Erland Källén talks about the 2014 edition of ECMWF Annual seminar

9 September 2014

Erland Kallen opens the ECMWF Annual Seminar

Professor Erland Källén has been Director of Research at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) since 2009. His areas of research have been large scale dynamics of the atmosphere, numerical weather prediction and climate modelling.

ECMWF Annual Seminar is a major part of the Research Department’s educational portfolio. This year’s edition offers an overview of the state of play in the use of satellite data in NWP.


Why is the use of satellite observations an important topic for the Annual Seminar at this particular time?

We had the last seminar in 2007 so it is timely to review all the progress that has been made since then. Examples of new data sources that have become available and where a large impact on NWP skill has been demonstrated are high spectral resolution sounders and GPSRO (GPS Radio Occultation) data. In addition, there are exciting plans for new active instruments. Data assimilation has also advanced so we can make even better use of the existing instruments.

Who will benefit from attending the Seminar?

It will be an opportunity for early-career scientists to meet and get an up-to-date review of the status of the use of satellite in NWP. This is of benefit to Member and Co-operating States as well as the satellite agencies and the worldwide meteorological research community. We have a large number of participants coming from Member States, Co-operating States and other countries such as Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea and China.

In what ways does ECMWF collaborate with others in developing the use of satellite observations?

We have close links with the satellite agencies, in particular EUMETSAT and ESA. We help them demonstrate the impact of their satellite instruments on NWP as well as assessing the potential impact of future missions. We also collaborate with European satellite users, in particular at meteorological services, in order to make best use of the investments made in satellites.

What role does ECMWF play in advanced training in NWP?

We arrange both training courses and annual seminars focussed on NWP. The training courses cover all aspects of NWP, including satellites, while the annual seminars focus on different topics each year. We have also launched the OpenIFS, a version of the forecast model that can be used for training and education purposes. It is being used by a number of universities in Europe as well as some institutes in other parts of the world.


At the end of the first day, delegates told us that talks gave them very interesting insight into recent improvements in the use of satellite data, as well as laying out challenges that need to be addressed. Presentations also offered a good level of understanding about the motivation and history behind the achievements which will be presented over the next few days.