dust storms) through the operational implementation of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models (Bolam, Moloch, WRF, https://www.meteo.gr/meteomaps ) and coupled atmosphere-chemistry models (WRF-Chem, https://www.meteo.gr/meteomaps/wrf_dust.cfm)
- Improving the scientific understanding of extreme fire weather and fire behavior through the implementation of advanced coupled fire-atmosphere models (e.g., WRF-Fire), and the exploitation of ground-truth and satellite remote sensing data
- Improving the capability to anticipate the occurrence of extreme wildfires through the operational computation and monitoring of specialized fire weather indices
- Monitoring fire weather and fuel conditions across Greece, using surface weather station data
- Providing operational predictions of fire spread through the implementation of an advanced coupled fire-atmosphere rapid response fire spread forecasting system (IRIS 2.0)
- Satellite meteorology based on properly post-processed and analysed operational products of NWC-SAF and LAND-SAF (https://www.meteo.gr/meteomaps/obs_zeus_eu_con_rain.cfm), including the monitoring of fire activity
- Monitoring weather through advanced observational networks, including (a) the ZEUS VLF lightning detection network, operated since 2005 (https://meteo.gr/talos/en), (b) a dense network (490) of automatic weather stations (AWSs), operated since 2007 (https://www.meteo.gr/Gmap.cfm ), and (c) level meters and snow meters
- Conducting urban-scale experiments through the employment of microsensors and mobile measurements
- Development of early warning systems tailor-made for civil protection needs against high impact weather risks including wildfires (e.g. https://www.meteo.gr/kilkis)
- Monitoring and analysis of the socioeconomic impact of weather-related hazards, including the maintenance and expansion of a dedicated database for Greece (https://www.meteo.gr/weatherEvents.cfm ), the realisation and analysis of behavioural surveys on the weather-related hazards and risk perceptions, preparedness, adaptability, and emergency response; the continuous update of a database of flood fatalities, their demographic profiles and death circumstances in the frame of a European research network
- Dissemination of the R&D outcomes to the general public through layman articles and a dedicated Wikipedia-like website (https://wiki.meteo.gr) & development of educational programs and activities on weather, climate and related natural hazards.