Thomas Spengler's picture
Associate Professor
Visit Address: 
Geophysical Institute, Allegaten 70
Postal Address: 
Postboks 7803
+47 55 58 98 46
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  • Rossby Waves
  • Polar Lows
  • Tropical-Extratropical Interactions
  • Teleconnections
  • Baroclinic Instability
  • Heat Lows
  • Alpine Valley Winds
  • Flow over and around Topography


Introduction to Methods in Weather Forecasting (GEOF321)

Dynamics of the Atmosphere (GEOF326)

Mesoscale Dynamics (GEOF328)

Seminar in Atmospheric Sciences (GEOF351)


Supervision of PhD students:

Stefan Keiderling Jet Dynamics, Evolution, and Forcing 2013-2017 Clemens Spensberger Linear and non-linear impacts of topography on the large scale circulation 2011-2015
Annick Terpstra Polar Low Dynamics 2011-2014 Qi Kong Interactions of Cyclones with steep Topography 2011-2013 Mathew Reeve Monsoon in Bangladesh 2010-2014

Supervision of Master students:

Ragnhild Nordhagen Cold Pool Forecasting at MET Norway 2013-2014 Linda Green Polar Lows and Surface Fluxes 2013-2014

Bas Creeze

Polar low detection and tracking 2013 Trond Thorsteinsson Introducing a slab ocean into Bedymo 2013

Angus Munro

Shear and Rossby Wave breaking 2012-2013 Espen Karlsen Extreme precipitation in Norway 2012-2013 Stefan Keiderling Ice edge front jets


Cecilie Villanger Extreme wind events in Norway 2012-2013 Elin Tronvoll Cyclones interacting with Greenland 2011-2012

Journal articles
  • Reeve, Mathew Alexander; Spengler, Thomas; Chu, Pao-Shin. 2014. Testing a flexible method to reduce false monsoon onsets. PLoS ONE. 9. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104386
  • Potter, Sam; Spengler, Thomas; Held, Isaac M. 2013. Reflection of Barotropic Rossby Waves in Sheared Flow and Validity of the WKB Approximation. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. 70: 2170-2178.
  • Reeve, Mathew Alexander; Spengler, Thomas; Lunde, Torleif Markussen; Syed, Mohammed Abu. 2012. Hva er egentlig monsunen? Klima. 3.
  • Reuder, Joachim; Ablinger, Markus; Ágústsson, Hálfdán; Brisset, Pascal; Brynjólfsson, Sveinn; Garhammer, Markus; Jóhannesson, Tómas; Jonassen, Marius Opsanger; Kühnel, Rafael; Lämmlein, Stephan; De, Lange Tor; Lindenberg, Christian; Malardel, Sylvia; Mayer, Stephanie; Müller, Martin; Ólafsson, Haraldur; Rögnvaldsson, Ólafur; Schäper, Wolfgang; Spengler, Thomas; Zängl, Günther; Egger, Joseph. 2012. FLOHOF 2007: an overview of the mesoscale meteorological field campaign at Hofsjokull, Central Iceland. Meteorology and atmospheric physics (Print). 116: 1-13. doi: 10.1007/s00703-010-0118-4
  • Spengler, Thomas; Egger, Joseph. 2012. Potential vorticity attribution and causality. Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. 69: 2600-2607. doi: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-0313.1
  • Kristjansson, Jon Egill; Barstad, Idar; Aspelien, Trygve; Føre, Ivan; Godøy, Øystein Arne; Hov, Øystein; Irvine, Emma; Iversen, Trond; Kolstad, Erik Wilhelm; Nordeng, Thor Erik; Mc Innes, Harold; Randriamampianina, Roger; Reuder, Joachim; Sætra, Øyvind; Shapiro, Melvyn A.; Spengler, Thomas; Ólafsson, Haraldur. 2011. The Norwegian IPY-THORPEX. Polar Lows and Arctic Fronts during the 2008 Andøya Campaign. Bulletin of The American Meteorological Society - (BAMS). 92: 1443-1466. doi: 10.1175/2011BAMS2901.1
  • Smith, Roger K; Spengler, Thomas. 2011. Dynamics of Heat Lows over elevated terrain. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 137: 250-263. doi: 10.1002/qj.737
  • Spengler, Thomas; Egger, Joseph; Garner, Stephen T. 2011. How does rain affect surface pressure in a one-dimensional framework? Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. 68: 347-360. doi: 10.1175/2010JAS3582.1
  • Moore, Richard W; Martius, Olivia; Spengler, Thomas. 2010. The Modulation of the Subtropical and Extratropical Atmosphere in the Pacific Basin in Response to the Madden Julian Oscillation. Monthly Weather Review. 138: 2761-2779. doi: 10.1175/2010MWR3194.1
  • Spengler, Thomas; Ablinger, Markus; Schween, Jan H.; Zängl, Günther; Egger, Joseph. 2009. Thermally driven Flows at an asymmetric valley exit: Observations and Model Studies at the Lech Valley exit. Monthly Weather Review. 137: 3437-3455. doi: 10.1175/2009MWR2779.1
  • Spengler, Thomas; Egger, Joseph. 2009. Comments on "Dry-Season Precipitation in Tropical West Africa and Its Relation to Forcing from the Extratropics". Monthly Weather Review. 137: 3149-3150. doi: 10.1175/2009MWR2942.1
  • Våge, Kjetil; Spengler, Thomas; Davies, Huw C; Pickart, R.S. 2009. Multi-event analysis of the westerly Greenland tip jet based upon 45 winters in ERA-40. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 135: 1999-2011. doi: 10.1002/qj.488
  • Spengler, Thomas; Smith, Roger K. 2008. The dynamics of heat lows over flat terrain. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 134: 2157-2172. doi: 10.1002/qj.342
  • Spengler, Thomas; Reeder, Michael J; Smith, Roger K. 2005. The Dynamics of Heat Lows in Simple Background Flows. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. 131: 3147-3166. doi: 10.1256/qj.04.177
  • Jackson, Gordon E; Smith, Roger K; Spengler, Thomas. 2002. The Prediction of low-level convergence lines over northeastern Australia. Australian meteorological magazine. 51: 13-23.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)


Terpstra, A., and T. Spengler, 2014: A novel initialization method for idealized channel simulations, Mon. Wea. Rev., submitted

Egger, J., K.-P. Hoinka, and T. Spengler, 2014: Fluxes of Potential Vorticity and Impermeability, J. Atmos. Sci., submitted

Terpstra, A., T. Spengler, and R.W. Moore, 2014: Idealised simulations of polar low development in an Arctic moist-baroclinic environment, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., submitted

Spensberger, C., and T. Spengler, 2014: A new look at deformation as a diagnostic for large-scale flow, J. Atmos. Sci., accepted

Stiller-Reeve, M., A. Syed, T. Spengler, J. Spinney, and R. Hossain, 2014: Complementing scientific monsoon definitions with social perception in Bangladesh. BAMS, accepted


Atmospheric scientist with focus on dynamic meteorology in the realm of theory and modeling. Main focus on synoptic to mesoscale phenomena in the atmosphere as well as wave-mean flow and tropical-extratropical interaction.



2010–today Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway Associate Professor for Dynamic Meteorology


Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA Postdoctoral Research Associate Feb 2009 Monash Weather and Climate, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia Visiting Scientist


Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland Postdoctoral Research Assistant 2005–2008 Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland Doctoral Research Assistant 2004-2005 Meteorological Institute Munich, University of Munich, Germany Research assistant

Professional Organisations

  Organisation Position
2011–today International Commission on Dynamic Meteorology (ICDM) of the International Association for Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS)


Atmospheric Working Group (AWG) of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC)


Awards and Nominations

2013 Best Lecturer at the Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Bergen


Nominee for the IAMAS Early Career Science Medal

Research groups

Current projects

High Impact Weather in the Arctic (HIMWARC)

Jet and Eddy Dynamics – Interaction, FORCing and Evolution (JEDIFORCE)

Atmospheric jet variability: linking STRucture, Evolution and
Mechanisms (jetSTREAM)