Our partnership with ECMWF is one that we greatly value. We share the same ambition and mission to protect our communities and achieve universal access to early warning systems. We share the same vision of a society better informed of the risks and impact of climate change. We seek to support mitigation through improved monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions.
Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the WMO
Supporting the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is one of our founding objectives and holds an important place in our ten-year Strategy to 2030.
We are proud of our wide-ranging close collaboration, which includes the provision of free datasets to WMO Members and discounted access to our full catalogue of products; the support of fellowships and projects to improve severe weather forecasting in developing countries; participation in expert teams on scientific, technical and policy matters; and training in numerical weather forecasting and in making use of our forecast products. Observations sourced via the WMO’s global exchange programmes also provide vital data for all our Earth system modelling activities.
As a Global Centre in the WMO Severe Weather Forecasting programme, we provide high-resolution and ensemble products to support national meteorological services in developing and least-developed countries.
Our experts also contribute to the WMO Research Board, as well as various committees; working, study and advisory groups; and expert teams, such as the Expert Team on Data Standards, and on issues relating to the World Weather Watch – a programme which combines expertise in weather forecasting to make meteorological and related environmental information available in all countries.
During 2021 we agreed key changes to our policies to significantly reduce the cost of accessing ECMWF real-time data for WMO national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs). From 2022, we will remove the ‘information cost’ of such data and apply only handling charges for the provision of the service.
We also made the decision to release the ECMWF Open Data (real-time) dataset. Two datasets, which we were providing according to WMO’s policy, were consolidated ready to be made available early in 2022 under a licence that allows the data to be freely redistributed and used commercially.
We have also supported WMO NMHSs with access to data through project collaborations such as the South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System (SEE-MHEWS-A), which aims to strengthen the existing early warning capacity in the region. During the year, free access to our web-based ecCharts forecasts for Europe was provided to all SEE-MHEWS-A countries that provided additional observations, which can be used for verification purposes or improved analysis.
In October we welcomed the release of a WMO resolution on the international exchange of Earth system data. We had contributed to the drafting of this new Unified Data Policy and will continue to engage with the WMO as it is implemented.
Another key project during 2021 was our involvement with the new Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF). This partnership between the WMO, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) aims to provide financial support to the least-developed countries to aid investments in observational capacity. Our role has been to participate in working groups to develop the concept and in events to publicise the initiative. We also provided supporting material to demonstrate the necessity of making investments to support least-developed countries, where observations are scarcer. In terms of forecast quality, investing in these areas gives better results than investing in regions which are already data rich.
We renewed our Memorandum of Understanding for the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) Data Quality Monitoring System (WDQMS). The system is considered by the WMO to be one of the key tools for monitoring the progress of the implementation of the Global Basic Observing Network – a set of global standards that aims to ensure consistent access to essential observations.
In September we welcomed a WMO Fellow from the National Department of Meteorology of Cameroon to join ECMWF for one year to develop an application for Africa using the Copernicus Climate Data Store. The scheme is part of long-standing efforts by the WMO and ECMWF to raise the level of scientific knowledge in weather forecasting across the globe.