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ECMWF Overview


The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF, the Centre) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 States. Its Member States are:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom .

We have concluded co-operation agreements with:

Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.

Co-operation agreements have also been concluded with:

  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
  • European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
  • African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD)
  • Joint Research Centre (JRC)
  • Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)
  • Executive Body of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP)
  • European Space Agency (ESA)

Originally a COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology) project, the Centre was established in 1975 when its Convention entered into force.

The first real-time medium-range forecasts were made in June 1979. The Centre has been producing operational medium-range weather forecasts since 1 August 1979.

The objectives of the centre

According to Article 2(2) of the ECMWF Convention, the principal objectives of the Centre are:

  1. development and operation of 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, with a view to:

    1. preparing forecasts by means of numerical methods;
    2. providing initial conditions for the forecasts; and
    3. contributing to monitoring the relevant parts of the Earth-system;

  2. carrying out scientific and technical research directed towards improving the quality of these forecasts;

  3. collection and storage of appropriate data.

In addition, the Centre:

  • makes available to the Member States, in the most appropriate form, the results provided for in (a) and (b) and the data referred to in (c)

  • assists in implementing programmes of the World Meteorological Organization;

  • provides advanced training to the scientific staff of the Member and Co-operating States in the field of numerical weather prediction;

  • makes the data in its extensive archives available to outside bodies.

ECMWF is ISO 9001:2008 accredited:

ISO-9001ECMWF holds ISO 9001:2008 accreditation and, wherever practical, requires that its suppliers also hold such accreditation.













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