Annual Report 2002, C-SRNWP Programme


Jean Quiby, C-SRNWP Programme Manager

1. Workshops

The workshop activity has followed the rule that each Lead Centre has to organise a workshop every two years. With one exception, all the workshops of the even years have take place, the exception being the UKMO which, because of the move of its headquarters from Bracknell to Exeter, has postponed its 2002 workshop on Variational Methods.

Workshop on LAM-EPS

At the initiative of the INM (Spain) and in cooperation with it, the first workshop in Europe on EPS (Ensemble Prediction Systems) for LAM (Limited Area Models) has been organised in Madrid the 3-4 October. The motivation was the following: the EPS technique is successful for the medium-range and there is no scientific reasons hindering the use of this technique for the short-range. That the technique will be more delicate to apply at short range due to a smaller spread between the members is to be expected.

Workshop on Numerical Techniques

Following the decision taken at the SRNWP Annual Meeting 2001, the Numerical Technique Workshop moved from the odd to the even years and took place at Meteo-France Headquarters the 12-13 December. This workshop was again very interesting and experiences amplification: numerical problems more specific to the climate GCM were also discussed, as the conservation of mass in the lagrangian advection. This problem is not of primary importance for the short-range, but is a preoccupation for the climate simulations. Concerning our high resolution LAM's, a problem is emerging that will become very important with the steadily increase of the horizontal resolution: to have numeric schemes that can cope with very steep slopes.

Workshop on the August floods in Central Europe

With the full support of KNMI, the Coordinator organized a one day workshop (10 October) on the August floods that caused large-scale damages in Austria, in the Czech Republic and in Germany. That workshop took place immediately after the SRNWP Annual Meeting. The purpose of this workshop was to see how our models have coped with the huge amount of precipitations measured on the 12th and 13th of August. The workshop has been very successful in the sense that not only the affected countries or their neighbours presented their precipitation forecasts, but also more distant countries like UKMO, Spain or Ireland.

The presentations were followed by a general discussion where the impression given by the presentations has been confirmed: it was only for 24h in advance that our LAM's gave the right amount of precipitations at the right place. It is not known why most models put the precipitations systematically too far to the East. Many participants shared the opinion that the source of this inaccuracy must lie in the boundary conditions yielded by the global models. It has also been said that the usefulness of the ECMWF EPS has been very limited.

2. EU projects

The Coordinator has been deeply involved in two projects:


The Coordinator has been asked by the Commission to act as expert advisor for the mid-term review of the ALATNET Project (22-23 April, Brussels). This Project which permits to 12 young scientists to be trained as PhD candidates or as Post-Doc's in numerical and dynamical meteorology using the structure and the support of the ALADIN/LACE Consortia is a very good promotion for the NWP science in Europe. The Coordinator has been impressed by the large scientific scope covered in this project and by the quality of the works presented.

Framework Programme 6

In May, the Coordinator has proposed to the SRNWP Members to submit an EoI (Expression of Interest). The answer has been very positive. With the help of colleagues of 4 NWS, he has drawn up and submitted a proposal for a 'Network of Excellence', this network being the NWS of our 5 Consortia. The title of the proposal was: 'Improvement of Weather Forecasting and Risk Assessment in Europe by Very High Resolution Simulations, Ensemble Forecasting and Modelling System Developments'.

Annual Meeting

It took place in the Headquarters of the Dutch NWS in De Bilt (9-10 October). 23 European NWS were represented (which is remarkable) plus the ECMWF. The main points of discussion have been:

EUMETSAT ATOVS Retransmission Service

Several NWS have been pleased to hear that with the new station Athens the South and South-East of Europe will also be covered by this Retransmission Service. The Coordinator has expressed to the EUMETNET Deputy Director his thanks for the fulfilment of his request (cf. Annual Report 2001).

Hourly SYNOP's

With the continuous data assimilation schemes (as 4D-Var or nudging) and for the validation of the model diurnal cycle, it becomes each year more important to have SYNOP's on an hourly basis. The Coordinator showed, as example, the SYNOP chart of the 25 Jan. 2002 at 11h00 UTC. The discrepancy is maximum: either is a country covered with SYNIOP (as for example Portugal, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Austria) or the country is void of any observation (as, for example, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Island, Greece). The Coordinator will try in 2003 to find out the reason of this dichotomy.


After the success of the Madrid Workshop (see above under Workshops), the Assembly has decided to create a new Lead Centre for LAM-EPS. SRNWP Members have had the possibility to apply till the end of the year to become this new Lead Centre. Four NWS have applied.

Hourly frames from ECMWF

Switzerland reiterated his wish to receive from ECMWF the frames for each forecast hour (+00, +01, +02, etc) instead of the 3-hourly frames (+00, +03, +06, etc) as today. But no other country supported this requirement.

SRNWP Multi-Model Ensemble

All the EPS works done today in Europe and presented in Madrid last October are single-model EPS. DWD volunteered to assess the feasibility of the multi-model LAM-EPS. We have in Europe four models: HIRLAM, ALADIN, Local Model and UKMO UM. These models will form the basis of the multimodel short-range EPS. This work will be established in 2003. In order to avoid administrative difficulties, these multi-model ensemble forecasts will be computed in a first step in delayed mode, i.e. with a delay of one or two days. Surface pressure, wind at 10m and precipitations at +48 will be produced one a day.


At the time of the Annual Meeting, the situation was not very clear what FP6 would be. Nevertheless it was thought that SRNWP should follow its intention expressed in its EoI: to propose a Network of Excellence and not an Integrated Project.


Some of the developments made in the Satellite Application Facilities (SAF) centres are of great importance for the NWP. It was always accepted - as far as NWP is concerned - that the benefit of these developments goes mainly to the global models. It must today be realised that the benefits could be of the same importance for the high-resolution LAM's that it is for the global models.

SAF on Land Surface Analysis: 8-10 July 2002. Lisbon

As the soil processes are of the utmost importance as forcing for the boundary layer and more generally for the hydrological cycle (cloudiness included), it has been judged important to attend this workshop also because the LAM community was weakly represented next to the ECMWF.

The coordinator has brought successfully three amendments to the final recommendations which should be positive for the short-range NWP community: