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Scientist profile

Thomas Spengler

Associate Professor

Geophysical Institute


Climate Dynamics

Title: Associate Professor

Phone: +47 55 58 98 46


Visiting address: Geophysical Institute, Allegaten 70

Room number: 229

  • Rossby Waves
  • Polar Lows
  • Tropical-Extratropical Interactions
  • Teleconnections
  • Baroclinic Instability
  • Heat Lows
  • Alpine Valley Winds
  • Flow over and around Topography


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

Publications in Cristin


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

Stiller-Reeve, M., T. Spengler, and P.-S. Chu, 2014: A flexible method for reducing false monsoon onsets in high-resolution data over South East Asia. PLOS, 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

Potter, S.F., T. Spengler, and I.M. Held, 2013: Reflection of Barotropic Rossby Waves in Sheared Flow and Validity of the WKB Approximation. J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 2170-2178

Spengler, T., and Egger, 2012: Potential Vorticity Attribution and Causality. J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 2600-2607

Reuder, J., M. Ablinger, H. Agustsson, P. Brisset, S. Brynjolfsson, M. Garhammer, T. Johannesson, M.O. Jonassen, R. Kühnel, S. Lämmlein, T. de Lange, C. Lindenberg, S. Malardel, S. Mayer, M. Müller, H. Olafsson, O. Rögnvaldsson, W. Schäper, T. Spengler, G. Zängl, and J. Egger, 2012: FLOHOF 2007: An overview of the mesoscale meteorological field campaign at Hofsjökull, Central Iceland. Meteorol. Atmos. Phys., Volume 116, Numbers 1-2, 1-13, DOI 10.1007/s00703-010-0118-4, 1-13

Kristjansson, J.E., I. Barstad, T. Aspelien, I. Føre, Ø. Godøy, Ø. Hov, E. Irvine, T. Iversen, E. Kolstad, T.E. Nordeng, H. McInnes, R. Randriamampianina, J. Reuder, Ø. Saetra, M. Shapiro, T. Spengler, and H. Olafsson, 2011: The Norwegian IPY-THORPEX: Polar Lows and Arctic Fronts during the 2008 Andøya campaign. BAMS, Volume 92, Issue 11, 1443–1466

Spengler, T., J. Egger, and S.T. Garner, 2011: How does rain affect surface pressure in a one-dimensional framework?. J. Atmos. Sci., 68, 347-360 

Smith, R. K., and T. Spengler, 2011: The dynamics of heat lows over elevated terrain. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, JAN A, 250-263

Moore, R.W., O. Martius, and T. Spengler, 2010: The Modulation of the Subtropical and Extratropical Atmosphere in the Pacific Basin in Response to the Madden Julian Oscillation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 138, 2761-2779

Våge, K., T. Spengler, H.C. Davies, and P.S. Pickart, 2009: Multi-event analysis of the westerly Greenland tip jet based upon 45 winters in ERA-40. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 135, OCT B, 1999-2011

Spengler, T., and J. Egger, 2009: Comments on "Dry-Season Precipitation in Tropical West Africa and Its Relation to Forcing from the Extratropics". Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 3149-3150

Spengler, T., M. Ablinger, J.H. Schween, G. Zängl, and J. Egger, 2009: Thermally driven Flows at an asymmetric valley exit: Observations and Model Studies at the Lech Valley exit. Mon. Wea. Rev., 137, 3437-3455

Spengler, T., and R.K. Smith, 2008: The dynamics of heat lows over flat terrain. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 134, Oct B, 2157-2172

Spengler, T., M.J. Reeder, and R.K. Smith, 2005: The Dynamics of Heat Lows in Simple Background Flows. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 131, Oct B, 3147-3166

Jackson, G. E., R.K. Smith, and T. Spengler, 2002: The Prediction of low-level convergence lines over northeastern Australia. Aust. Meteor. Mag., 51, 13-23.


Other Publications:

Reeve, M. A., T. Spengler, T.M. Lunde, and M.A. Syed, 2012: Hva er egentlig monsunen? KL!MA, 3-12, 8-9 


Introduction to Methods in Weather Forecasting (GEOF321)

Dynamics of the Atmosphere (GEOF326)

Mesoscale Dynamics (GEOF328)


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

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)