Dr Andrew J. Dowdy

Senior Researcher Scientist

Current work and responsibilities

Andrew's research is focused on extreme weather phenomena and the physical processes influencing their risk of occurrence. He investigates thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, wildfires and Australian east coast lows, as well as associated severe conditions (lightning, hail, pyroconvection, extreme precipitation, wind and ocean waves). This includes temporal scales from short-term weather conditions up to long-term seasonal and climate scales, based on observations as well as modelling.

This focus on extreme events builds on a number of research projects he has led in recent years, including for the Australian Climate Change Science Program (ACCSP), Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP) and Bushfire CRC, as well as leading the East Coast regional assessment of the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology climate projections project: Climate Change in Australia

He is currently the Lead Chief Investigator managing the Extreme Weather Projections research project of the National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), with research team members from CSIRO, BoM, Uni. Melbourne, UNSW and Uni. Queensland. This project aims to help build preparedness and resilience in relation to extreme weather events: NESP project - Extreme Weather Projections

Career background

Education
  • 2005: PhD, University of Adelaide, in collaboration with Australian Antarctic Division and Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Germany.
  • 1999: Research Scholar, Australian National University.
  • 1998: BSc Hons (1st Class), Dept of Physics, University of Adelaide.
  • 1996: BSc (Double major: Theoretical Physics and Experimental Physics), University of Adelaide.
  • 1993: AMusA (Piano Performance), University of Adelaide.
Professional positions
  • 2007–present: Research scientist, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne.
  • 2006–2007: Policy officer, Australian Greenhouse Office, Canberra.
  • 2006: Science communicator, Questacon, Canberra.
  • 2005–2006: Postdoctoral research scientist, University of Adelaide, Adelaide.
  • 2001–2003: Lidar physicist, Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart and Davis Station.
  • 1998–2001: Tutor/demonstrator, University of Adelaide, Adelaide.

Selected Publications

  • Dowdy & Catto, 2017: Extreme weather caused by concurrent cyclone, front and thunderstorm occurrences. Scientific Reports, 7, doi:10.1038/srep40359.
  • Dowdy, Fromm, and McCarthy, N., 2017: Pyrocumulonimbus lightning and fire ignition on Black Saturday in southeast Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122, doi:10.1002/2017JD026577.
  • Dowdy, Grose, Timbal, Moise, Ekström, Bhend & Wilson, 2015: Rainfall in Australia’s eastern seaboard: a review of confidence in projections based on observations and physical processes. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal, 65(1), 107-126.
  • Dowdy, 2014: Long-term changes in Australian tropical cyclone numbers. Atmospheric Science Letters, 5(4), doi:10.1002/asl2.502.
  • Dowdy, Mills, Timbal & Wang, 2014: Fewer large waves projected for eastern Australia due to decreasing storminess. Nature Climate Change, 4, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2142.
  • Dowdy, Finkele, Mills & DeGroot, 2010: Index sensitivity analysis applied to the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index and the McArthur Forest Fire Danger Index. Meteorological Applications, 17, doi: 10.1002/met.170.
Andrew-Dowdy-photo

Andrew Dowdy

Expertise
  • Hazards and risk assessment
  • Seasonal and intraseasonal prediction
  • Climate projections from global climate models and downscaling
  • Data visualisation techniques
  • Analyses of large observational datasets
  • Large-scale oceanic and atmospheric modes of variability (e.g., the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and others)
  • Statistical methods
  • Project management
  • Science communication
Publications
Committees
  • Climate Change Project Team appointed by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council
  • Australian Academy of Science EMCR forum
  • Australian Science Communicators
  • Bureau of Meteorology representative on Science Advisory Panel of the Victorian Coastal Council