The Met Office Unified Model (UM) is one of the leading numerical models for both weather and climate prediction. Increasingly, the UM should be seen more as a modelling framework than a single model, with options spanning kilometre-scale regional weather simulations to centennial global Earth system simulations involving carbon and nitrogen cycles, for example.

The Met Office make the UM freely available to the UK academic community under license, and strongly encourage its uptake for research use. In recent years the academic community, focused around MOAP, has played a considerable role in collaborative development of the UM, particularly in regards to the Earth System model UKESM.

Here in Oxford, there is a long history of using the UM in various configurations. Recent examples of UM usage at Oxford include running the global model with dynamical forcing imposed in the stratosphere, regional modelling over Africa, and large ensemble simulations of earlier versions of the global atmospheric model.

If you are interested in using the UM at Oxford, there is a range of support available. Primary resources are the NCAS CMS support pages (containing lots of official documentation and code) and the MONSooN Collaboration Wiki (e.g. where you can access UM User Tutorial slides and join the collaboration newsgroup). A key factor for new users is where to run the model. The two most common options are MONSooN, for direct collaborations with the Met Office, and ARCHER, for NERC-funded research. If you would like to use the model but aren’t sure how to proceed, contact tim.woollings@physics.ox.ac.uk.