WMO designates ECMWF as World Meteorological Centre

WMO headquarters, Geneva

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has designated ECMWF as a World Meteorological Centre (WMC). The WMO Executive Council endorsed the designation at its meeting in Geneva in May 2017.

Being awarded WMC status by the WMO is a clear recognition of ECMWF's global forecasting capabilities.

The WMC designation confirms that all the associated requirements in three main areas have been met:

  • Global deterministic numerical weather prediction
  • Global ensemble numerical weather prediction
  • Global numerical long-range prediction

The WMC is the top tier of the Global Data-Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS). The other two are Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and National Meteorological Centres (NMCs).

This designation underlines the important role ECMWF plays for the WMO.

ECMWF has demonstrated that it meets the standards set by the new GDPFS Manual in terms of quality control of incoming observations, data collection and product dissemination, long-term storage of data and products, product verification and forecast performance, documentation on forecast system and products, and training.

ECMWF's compliance with these standards was presented to the WMO Commission on Basic Systems (CBS) at its meeting in Guangzhou, China, in November 2016.

Assisting WMO Members

WMCs provide WMO Members with a range of forecast products based on their global models for both medium-range and seasonal ensemble forecasts. They also provide relevant documentation and verification to demonstrate the quality of their forecasts. This is all to assist WMO Members in their official duties at national level.

WMO Members can access a subset of ECMWF products free of charge. These include deterministic and ensemble medium-range forecasts and ensemble seasonal forecasts.

A subset of products is available via the WMO information system (WIS). The main dissemination routes are the GTS (Global Telecommunication System) and EUMETSAT's EUMETCast service.

WMO Members can gain access to the entire catalogue of ECMWF forecast products with a non-commercial licence.

ECMWF supports the WMO’s Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) with state-of-the-art weather forecasts. The SWFDP strengthens the capacity of NMCs in developing and least developed countries to deliver improved forecasts and warnings of severe weather to save lives, livelihoods and property.

ECMWF is currently following the process for designation as an RSMC for numerical ocean wave prediction and an RSMC for coordination of wave forecast verification. This is expected to be completed by the next WMO Executive Council in June 2018.

The following global NWP centres have also been designated as WMCs: Tokyo, Beijing, Exeter and Montreal, while the existing WMCs Washington, Moscow and Melbourne retain their designations obtained in 1967.

Photo: World Meteorological Organization, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0