Science-industry workshop on severe convective storms

UNSW Sydney, August 3-4 2023


The science-industry workshop on severe convective storms was held on August 3-4 2023 at UNSW Sydney. The workshop brought together scientists and industry colleagues working on severe convective storms across disciplines. We aimed to forge deeper connections between science and industry through presentations, open discussion, identification of shared challenges, and future planning.

Topics that were presented and discussed included:

  • The latest understanding of severe storms in the current climate, including relationships between atmospheric conditions and storm occurrence.
  • The latest science on climate change effects on hailstorms, extreme winds, and extreme rainfall associated with thunderstorms.
  • Storm climate science in industry: information required and how that information is used.
  • Opportunities for exchange: unique data and knowledge that industry can provide.

The workshop was a phenomenal success - thank you to everyone who was there!

Practical information

The location was Scientia Building Gallery 1, at the UNSW Kensington Campus.

Thanks to our sponsors, lunch was provided, and a networking event was held at The Lounge, UNSW on 3 August.


Download the full program with abstracts here.

  • Workshop starts 9.15 am

    09.15 Workshop opening

            Dr. Tim Raupach
            UNSW Sydney and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

    09.25 Introductory remarks

            Dr. Andy Pitman
            ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes   

    09.30 Keynote

    Dr. Julian Brimelow
    Western University Canada and Northern Hail Project
    Coordinated severe storm research in Canada

    11.00-12.30 Thunderstorm hazards and impacts

    Dr. Acacia Pepler
    Bureau of Meteorology, NESP Climate Hub
    Updating the climate change guidance in the AR&R Guidelines

    Dr. Matthew Mason
    University of Queensland
    Defining loads and mitigating impacts: challenges for increasing convective storm resilience in the built environment

    Jordan Brook
    Bureau of Meteorology
    Radar perspectives on thunderstorm dynamics and associated hazards

    Dr. Alain Protat
    Bureau of Meteorology
    SWIRL: the first operational radar-based 3D wind analysis and nowcasting service in Australia

    13.30-14.30 Thunderstorm prediction

    Dean Sgarbossa
    Bureau of Meteorology
    Forecasting severe thunderstorms

    Anthony Cornelius
    The role of specialised weather services in Australia

    Harald Richter
    Bureau of Meteorology
    Latest thunderstorm guidance and use in operations

    14.30-15.00 Panel session: early career researchers in thunderstorm science

    Isabelle Greco (UNSW Sydney)
    Andrew Brown
    (University of Melbourne)
    Jordan Brook
    (Bureau of Meteorology)
    Annabel Bowden
    (Monash University)

    Moderated by Dr. Matthew Mason (University of Queensland)

    15.30-17.00 Assessing thunderstorm risk

    Dr. Joanna Aldridge1 and Dr. Tom Mortlock2
    1. QBE Australia
    2. Aon Australia

    Hail of the century: how insurers estimate SCS risk using catastrophe models

    Dr. Raktima Dey
    Guy Carpenter
    Thunderstorm-induced insurance losses and hail risk quantification

    Dr. Salomé Hussein
    Risk Frontiers
    The sky is falling: modelling hail risk in Australia

    Dr. Luis Ackermann1 and Dr. Nina Ridder2
    1. Bureau of Meteorology
    2. Suncorp

    Improving hail damage estimates using past insurance claims and radar observations

    17.30-19.30 Networking event at The Lounge, UNSW Sydney

  • 09.00-09.40 Community readiness and recovery

    Steve Muncaster
    Victoria State Emergency Services
    Enhancing community and emergency services readiness for severe convective storms

    Dr. Kat Haynes
    Natural Hazards Research Australia
    Severe storms – predicting impacts, understanding response and supporting adaptation

    09.40-10.30 Keynote

    Kylie Macfarlane
    Insurance Council of Australia
    Building resilience to worsening extremes

    11.00-12.30 Impacts on utility services and agriculture

    Narendra Tuteja
    Operational needs for information on hydroclimate extremes for managing flood and storage operations

    Penny Joseph
    Codesigning climate resilience with customers

    Bec Tkal
    Queensland Farmers Federation
    Insurance tools for managing crop & financial risk – Hailios hail plate trial

    Dr. Fiacre Rougieux
    UNSW Sydney
    Weathering the storm: risks of hail damage to solar panels in Australia

    13.30-14.30 Changing thunderstorm hazards

    Dr. Tim Raupach
    UNSW Sydney, CLEX
    Changing hail hazard across Australia

    Dr. Acacia Pepler
    Bureau of Meteorology
    Changing convective vs. non-convective rainfall

    Andrew Brown
    University of Melbourne
    Progress towards future climate projections of severe thunderstorm wind gusts

    14.30-15.20 Data for thunderstorm understanding

    Dr. Robert Warren and Dr. Joshua Soderholm
    Bureau of Meteorology
    Open data for severe thunderstorm research in Australia

    Dr. Caroline Poulsen
    Bureau of Meteorology
    Satellite observations for severe weather forecasting now and in the future

    15.20-16.30 Building connections for the future

    Prof. Christian Jakob
    Monash University
    The ARC COE for the Weather of the 21st Century

    Panel discussion:

    Christian Jakob (Monash University)
    Jonathan Barratt
    Julian Brimelow
    (Western University)

    Workshop closes 4.30 pm


Dr. Tim Raupach
UNSW Sydney Climate Change Research Centre
ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes

Dr. Joanna Aldridge
QBE Australia

Dr. Joshua Soderholm
Bureau of Meteorology


ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes
Insurance Council of Australia


August 3-4 2023
University of New South Wales Kensington Campus, Sydney, Australia