ECMWF has increased the amount of weather prediction products it makes available free of charge to Members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It has also reduced the licence fee for WMO Members to access web products for non-commercial use and introduced a cheaper alternative to the ‘full’ non-commercial licence. The changes will be presented in a webinar on Tuesday, 5 November (recording available below).
Static web charts free of charge
All the static web charts and the Ensemble Meteogram on the ECMWF website are now available free of charge to all WMO Members.
The additional free products enable a much more comprehensive view than before of atmospheric conditions as predicted by ECMWF, including near-surface weather conditions. This will help users to make better assessments of weather-related risks. Products are available for both probabilistic and deterministic forecasts.
These changes help to provide forecasters in the national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) of WMO Members with the information they need to carry out their operational activities and in particular to warn citizens of severe weather events.
Additional products available to WMO Members include static charts such as the Extreme Forecast Index (EFI) for 2 m temperature.
Extreme Forecast Index for temperature. The left-hand panel shows the EFI (shading and dashed contours) and the Shift of Tails (SOT) (solid contours) from 00 UTC on 2 October 2019 for 72-hour 2 m mean temperature valid from 8 to 11 October 2019. The right-hand panel shows the 99th percentile of the corresponding model climate for those days (i.e. on 1 in 100 occasions the 2 m mean temperature is less than the value shown).
Reduced licence fees
The cost of the NMHS web non-commercial licence has been reduced from €3,500 to €1,000 per year. ECMWF introduced this licence in 2015 to enable more national weather services, primarily those from developing countries, to benefit from its full range of web-based charts.
The licence gives access to the ECMWF web products and the ecCharts interactive web charts service, which enables users to customise their plots, overlay products, and zoom and pan over their areas of interest. ECMWF’s graphical products do not require costly infrastructure or specialised IT staff, which makes them accessible to all. The only requirements are a standard Internet connection and a web browser.
“In the first three years of offering the non-commercial web licence for WMO Members, we signed licences with 16 WMO NMHSs, of which five are sponsored by international aid programmes,” says Umberto Modigliani, Deputy Director of Forecasts at ECMWF. “We hope that the reduced fee will make the licence more appealing to more NMHSs of WMO Members and encourage further support from international aid programmes.”
In addition, as an alternative to the fixed-price NMHS ‘full’ non-commercial licence (€44,400 per year), ECMWF has introduced a cheaper ‘standard’ licence which provides access to a fixed dataset of the licensee’s specification for a reduced fee.
All these changes will allow WMO Members to access a much wider range of ECMWF products. The changes were approved by the ECMWF Council at its June 2019 session and are part of the Centre’s efforts to serve WMO Members.
Detailed information about the licences available from ECMWF is available on our website.
Webinar on 5 November
Update on 7 November 2019: a webinar on the changes took place on 5 November. A recording is now available and can be viewed below. The accompanying slides are also available as a PDF.