By bringing together resources from across its Member and Co-operating States, ECMWF serves its community by providing world-leading weather forecasts, specialist software, and the largest meteorological data archive in the world.
ECMWF collaborates with the meteorological community at large, including the World Meteorological Organization, space agencies and academia around the world.
We collaborate closely with our Member and Co-operating States to develop our modelling capabilities, design new products, and evaluate and diagnose forecast quality.
Areas of focus:
- Improving how we use observations and how they are processed
- Monitoring satellite data and using it in data assimilation
- Non-hydrostatic dynamical cores
- Physical process modelling
- Extended-range prediction
- Multi-model ensembles
- Atmospheric composition
- Verification methods for severe weather
- Predictability and sources of forecast error
- Earth-system modelling (atmosphere, land, ocean and cryosphere)
- Applications of weather forecasts in various sectors
We support researchers in the Member States in their wider use of ECMWF’s forecasts and resources, and strive to strengthen the already good collaboration with the academic community.
ECMWF is a key part of the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EUMETNET, EUMETSAT, ECMWF), which combines resources and capabilities to support national meteorological services with their official duties. With EUMETNET, the particular emphasis is on the EUCOS observing system, which we monitor and for which we carry out global observing system experiments. We seek synergies between our work on global reanalysis and the work at EUMETNET on regional reanalysis.
A multi-model seasonal forecasting system (EUROSIP) is based on forecasts from ECMWF, the UK Met Office, Météo-France, the US NCEP and JMA. Benefits include forecasts of high-impact weather several weeks in advance, for instance, of heat waves and cold outbreaks, droughts, and rainfall anomalies, which affect crop yields and the occurrence of disease, such as epidemic malaria in parts of Africa.
Short-range forecasts (for a few hours to a few days in the future) rely on very high-resolution limited‑area models run by the national meteorological services, often using boundary condition data from ECMWF. Through the SRNWP project, we support co-operation between organisations developing short-range numerical weather prediction models. Such models are mainly developed as co-operative projects under three large European consortia (ALADIN, HIRLAM and COSMO) and by the UK Met Office (as part of the Unified Model).
ECMWF works closely with the WMO, with which it has a formal co-operation agreement. The WMO has designated ECMWF as:
- World Meteorological Centre (WMC)
- Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for medium-range forecasts
- Global Producing Centre for Long-range Forecasts (GPC)
- Lead Centre for Deterministic NWP Verification (LC-DNV)
- Lead Centre for upper-air observation monitoring
We contribute to the WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) as a Global Centre. In this project we provide access to our global HRES and ENS products as part of the cascading forecast approach to support national meteorological services in developing and least-developed countries.
We also contribute to WMO committees, working groups and expert teams, especially on issues relating to the World Weather Watch. We support the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) and in particular we are active members of the DAOS, S2S, PPP and WGNE committees.
ECMWF provides the meteorological community with the ecCodes software in support of WMO's standard data formats BUFR and GRIB.
We host an archive of ensemble forecasts from ten global centres to support the WMO TIGGE project. This project seeks to improve high-impact weather forecasts by strengthening international collaboration between operational centres and academia. The forecast data is freely available to all users for research purposes. We host and manage TIGGE-LAM, an extension of the TIGGE archive that includes weather forecasts from limited-area model (LAM) ensembles, including hosting the web portal to the archive. We also develop and maintain an archive for extended-range (subseasonal) forecasts to support the WMO Subseasonal to Seasonal Prediction Project (S2S).
Most of our information about the current weather now comes from satellites. Our long-standing partnerships with space agencies, especially with EUMETSAT and ESA, are crucial for us to benefit fully from satellite data. In return, we provide valuable feedback on the quality of the instruments and regular reports on their impact on global NWP. We have formal co-operation agreements with EUMETSAT and ESA.
We also maintain strong scientific and technical co-operation with space agencies in the United States (notably NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense) and Japan (JMA and JAXA), and have a co-operation agreement with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
ECMWF works with the European Commission in a variety of ways.
ECMWF operates the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on behalf of the European Union. It is the computational centre of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), a component of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), which is managed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission ( co-operation agreement with JRC).
ECMWF receives funding from the EU's Framework Programme (H2020) for a number of projects. ECMWF currently coordinates two projects: ERA-CLIM2, conducting research on reanalyses, and ESCAPE, which is part of ECMWF's Scalability Programme. In addition, we are co-cordinating the ESiWACE project with the German Climate Computing Centre (DKRZ).
ECMWF is a partner in many more projects, which today constitute a significant fraction of the Centre's research activities.
We have formal co-operation agreements with a number of international organisations:
- African Centre for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD)
- Executive Body of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP)
- National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil
- Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO)
- Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES)
- United States National Weather Service (US NWS)
- US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
We also co-operate with the International Research Institute (IRI) to make best use of the Centre’s seasonal predictions.
Climate science community
We work closely with European scientists studying climate change. The particular focus is climate reanalysis, which combines information from past meteorological observations with modern forecast models, using data assimilation techniques originally developed for numerical weather prediction. It is increasingly seen as critical to understanding the basis for future climate change scenarios.
Earth system models are currently the only way of providing society with information on the future climate. We collaborate with the EC-Earth consortium, which aims to develop a new Earth-system model. The goal is to build a fully coupled model (Atmosphere, Ocean, Land, Biosphere) for predicting the climate over seasons and decades and for climate projections. The proposed model builds on ECMWF's Integrated Forecasting System and aims to apply the emerging concept of “seamless prediction”.
The ECMWF Fellowship programme started in July 2014. It aims to foster and formalise links with individuals who are carrying out pioneering scientific and technical research in areas relevant to the strategic goals of ECMWF.
- Fellows are appointed by the ECMWF Directorate.
- Total number of Fellows is expected to be around 10 when the programme is fully established.
- Fellowships are for 3 years, with the possibility of being renewed once for another 3 years.
- Fellows are encouraged to provide regular, short reports of the key results of their work, for publication on ECMWF’s website and in other relevant publications.
- Fellows have access to ECMWF computing facilities and databases, and to a limited amount of annual funding for visits to the Centre to share the results of their research work.
- Professor Tilmann Gneiting, leader of Computational Statistics group at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Professor of Computational Statistics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
- Professor Daniel Jacob, Vasco McCoy Family Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Harvard University
- Professor Rupert Klein, Freie Universität Berlin
- Professor Tim Palmer, Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics at the University of Oxford
- Professor Heini Wernli, Professor of Atmospheric Dynamics at the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich