Liesl Dyson


email:                [email protected]
Tel:                    +27 (0) 12 420 2469
Office:               Geography Building 2-11


Research profile

Liesl has been a meteorologist for nearly 30-years. She worked as a weather forecaster at the South African Weather Bureau and later joined the training department at the same institution. She joined the University of Pretoria in 1997 and where she is currently employed as a Associated Professor. 

Liesl’s research interests are focused on understanding processes and thereby improving short-term weather forecasting techniques. and she has published scientific articles in peer reviewed publications, mainly in topics of severe weather events and heavy rainfall. She is a member of the South African Society of Atmospheric Sciences and has presented at their annual conferences for many years and has been Honorary Secretary of the organization since 2012. She has been supervisor to several students completing MSc qualifications. Liesl also has a keen interest in education and training in Meteorology and has been a member of international organization CALMET since 2009. She teaches subjects to pre and post graduate Meteorology students. 



  • BSc (Meteorology), 1991, University of Pretoria
  • MSc (Meteorology), 2000, cum laude, University of Pretoria (A Dynamical forecasting perspective on synoptic scale weather systems over southern Africa)
  • PhD (Science), 2013, University of Pretoria (Atmospheric thermodynamics and circulation associated with heavy rainfall over the Gauteng province, South Africa) 


Courses presented

  • WKD 366: Fundamentals of weather forecasting (2014-present)
  • WKD 164: The climate and weather of South Africa (2008-2016)
  • WKD 261: Physical Meteorology (2013, 2020-present)
  • WKD 763: Research Methodology (2007-2020)
  • WKD 250: Weather Forecasting (1998-2012)
  • WKD 253: Community project (1999-2012)
  • WKD 751: Instrumentation and General Meteorology (1998-2005)
  • WKD 718: Specialized Forecasting (2003-2007)
  • WKD 715: Classical Weather Forecasting Techniques (2003-2012)


Post-graduate students


Current post-graduate students

  • Charlotte McBride. PhD thesis. Climate Extremes and Records in the Non-Stationary Climate of South Africa. 
  • Morne Gijben. PhD thesis. Remote Sensing characteristics of thunderstorms over the Gauteng Province in South Africa and its application to improve short-range weather forecasts.
  • Cecile Fourie. MSc dissertation. Event-based fog climatology for OR Tambo International Airport.
  • Mbavhalelo Maliage. MSc dissertation. Forecasting South African dust storms: an evaluation and inter-comparison of the GOES-5, RegCM4, And ECMWF-CAMS models.
  • Lauren Smith. MSc dissertation. Probabilistic Turbulence Forecasting over South Africa.


Research publications (journals)

Scopus H-indexGoogle Scholar H-index | ORCID ID

  • De Lange, A., Naidoo, M., Garland, R.M., Dyson, L.L. (2021) The sensitivity of simulated surface-level pollution concentrations to WRF-ARW model PBL Parameterization schemes over the Highveld of South Africa. Atmospheric Research. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2021.105517
  • De Lange, A., Naidoo, M., Garland, R.M., Dyson, L.L. (2021) Sensitivity of Meteorological variables on Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes in the WRF-ARW Model. Atmospheric Research. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2020.105214.
  • Dyson, L.L., Pienaar, N.F., Smit, A. Kijko, A. (2021) An ERA‐Interim HAILCAST hail climatology for southern Africa. International Journal of Climatology.  International Journal of Climatology, 41(1), 262-277. doi: 10.1002/joc.6619
  • Geldenhuys, M., Dyson, L.L., van der Mescht (2020) D. Blocking, gap flow and mountain wave interaction along the coastal escarpment of South Africa. Theoretical and Applied Climatology. 139, 1291-1303. doi: 10.1007/s00704-019-03030-4
  • de Lange A., Garland R.m Dyson L.L. (2019). Estimating particulate matter (PM) concentrations from a meteorological index for data-scarce regions: A pilot study. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 5, 1553-1564. doi: 10.1016/j.apr.2019.05.004
  • Simpson L., Dyson L.L. (2018). Severe weather over the Highveld of South Africa during November 2016. Water SA, 44, 75-85.
  • Gijben M., Dyson L.L., Loots T. (2017). A statistical scheme to forecast the daily lightning threat over southern Africa using the Unified Model. Atmospheric Research, 194, 78-88.
  • Stander J.H., Dyson L.L., Engelbrecht C.J. (2016). A snow forecasting decision tree for significant snowfall over the interior of South Africa. South African Journal of Science. 112 (9/10), Art. #2015-0221, 29-38. doi: 10.17159/sajs.2016/20150221
  • Dyson, L.L. (2015). A heavy rainfall sounding climatology over Gauteng, South Africa, using self-organising maps. Climate Dynamics, 45, 3051–3065.
  • Dyson, L.L., van Heerden, J., Sumner, P.D. (2015). A baseline climatology of sounding‐derived parameters associated with heavy rainfall over Gauteng, South Africa. International Journal of Climatology35 (1), 114-127.
  • Van Schalkwyk L., Dyson L.L. (2013). Climatological characteristics of fog at Cape Town International Airport. Weather and Forecasting. 28, 631-646. doi: 10.1175/WAF-D-12-00028.1
  • Engelbrecht C.J., Engelbrecht F.A., Dyson L.L. (2013). High-resolution model-projected changes in mid-tropospheric closed-lows and extreme rainfall over southern Africa. 2013. International Journal of Climatology 33, 173-187.
  • Landman S., Engelbrecht F.A., Engelbrecht C.J., Dyson L.L., Landman W.A. (2012). A short-range weather prediction system for South Africa based on a multi-model approach. Water SA, 38(5), 765-774.
  • Dyson L.L. (2009). Heavy daily-rainfall characteristics over the Gauteng Province. Water SA 35, 627-638.
  • Dyson L.L. (2008). A Meteorological Community Project in South Africa. BAMS 89 (2), 163-167.
  • Marx H.G., Dyson L.L., van Heerden J. (2003). Verification of Rainfall Forecasts for the Vaal Dam Catchment for the Summer Rainfall Seasons of 1994 to 1998. Water SA, 29 (2), 195-200.
  • Dyson L.L., van Heerden J. (2002). A Model for the Identification of Tropical Weather Systems. Water SA, 28 (3), 249-258.
  • Dyson L.L., van Heerden J. (2001). The heavy rainfall and floods over the northeastern interior of South Africa during February 2000. South African Journal of Science, 97, 80-86.
- Author Christel Hansen
Published by Christel Hansen

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