Blogit 1.3.2016

ECMWF launches one of the most significant sets of upgrades of numerical weather prediction

ECMWF launches one of the most significant sets of upgrades of numerical weather prediction

ECMWF is the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, and our role is to develop and operate on a 24/7 basis, global models and data assimilation systems for the dynamics, thermodynamics and composition of the Earth’s fluid envelope and interacting parts of the Earth system. We work with FMI to provide them with global numerical weather prediction, which they can, in turn use to produce the Finnish weather forecasts that citizens and businesses alike will use on a daily basis.

To maintain the quality of the data we produce for our Member States, we continuously challenge our science to further develop our Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). We push our research to the boundaries of knowledge and make the most of available technology, we run intensive diagnostics in-house, and engage with our users in the National Meteorological Services. All this ensures that we maintain the high standards of quality our member states expect of us. For example, feedback from FMI with regard to surface temperatures in cold, wintertime situations has been very helpful in developing the surface and cloud parameterisations of IFS.

On 8 March 2016, years of scientific and technical work will come to fruition as we launch one of the most significant sets of upgrades in forty years of numerical weather prediction (NWP). The changes nearly halve the distance between global weather prediction points, substantially increasing the effective resolution of the final forecast. The upgrades are set to offer improved range and accuracy to provide the potential for earlier warning of adverse conditions and extreme weather to help protect property and vital infrastructure, and aid long-term planning for weather-dependent industries.

After two years as Director of Forecasts, and four months as Director General of ECMWF, I am delighted to see all the hard work put in by our team and those of our member states being implemented in this new model upgrade, and I hope it will help the national meteorological services we serve protect even better their citizens and infrastructure.