On 28, 29 and 30 October 2020, ECMWF virtually met with its Computing Representatives, Meteorological Representatives and Catalogue Contact Points, respectively. The meetings were an opportunity for ECMWF to present updates on a variety of topics and to understand any issues our users in the Member and Co-operating States face. They also provided a forum for the 41 attendees to share experiences and network with other Representatives. The Meteorological User Forum for ECMWF’s Meteorological Representatives was the first meeting of its kind.
Representatives are instrumental in ensuring there is a continuous and effective link between ECMWF and Member and Co-operating States. The role includes two-way communication and information flow, including for model updates, events, training and liaison visits, facilitating various administrative transactions between ECMWF and countries that have access to ECMWF’s services, and providing feedback on technical solutions. ECMWF supports its Representatives by providing services, listening and acting on feedback received, and organising events and training for Member and Co-operating State users.
All attendees agreed that they found the meetings useful and that they would like them to take place again in the future. ECMWF looks forward to future engagement with its Representatives, including potentially meeting all Representatives together.
IT User Forum 2020
Computing Representatives were invited to the IT User Forum 2020 (formerly the Computing Representatives’ Meeting), which took place on 28 October 2020. The meeting, attended by 16 Computing Representatives, focused on providing updates on Bologna Our New Datacentre (BOND). It highlighted the actions that need to be undertaken by Member and Co-operating States to ensure the transition is as smooth and least impactful as possible for users.
Presentations from ECMWF included BOND programme updates, the European Weather Cloud and machine learning. Representatives were invited to provide input on the Test and Early Migration System (TEMS), remote access and working from home. Attendees provided a recorded presentation of updates from their organisations and countries, which highlighted that national meteorological and hydrometeorological services (NMHS) continue to prosper with exciting projects and many achievements to celebrate.
Meteorological User Forum
Meteorological Representatives were invited to the Meteorological User Forum, the first meeting of its kind for this group of people. The meeting was attended by 13 Meteorological Representatives with a variety of experience in the role. The key aims of the meeting were to understand and define their role as a Meteorological Representative and their expectations of ECMWF, get to grips with any issues faced, and facilitate networking within their community. Presentations from ECMWF included new ECMWF forecasting products, the Severe Event Catalogue and updates on model cycles and BOND.
Prior to the meeting, attendees were asked for their views on the role of a Meteorological Representative, and during the meeting a summary was presented and discussed. The key task raised was to facilitate two-way communication and feedback as well as being the local organiser of liaison visits and contributing to ECMWF activities. ECMWF’s role was seen as providing relevant information, training and feedback opportunities and as improving products, services and modelling. Attendees agreed these were useful summaries of the role.
A Meteorological Representatives’ Portal has recently been set up in Confluence and includes information on the role of a Meteorological Representative as discussed at the meeting, and other useful information.
Catalogue Contact Points meeting
The Catalogue Contact Point (CCP) meeting was attended by 12 participants from Member and Co-operating States. The aims were to understand issued faced by CCPs and to share and learn from each other’s experiences, in particular on the topic of moving towards open data.
The meeting included three insightful presentations from Manon Vignes (Météo-France), Arne Kristensen (MET Norway) and Frank Lantsheer (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute), who talked about different elements of supplying ECMWF data to customers from a Member State perspective.
The ECMWF Data Support Team presented new tools which have been developed to help customers manage their data: the shopping cart tool (Product Requirements Catalogue, https://apps.ecmwf.int/shopping-cart/) gives users the ability to choose their required parameters and provides costings, and the Products Requirements Editor manages real‑time user requirements, allowing configuration of products from different catalogues.
More information on the groups mentioned here can be found on the ECMWF website: https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/who-we-are/representatives.