ECMWF Representatives in our Member and Co-operating States play a vital role in managing users and the use of ECMWF products and services, the dissemination of information, and providing feedback to ECMWF. During November and December 2021, virtual meetings were held with Computing Representatives, Meteorological Representatives and Catalogue Contact Points. The meetings were an opportunity for ECMWF to present updates and discuss a variety of topics, listen to user feedback, and understand user issues in Member and Co-operating States. The meetings also provided a forum for attendees to share experiences and network with their fellow representatives.
There were 51 attendees across the three meetings. The virtual nature of the meetings ensured a diverse attendance across Member and Co‑operating States, which was beneficial for discussion and feedback. All participants said they found the meetings ‘Very useful’ or ‘Useful’, and we received positive feedback on the topics covered and the meeting structure. ECMWF looks forward to continued engagement with its Representatives and thanks them for the important role they play.
More information on each meeting can be found below.
IT User Forum
Twenty-two Computing Representatives from Member and Co-operating States attended the IT User Forum 2021. The meeting focused on updates relating to our new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and discussion around actions which will need to be taken by Member and Co‑operating States to ensure minimal impacts to users during the migration to the Atos supercomputer in 2022. Attendees were also given a video tour around the data centre in Bologna to show its progress and the scale of the centre.
Presentations were given by ECMWF on the European Weather Cloud, the Support Portal, software upgrades, and future working practices at ECMWF. Discussions included the use of tokens for access to ECMWF services, ecCodes and data dissemination during the migration to Bologna.
Attendees provided updates from their organisations and countries via recorded presentations, showcasing their advances in forecasting and technology over the past year. Numerous exciting projects were highlighted, including many collaborations across the meteorological community.
Meteorological User Forum
Member and Co‑operating State Meteorological Representatives were invited to the Meteorological User Forum 2021. This was the second time such a meeting was held. The forum welcomed 16 attendees and featured discussions and presentations from ECMWF staff on new ECMWF products, ecCharts and OpenCharts, our new data centre in Bologna, the Forecast User Forum, the Support Portal and the next Using ECMWF’s Forecasts meeting (UEF2022).
A session on the recent upgrade of ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System to Cycle 47r3 provided valuable feedback on model performance. It was complemented by recorded attendee presentations, which included various case studies and more feedback on forecasts and areas for development. Member and Co‑operating State liaison visits were also discussed, with feedback being used to improve liaison visits in the current and future visit cycles. Other discussions included ecCharts and OpenCharts and how these services could be improved to provide more useful output to users, login issues, the Support Portal, and data volumes in the future, especially given the planned upgrades to model resolution and ensemble member numbers.
To facilitate networking between the representatives, a ‘Social Break’ was held. This involved groups of three or four participants coming together for an informal chat for ten minutes. The break was positively received, with attendees liking the opportunity to chat with others.
Catalogue Contact Points Meetings
The Catalogue Contact Points (CCP) Meetings were attended by 13 CCPs from Member and Co-operating States, and a number of new CCPs were welcomed to the group. ECMWF provided updates on the Advisory Committee for Data Policy (ACDP) 2021 and June Council outcomes implementation, future developments, and research access policies. Participants presented information on open data, delivery services and policy changes within attendee countries. Feedback was also sought on the data redistribution policy, and discussions on the new data service charge model and open data took place.
A ‘Social Break’ also took place between attendees, with three or four participants per group for an informal chat. These were positively received.