Annual Report 2005, C-SRNWP Programme


Jean Quiby, C-SRNWP Programme Manager


31st of January 2006

1. SRNWP Workshops and EWGLAM/SRNWP Annual Meetings

1.1 SRNWP Workshops

4 SRNWP Workshops have taken place in 2005

1.1.1 First PEPS Workshop

PEPS = Poor-man Ensemble Prediction System

Bologna (Italy), 6 April

Jointly organised by the DWD and the Regional Meteorological Service of Emilia-Romagna.

15 European NWS were represented.

The aim of the Workshop was primarily to define the future scientific developments. It has been agreed that they should be in the first place the calibration of the model fields and the verification of the results.

1.1.2 Second Workshop on Short-range EPS

Bologna (Italy), 7-8 April

Jointly organised by the UGM and the Regional Meteorological Service of Emilia-Romagna.

17 European NWS and ECMWF were represented together with scientists of the USA, Canada and China.

At the time of the Workshop, the following Consortia and NWS were active in the field of short-range EPS:

Next meeting in spring 2007 in Italy.

1.1.3 Third Workshop on Statistical and Dynamical Adaptation

Vienna (Austria), 1-2 June. Organised by ZAMG.

14 European NWS represented plus Environment Canada.

It is not very clear why the participation to this Workshop is not larger. Several NWS maybe think that nothing really new can emerge today in this topic. This is wrong as the 2005 meeting has shown it with presentations of quite new techniques like:

Next meeting in spring 2007 in Vienna.

1.1.4 Sixth Workshop on Non-hydrostatic Modelling

Bad Orb (Germany), 31 Oct. - 2 Nov. Organized by the DWD.

About 70 scientists attended the Workshop, but only 10 European NWS were represented. Noteworthy was a delegation of 10 scientists from Japan and another of 4 scientists from the USA. Many participants came from German universities.

In his opening speech, the President of the DWD noted with regret the weak participation of the European NWS. This is definitely a problem and the Programme Manager will ask in 2006 whether this Workshop under its present form still corresponds to a need of the NWS.

Next meeting in 2007 in Germany, maybe with a different scope.

1.2 The EWGLAM-SRNWP Annual Meeting

It took place in Ljubljana (Slovenia) from the 3rd to the 5th of October, perfectly organised by the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia. 20 NWS were represented (the SRNWP Programme counts 26 Members).

The main result of the meeting is the definition of a new format for the future EWGLAM/SRNWP Annual Meetings. The aim of this new format is to bring out - thanks to a better structured agenda and more discussions - the possibilities of collaboration between NWS belonging to different Consortia and between the Consortia themselves. The general scientific session has been dropped and a new discussion session for the scientists bearing responsibilities in their NWS has been created. This new format will be tried for the first time at the 2006 Annual Meeting.

Three resolutions have been passed:

The Annual Meeting 2006 will take place in Zurich (Switzerland) from the 9th to the 12th of October.

2. The Actions

2.1 State of the Project PEPS

PEPS = 'Poor-man Ensemble Prediction System' which is the same as 'Probabilistic forecasts based on operational NWP fields'.

Running at the DWD, the pre-operational phase of this Project shows a very high reliability: 4 times a day, probabilistic forecasts of 5 parameters (precipitations, snow, wind, gusts and temperature) are disseminated for different thresholds.

The models of 20 European NWS are used. In terms of number of models, PEPS is very probably the largest multi-model ensemble prediction system in the world. The DWD deserves recognition for the management of this large-scale project.

Unfortunately, due to shortage of manpower, the scientific development of the method is progressing very slowly.

2.2 Hourly dissemination of SYNOP messages in Europe

The efforts made to promote between the EUMETNET Members real-time dissemination of hourly SYNOP messages (i.e. not only at the UTC synoptic times 00, 03, 06, etc but also between these times (i.e. at 01, 02, 04, etc)) have been successful and this endeavour has been explicitly appreciated by the EUCOS Scientific Advisory Team at its last meeting (24-25 May at the ECMWF).

It was planned for 2005 to invite the NWS of Central and Eastern Europe to join this project. Although, by informal bilateral contacts, some NWS of this region have already started an hourly dissemination, time has not been found by the Programme Manager to promote this action on a larger scale in that part of Europe. This will be done in 2006.

2.3 Organisation of a Model Comparison

The realization of the wish expressed at least at two occasions by the Directors (EUMETNET Council and ICWED) to see a comparison of the main operational weather models used in Europe (the Aladin, Hirlam, Local and Unified models) is now well advanced: a first detailed draft for a proposal has been written by the Meteorological Office in close collaboration with the Programme Manager. This proposal should have been finalized and presented to the EUMETNET Council already in 2005. Unfortunately, not enough time could be given to this project, neither at the Meteorological Office, nor by the Programme Manager. To bring the proposal to its final form will be one of the works of the Programme Manager in 2006.

2.4 Creation of a data hub for non-GTS precipitations

Under the impetus of EUMETNET, already 3 data hubs for meteorological data have been created: for the windprofiler data, for the radar data and, the newest one, for the GPS data (exactly for the zenital total delays). These 3 data hubs are managed by the Meteorological Office; this triple commitment is very much appreciated by the European NWP community.

At several occasions and particularly by the COSMO Consortium, the wish for the creation of a data hub collecting data of observed precipitations which do not circulate on the GTS has been expressed. Every country is covered with a high density network of rain gauges which are - in most cases - manually emptied once a day. These spatially high resolution data would be very valuable for the verification of the precipitations of the meso-scale models.

From this list it was clear that two Institutions would be particularly well suited to host and manage this hub: ECMWF and DWD.

A very fruitful technical discussion has already taken place with the ECMWF which, according to the Head of the Meteorological Division, would be interested to take over this work. A discussion with the DWD has not yet taken place. This will be done in 2006.

2.5 New proposal for an EU Project on 'NWP at very high resolution'

In 2004, a proposal for an EU Project in the 6th Framework Programme has been submitted under the 'Human Resources and Mobility'instrument for the creation of a 'Research and Training Network' on 'NWP at very high resolution'. Unfortunately this project has not been selected for financing.

It has been decided to re-submit our proposal under a new call announced in 2005, with the weak points of the first proposal corrected. From the 19 NWS which participated to the first proposal, only 13 have accepted to retry and have engaged themselves to train, all together, 30 young scientists. But this second attempt has not been successful either. In his evaluation, next to very positive considerations, the selection committee saw as weakness the too small number of participating nations and the too large number of young scientists to be trained. Thanks are nevertheless due to Meteo-France which acted for both proposals as 'proposer', a function linked with a heavy administrative work. It is not planned to submit a new proposal in 2006.

2.6 Follow-up of the document 'A Vision for NWP in Europe'

Dr. David Rogers, former Chief Executive of the Meteorological Office, has submitted to the 24th EUMETNET Council Meeting a document called 'A Vision for Numerical Weather Prediction in Europe'. In 2006, starting with a meeting scheduled for the 15-17 March, areas for enhanced collaboration will have to be found and agreed upon. To prepare that meeting, a scoping workshop took place in Exeter the 24th of November.

This task will be given high priority in the work of the SRNWP Programme Manager who has been proposed to act as co-chair in the working group, under the chairmanship of the Meteorological Office.

It is difficult to say how intensive and fruitful this new collaborative effort will be. The investment of time it will request in 2006 could maybe slow down some of the other actions.

3. Other businesses

3.1 Other meetings and workshops attended by the Programme Manager

3.1.1 NetFAM-HIRLAM Workshop on Cloud Micro-physics and Convection

24-26 January, Tartu (Estonia)

The report of the working group on 'Cloud Micro-physics'has been written by the Programme Manager. See here for the Programme of the Tartu workshop

3.1.2 EUCOS Scientific Advisory Team

24-25 May, ECMWF. Annual Meeting.

The main point has been the discussion of the 'EUCOS upper-air network re-design' which has not found the support of the members of the SAT (Scientific Advisory Team).

3.1.3 15th Aladin Workshop

6-8 June, Bratislava (Slovakia)

Important meeting in view of the future close collaboration between Aladin and Hirlam.

3.1.4 7th COSMO General Meeting

20-23 September, Zurich (Switzerland)

With a presentation of the Programme Manager showing the activities of the EUMETNET SRNWP Programme.

3.2 Interaction with ECOMET

As an Institution was interested to receive on an operational basis the PEPS forecasts (see Point 2.1), the problem of the selling price of these products as well as of the financial returns for the NWS became actual. The Programme Manager liaised for this purpose with the Swiss ECOMET Officer and with the Chief Executive of ECOMET. This matter has been considered by ECOMET during its 21st General Assembly (24th of November) and passed to the ECOMET Working Group for further study.

3.3 Collaboration with the EUMETSAT SAF Land Surface Analysis

The Programme Manager has been asked by the EUMETSAT SAF 'Land Surface Analysis' to present at its Second Workshop (8-10 March 2006, Lisbon) the situation in Europe concerning the use of the satellite information (all the satellites, not only Meteosat-8) for the determination of the surface variables like sea and land surface temperatures, lake surface temperature, vegetation, snow cover, etc. These parameters are very important boundary conditions for the NWP models.

In order to present accurate and up to date information, a questionnaire has been sent to all the European NWS. The answers will be put under table form and will be displayed in the Programme web site.

3.4 Web site of the Programme

The web site of the Programme becomes large. Its present size is 980 MBytes. Most of the space is taken by the scientific presentations of the SRNWP Workshops.

Every 'web master' would agree when it is claimed that the maintenance of a web site is time consuming. This site is used by many persons and is now indispensable for the work of the Programme Manager. For 2006 no changes are planned and the site will presumably continue to grow at the same rate.