School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Hugh Pumphrey's home page

About me

Photograph of me I am a reader in atmospheric science the School of Geosciences. Just in case you are trying to put a face to the name I look more or less like the picture. If you need to contact me, go to my official contact details page.

Research interests

My main interest is the remote sounding of the stratosphere and mesosphere by microwave limb sounding. I am part of a large team based at NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory, which builds and operates microwave limb sounding instruments. You can read more about this at the MLS web site. To date, the team have built two of these instruments: UARS MLS which was launched in September 1991 and EOS MLS which was finally launched on 15 July 2004. I am responsible for the HCN and CO measurements from EOS MLS and was lead author on the first papers on the HCN data. I am now investigating the inter-annual variability of HCN in the tropical stratosphere. I am also looking into the MLS measurements of sulphur dioxide from volcanos. There is more information on my research on my Zope-free page.

Publications list

I maintain my own list which is fairly complete, with links to the papers in most cases, and which goes back to my first publication. The University maintains a separate list on its research pages


Most of my teaching is on undergraduate courses in meteorology and in geophysics. In the past I have taught a variety of M.Sc-level courses in remote sensing, especially its inverse-theory aspects. I am currently degree programme co-ordinator for the undergraduate geophysics degrees.

Current weather

Local Mirror

I have collected some current weather images from a variety of sources. This is for the convenience of local users, so I'm not publishing them outwith the University.

METAR plots
  • A plot of recent data from EGPH, the Edinburgh airport weather station.
  • A record of METAR data from Edinburgh at the times of the Met:W+C labs.
My rolling archive of weather charts

These charts are made from GFS analyses, downloaded from the CISL Research Data Archive There is a separate folder for each date, with a variety of charts. Once the day is complete there should be four of each sort of chart per day, for the times 0, 6, 12 and 18 hours GMT. All file names contain the date. The sub-folder "local" contains duplicates of charts from elsewhere on the web --- these are only accessible to University members.

Animations of vorticity and divergence

These are also made from GFS analyses, downloaded from the CISL Research Data Archive. The individual frames are in the rolling archive. There are separate animations for three levels:

Links to other sources of current weather data


I am something of a Linux zealot (but I try not to be too annoying about it.) I favour the Debian distribution. Here are some more details on my Linux interests.

My professional programming is mostly in Fortran and various scientific graphics languages. I have written a useful perl program called fmkmf to make it easier to use make with Fortran 90/95 programs.

Other stuff

Although the school web site is beautiful-looking, it is tiresome to use for some sorts of dynamic content. For that reason, I have some material on the secret, zope-free, corporate-image-free web server. I am also experimenting with blogging: you can read my blog if you like.