Annual Report 2003, C-SRNWP Programme


Jean Quiby, C-SRNWP Programme Manager

1. Workshops

For the six Lead Centres of the Programme, the rule is to organise a workshop every two years. This rule has experienced two exceptions in 2003:

Second Workshop on Statistical and Dynamical Adaptation

Vienna, 5-7 May 2003.

At the difference of the First Workshop (Vienna, 4-6 December 2000), the Second Workshop dealt also with the Dynamical Adaptation. Thus presentations on Road Surface Temperature, Fog Forecasting at Paris Airport and High-Resolution Trajectories have been announced. Although these last presentations were of high quality, it remains a surprise and a deception that this new topic Dynamical Adaptation attracted so few contributions. 14 European NWS (National Weather Services) were represented at the Workshop which ended with a final discussion whose main point was to know whether the Statistical Adaptation of model results is still necessary today, regarding the very large increase in model resolution we have experienced these last years. More information can be found in the workshop report.

Fifth Workshop on Nonhydrostatic Modelling

Bad Orb (Germany), 27-29 October 2003.

The Fourth Workshop (24-26 September 2001) took place in the aftermath of the 11th September drama which made it impossible for our US and Canadian colleagues to participate. But we had the pleasure to see them again for the Fifth Workshop which once again had a true worldwide character with the participation of scientists from the Far East, too. As the models for the short-range become non-hydrostatic, the success of this workshop was guaranteed (88 registered participants).

2. Annual Meeting 2003

Lisbon, 6-9 October 2003.

The EWGLAM/SRNWP Annual Meeting has been organised by IM Portugal. It was the 25th EWGLAM (European Working Group on Limited Area Modelling) Meeting and the 10th SRNWP Meeting! This Jubilee meeting has also been attended by the EUMETNET Coordinating Officer, Claude Pastre. This meeting was a true integrated meteorological meeting, as it comprised.

It was a very interesting experiment, which could be repeated, but which also had its negative points. For example, some presentations from the radar specialists were too specialised for the know-how and the interest of the NWP scientists.

Many points have been dealt with in the general EWGLAM and SRNWP discussions. All these points can be found under EWGLAM and SRNWP final discussions

3. Other meetings

A-TOST Meetings

A-TOST: Atlantic - THORPEX Observing Systems Test

Participation to the First (ECMWF, 16 May 2003) and to the Second Planning Meeting (Montreal, 8-9 September 2003).

The EUMETNET Composite Observing System (EUCOS) Programme and THORPEX share a common goal of testing the hypothesis that the number and size of significant weather forecast errors over Europe and Eastern seaboard of the USA can be reduced by targeting extra observations over oceanic storm-tracks and other remote areas, determined each day from the forecast flow patterns. The Atlantic-THORPEX Observing System Test (Atlantic - TOST) is planned as a field campaign to make a significant contribution towards this common goal. The primary aim of the Atlantic TOST is to test the real-time quasi operational targeting of observations using a number of platforms including AMDAR, ASAP ships, extra radiosonde ascents, research aircraft and meteorological satellites" (From the WMO THORPEX web site).

This field campaign took place from the 13th of October till the 12th of December 2003.

The SRNWP Programme Manager is convinced that targeted observations, mainly on the Atlantic, will become very important in the future for the short-range NWP in Europe. It is therefore a necessity for him to follow the developments in this new way of observing the atmosphere, although the direct users will primarily be the NWS running a global model. But all the LAM's will take profit from the targeted observations through their boundary conditions.

Liaison with the COST Action 716

COST 716: Exploitation of ground based GPS for numerical weather prediction.

Length of this Action: January 2000 - December 2003.

From the GPS information, it is possible to deduce the amount of water vapour above a GPS antenna. The vertically integrated quantities can be principally easily used with the variational techniques employed today in data assimilation. In practice, the problem is not so simple. One of the reasons is that the observation error statistics is unknown. Another reason is the heterogeneity in the numerical treatment of the raw data between the different European GPS centres.

GPS humidities have been assimilated at the DWD, at the Met Office, at the SMHI and at MeteoSwiss. The general judgement at the end of the Action is that the impact is neutral to slightly positive. But a nice aspect is that we have experienced continuous improvement during the four years of the Action: the number of very deteriorating impacts has decreased and the number of spectacular positive impacts has increased. The technical problems remaining in the assimilation of these data are small when compared with the organisational and even political problems linked with the dissemination of the GPS data.

It is today not clear how to set up an operational system allowing the NWS to receive the processed GPS data 60-90 minutes after observation time from a very heterogeneous network with data policies greatly varying form one country to the next. The only sensible way would be to ask EUMETNET to investigate this problem, for example in the frame of EUCOS. A major difficulty will be that the geodesy community in Europe is not as strongly organised as the meteorological community.


Special workshop with invited NWP specialists: ECMWF, 9-10 December 2003.

The European C-WINDE network consists of about 17 profilers. But the data of only 5-6 profilers can be used operationally at the Met Office, Meteo-France and ECMWF (the data quality of the other sites is insufficient for NWP).

The EUMETNET WINPROF Programme terminates on the 30th of June 2004. The Programme Manager should ask the EUMETNET CO about a possible prolongation of this Programme for at least one year. It would be appreciated if the Council could discuss this matter at its next meeting (14 May 2004 in De Bilt).

The Workshop participants also discussed issues related to the winds measured by the Doppler radars, the VAD/VVP winds and the radial winds. VAD/VPP winds are average winds computed in a large volume. For the future very high resolution models, radial winds would be more appropriate. Radial winds are still in their infancy. It would be nice if the EUMETNET Programme OPERA could promote the production of the radial winds and propose to WMO through EUMETNET a BUFR code for these winds.


March 2000 - February 2004.

Final Seminar: Kiralyret (Hungary), 15-17 October 2003.

The Programme Manager had the pleasure to accompany as expert advisor the Project ALATNET (ALAdin Training NETwork) in the action "training and mobility of researchers", action implemented through the Research training Networks of the 5th Framework Programme of the EU.

This Project, coordinated by Meteo-France, has allowed the training in a foreign national weather service of 12 students who found, for most of them through this Project, an opportunity to prepare their Ph.D.

The impression of the Programme Manager gained at the Mid-term Review Meeting (Brussels, 22-23 April 2002) has been confirmed and even reinforced at the Final Seminar by the remarkable quality of the works presented as well as by the dedication of these young people for the numerical simulation of the atmospheric processes.

The PEPS Project

Or the SRNWP-DWD Poor-man Ensemble Prediction System.

2003 has seen the start of the Project. For a justification and a description of this Project, we refer the interested reader to the article published in the EUMETNET News, Number 8, December 2003, pp 9-12.