ECMWF met its data users at the ‘Using ECMWF’s Forecasts’ (UEF2014) meeting from 4 to 6 June 2014.
An international audience of more than 80 professionals from national meteorological services, commercial businesses and international organisations met at ECMWF to learn about new developments, exchange ideas on the use of ECMWF data and share their experiences. For ECMWF, the meeting was a valuable opportunity to gather feedback on its forecast performance and services.
The title of this year’s meeting was ‘Working together to address weather forecasting challenges’, with special focus on forecasts across timescales, integration of numerical weather prediction data into impact models, severe weather, and future research development in weather forecasting. Accurate weather predictions across timescales are an integral part of service delivery frameworks. Future challenges lie in the progress of research to increase the accuracy of numerical weather predictions, and in the ability to integrate the accurate meteorological information into impact models to enhance resilience to severe weather events and to support economic growth.
In a rapidly evolving environment where weather information becomes increasingly important, it was highlighted that collaboration can help to innovate and develop, bringing together resources from different sectors. The need for ensemble information was acknowledged by all participants, and there were lively discussions about the best way to present probabilistic information and convey the relevant messages to the users.
The relaxed atmosphere provided an excellent framework for networking and generating ideas. Participants provided feedback on various aspects of ECMWF services and new ways in which ECMWF could engage with its stakeholders.
A lively and stimulating panel discussion on the future role of numerical weather prediction centres provided insights and inspiration to guide ECMWF as it reviews its strategy. Participants quoted as central points the consistency of forecasting approach across time ranges, the provision of the best possible analyses and forecasts for regional and impact models and the quantification of forecast confidence for all forecast ranges.
Discussing forecasts at this year's user meeting.