Peter Lynch (meteorologist)
Peter Lynch is an Irish meteorologist, mathematician, blogger and book author. His interests include numerical weather prediction, dynamic meteorology, Hamiltonian mechanics, the history of meteorology, and the popularisation of mathematics.
He was born in Dublin, and educated at University College Dublin, where he obtained his BSc (1968) and MSc (1969) in mathematical science. He enlisted in the Irish meteorological service (now known as Met Éireann) in 1971, and worked there until 2004, rising to the rank of Head of the Research and Training Division and later Deputy Director. In 1982, he was awarded a PhD by Trinity College Dublin for his thesis Planetary-scale Hydrodynamic Instability in the Atmosphere written under the supervision of Ray Bates.
In 2004, he moved to academia, becoming Met Éireann Professor of Meteorology at the School of Mathematical Sciences. He has supervised several doctoral theses there. He is now an Emeritus Professor at the School of Mathematical Sciences.
Shortly after formally retiring from UCD in 2011, he started writing a weekly mathematical blog called "That's Maths", about half of the columns also appearing in The Irish Times newspaper (on the first and third Thursdays of each month).
One of Lynch's principle interests is the scientific approach to weather forecasting and its history, for example publishing a 2000 paper called "Weather Forecasting: from woolly art to solid science". Lewis Fry Richardson pioneered mathematical techniques of weather forecasting and dreamed that weather prediction would one day be an exact science. Modern computers were not available in Richardson's day and further theoretical advances were needed before Richardson's dream could be a realised. Lynch examined this issue first in a 2008 paper, and later in his book The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson's Dream.
In 2014 Lynch received the European Meteorological Society Silver Medal for "his outstanding contribution to meteorological education and outreach activities, his important scientific contribution to Numerical Weather forecasting and his leadership in international collaborations."
- That’s Maths (subtitled “The Mathematical Magic in Everyday Life”) Gill Books, October 2016, ISBN 9780717169559
- Rambling Round Ireland: A Commodius Vicus of Recirculation The Liffey Press, 2010, ISBN 1905785917
- The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction: Richardson's Dream, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 9780521857291
- "The origins of computer weather prediction and climate modeling" In: Journal of Computational Physics 227 (7), 3431–3444 (2008)
- "The emergence of numerical weather prediction: Richardson's dream" Cambridge University Press (2006)
- "The Fronts and Atlantic Storm-Track Experiment (FASTEX): scientific objectives and experimental design" (with A Joly, D Jorgensen, MA Shapiro, ...) In: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 78 (9), 1917–1940 (1997)
- "The Dolph-Chebyshev window: A simple optimal filter" In: Monthly weather review 125 (4), 655–660 (1997)
- "Initialization of the HIRLAM model using a digital filter" (with Xiang-Yu Huang) In: Monthly Weather Review 120 (6), 1019–1034 (1992)
- Peter Lynch at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "UCD School of Mathematics and Statistics". www.ucd.ie. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- Peter Lynch's That's Maths Mathematics Ireland, October 2016
- Met Éireann Divisions: List of Research by Author
- Richardson’s Forecast: What Went Wrong? Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of Operational Numerical Weather Prediction, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 14–17 June 2004
- EMS Silver Medal 2014: Peter Lynch European Meteorological Society