Collaboration with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)

11. June 2015

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in Reading, UK is an independent intergovernmental organisation. It serves both as a research institute and as an operational service that produces and disseminates numerical weather predictions to 34 supporting countries.

In July 2014, CST group leader Tilmann Gneiting was appointed one of three inaugural ECMWF Fellows, which has much intensified an already existing, fruitful collaboration. The Fellowship Programme enables the CST group to demonstrate and test newly developed statistical methodology on the world-leading ECMWF ensemble. ECMWF is able to take advantage of our research results and helps us to identify areas where future research would bring the most valuable additional benefits. In particular, we continue to investigate statistical post-processing techniques for numerical weather forecasts. In recent joint work between ECMWF and HITS, published in Geophysical Research Letters, we made the exciting discovery that the benefits of statistical post-processing for the ECMWF ensemble remain about the same even as the quality of the raw ensemble forecasts continues to improve. In other ongoing research, we develop statistical post-processing techniques that honor physically realistic spatial, temporal and inter-variable dependence structures, building on ensemble copula coupling and related techniques. Another area of collaboration is the development of decision theoretically justifiable methods of forecast evaluation, with emphasis on severe and extreme weather. In all these topics, access to ECMWF forecast data, feedback by and discussion with ECMWF scientists, and direct scientific collaboration has been of tremendous benefit to our group.

In a recent interview Tilmann comments on these and other facets of the ECMWF Fellowship and ongoing joint activities.