Developing the weather services value chain to serve society better.


Developing the weather services value chain to serve society better.
Conveners: Andrew Eccleston, Willie McCairns, Gerald Fleming
| Fri, 10 Sep, 11:00–15:30 (CEST)

Presentations: Fri, 10 Sep

Chairpersons: Andrew Eccleston, Willie McCairns
Fabio Venuti, Umberto Modigliani, Florence Rabier, and Florian Pappenberger

ECMWF is committed to move to an open data policy gradually over the next few years. ECMWF has already released hundreds of web forecast charts and made archived data available with a Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0) open licence in 2020. The potential uses and benefits these products bring for a range of users and sectors is vast and particularly key in less economically developed countries and has the potential to supercharge research efforts leading to improvement in weather predictions and delivering important socio-economic benefits.  

Making these products available with CC BY 4.0 licences means that users can now share, redistribute and adapt the information as they needincluding for commercial applications, as long as they acknowledge ECMWF as the source. Archived data from all past ECMWF forecasts offer immense opportunities for machine learning, where a computer uses observations or other data, to ‘learn’ relationships between different variables and will support ECMWF Machine Learning Roadmap to 2030 

The next steps will be presented and will involve an expansion of the free and open datasets already available to increase their use by targeted audiences in real-time. ECMWF recognizes that giving free access to all data holdings in real-time will be technically challenging in the short and medium term. The plan is to maintain paid-for delivery services for demanding applications that require access to large volumes of data with a service level agreementThis phased move towards free and open data aims to support creativity and innovation in the field of scientific research as well as weather applications.  

Furthermore, to facilitate the efficient access and processing of such large volumes of data, ECMWF is piloting cloud solutions for organisations of Member States in collaboration with EUMETSAT and is investigating fast connections with commercial public clouds.

How to cite: Venuti, F., Modigliani, U., Rabier, F., and Pappenberger, F.: ECMWF moves to open data, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-312,, 2021.

Dennis Schulze

Weather observations are a key component in the value chain to create societal benefits in meteorology. They are not just essential input to numerical weather prediction models but also core to many other applications ranging from risk assessment for insurance applications, drought monitoring in agriculture, and integration of renewable energy into the power grids.

In order to maximize the return on public investment into measurement network infrastructure and operation of weather stations, a wide use of the generated data is essential. This has been confirmed just recently by an evaluation of the European Commission on high-value datasets.

While in recent years, operators of various national and regional grids have increasingly made their measurement data publicly available, there was no transparent monitoring in place about the evolution of open data from weather stations and the availability and distribution of data for specific parameters.

In order to assess the status of open and freely available weather observations in Europe, we have captured all freely available weather observations as made available on the server of Deutscher Wetterdienst. These observations have been decoded and stored in a database system. We compared the availability of data from weather stations to the overall station list in the ECOMET catalogue.

We will present which countries provide comprehensive sets of their weather observations as open data and also evaluate the temporal frequency of the available measurements. We have also investigated if there has been an evolution of open data from January 2020 until recently.

Furthermore, we will show insights into availability of specific parameters, in particular hourly measurements of the amount of precipitation, wind gusts and global radiation and how this impacts the value creation in downstream services.

How to cite: Schulze, D.: Open data for weather observations in Europe – a status review, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-82,, 2021.

Vasileios Baousis, Umberto Modigliani, Florian Pappenberger, Martin Palkovic, Stephan Siemen, Xavier Abellan, and Charalampos Kominos

Since 2019, ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) together with EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) initiated a project named “European Weather Cloud” ( expected to become operational in 2022. The strategic goal of this initiative is to build and offer a community cloud infrastructure on which Member and Co‐operating States of both organizations can create and manage on demand virtual resources enabling access to the ECMWF’s Numerical Weather Predication (NWP) products and EUMETSAT’s satellite data in a timely, efficient, and configurable fashion. Moreover, one of the main goals is to involve more entities in this initiative in a joint effort to form a federation of clouds/data offered from our Member States, for the maximum benefit of the European Meteorological Infrastructure.

During the current pilot phase of the project several use cases have been defined, mostly aimed at service developers own organisations. These broad categories of use cases are:

  • Web services exploring hosted datasets.
  • Infrastructure allowing the running of an atmospheric dispersion model on ECMWF forecast data.
  • Platform to support the training of machine learning models on archive datasets.
  • Platform to support workshops and training courses (DWD/ICON model training, various ECMWF training courses)
  • Environment facilitating research in collaboration with external partners.

Some examples of the use cases currently developed at the European Weather Cloud are:

  • The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium prepares ECMWF forecast data for use in a local atmospheric dispersion model.
  • The German weather service, which is already feeding maps generated by a server it deployed on the cloud into its public GeoPortal service.
  • The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute hosts a climate explorer web application based on KNMI climate explorer data and ECMWF weather and climate reanalyses.
  • EUMETSAT Numerical Weather Prediction Satellite Application Facility (NWP SAF) develops a training module will develop a training module for a fast radiative transfer model (RTTOV) based on ERA5 reanalysis data.
  • EUMETSAT and ECMWF joint use case assess bias correction schemes for the assimilation of radiance data based on several satellite data time series.

During the current pilot phase of the project, both organizations have organised user and technical workshops to actively engage with the meteorological community to align the evolution of the European Weather Cloud to reflect and satisfy their goals and needs.

In this presentation, the status of the project will be analysed describing the existing infrastructure, the offered services and how these are accessed by the end-users along with examples of the existing use cases. The plans, next steps for the evolution and the transition to operations of the European Weather Cloud and its relationship with other projects and initiatives will conclude the presentation.

How to cite: Baousis, V., Modigliani, U., Pappenberger, F., Palkovic, M., Siemen, S., Abellan, X., and Kominos, C.: European Weather Cloud at the service of the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EMI), EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-120,, 2021.

Karl Gutbrod

The EU weather value chain has developed vigorously, with private services growing at a 20% p.a. rate over the past decade. Growth has also happened amongst national services, and the sector of instrument providers.

The study uses a value chain model of five steps : 1. Instrument Supply, 2. Networks, (for operation of Measurements & Observations), 3. Data processing, 4. Products (Mass distribution) and 5. Tailored services.

The study analyses the entire value chain in selected countries, mainly United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain, Italy and Czechia, including all steps from instrument to service providers, including national and private services, and quantifies their evolution over the period from 2010 to 2019. It uses annual reports, press articles and other sources to estimate development of value creation, in terms of annual budgets, revenues, profits and employment. It also attempts to identify the sources of uncertainty for the assessments and propose techniques to reduce this uncertainty.

Further, it classifies the value creation by value chain step and market segment, and attempts to differentiate between domestic and export of products and services.

The study further compares the value creation by inhabitant, GDP, area and other social parameters, to create parameters which can be used for characterising the value chain, and developing a better understanding of causal factors enhancing the development of the weather value chain in selected countries. These parameters are then compared with those of more other highly developed value chains in the USA and Japan.

In a final step, the study makes some projections about future evolution of the weather value chain and recommendations for the future development of a more productive and beneficial value chain.

How to cite: Gutbrod, K.: The EU weather value chain - past, current and future perspectives, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-183,, 2021.

Elizabeth Ebert, David Hoffmann, and Carla Mooney

The  weather information value chain provides a framework for characterising the production, communication, and use of information by all stakeholders in an end-to-end warning system. Since the generation of weather warning and climate services has become more complex, both technically and organizationally, the  value chain concept has become a popular tool for describing and assessing the production, use and  benefits of such services.

The end-to-end warning system for high impact weather brings together hazard monitoring, modelling and forecasting, risk assessment, communication and preparedness activities and systems and processes which enable timely action to reduce risks. Weather and associated warning services are typically developed and provided through a multitude of complex and malleable value chains (networks), often established through co-design, co-creation and co-provision.  

A new international project under the WMO World Weather Research Programme is using value chain approaches to describe and evaluate the end-to-end warning system for high impact weather. Its aims are

(1) To review value chain approaches used to describe weather, warning and climate services to assess and provide guidance on how they can be best applied in a high impact weather warning context that involves multiple users and partnerships;

(2) To generate an easily accessible means (an End-to-End Warning Chain Database) for scientists and practitioners involved in researching, designing and evaluating weather-related warning systems to review previous experience of high impact weather events and assess their efficacy using value chain approaches.

We encourage the research and operational community to participate in this project by contributing case studies of high impact events and collaborating in their analysis. Integration of the physical and social sciences in this project will lead to new insights that we hope will ultimately improve the effectiveness of warnings for high impact weather.

How to cite: Ebert, E., Hoffmann, D., and Mooney, C.: Using Value Chain Approaches to Evaluate End-to-End Warning Systems, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-143,, 2021.

Tom Smith

Often in developing countries the spatial coverage with surface weather observations is sparse and the reliability of existing systems is lower than in other parts of the world. These gaps in the availability of observation data have significant negative consequences, locally and globally. For decades international funds have been used to acquire meteorological infrastructure with little to no focus on life-cycle management. Furthermore, improvements in one part of the value chain are often not connected with further downstream services meaning local benefits are generated with substantial delay, if at all.

DTN is one of the few organizations offering comprehensive solutions across the value chain from deployment and operation of observation systems through to weather analytics creating valuable insights for business, consumers and governments across the globe. DTN not only project manages the setup of weather observation systems but also maintains and operates measurement networks on different continents. The sensor agnostic approach enables us to offer the right sensor solution for each situation.

We see an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past, changing the focus from acquiring observation systems to life cycle management to ensure the systems are maintained and leveraged effectively to provide forecasts and warnings for protection of life and property and enabling NMSs to focus on fulfilling their mission.

Funding organizations such as the World Bank must change the focus from hardware procurement to a performance-based PPE/P model that ensures the value of investments in infrastructure are realized. This sustainable approach will; ensure long lasting partnerships, harness the innovation in the private sector, create local jobs maintaining infrastructure and enable economic development through improved ability to manage the impact of weather and climate events.

How to cite: Smith, T.: Managed infrastructure and services to empower meteorological services in developing countries, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-209,, 2021.

Petteri Taalas, Florence Rabier, Florian Pappenberger, Umberto Modigliani, Fredrik Wetterhall, Milan Dacić, Sari Lappi, and Daniel Kull

South-East Europe region is experiencing an increasing number of severe meteorological and hydrological hazardous events, leading to substantial loss of life, livelihoods, and damages to infrastructure and key sectors. WMO together with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine) and ECMWF, as well as other key partners, are tackling this challenge with development of the ‘South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System (SEE-MHEWS-A)’.  

The system aims to provide NMHS operational forecasters with effective, efficient, and easy to apply tools for improved and more accurate forecasting of hazardous events and early warnings and to ensure that national authorities have the best possible information to carry out early actions and make the decision that can mitigate potential impacts of hazardous situations.  

The development of the system and resulting empowerment of NMHSs to fulfill their core functions is one of the recognized soft measures of adaptation to climate change. This will support the NMHSs to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. 

The demonstration phase of the SEE-MHEWS-A project, which commenced in 2018 concentrates on 1) establishment of regional data exchange mechanism for improved data availability for project purposes such as data assimilation, 2) setting-up numerical weather prediction system including several limited area models covering the whole region, 3) development of hydrological forecasting and nowcasting systems for a pilot river catchment, and 4) developing visualization and distribution mechanism for data and products created as part of the project activities.   

The progress made in the implementation of the demonstration phase will be presented. In addition, the data policy under this SEE-MHEWS activity will be highlighted as a milestone of the project that provides hundreds of additional observations to improve the work of the global, regional, and national forecasting operations and enables improved data assimilation and nowcasting capabilities in the region.  

Technical Assistance to the current phase of the SEE-MHEWS-A project is provided with financial support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union, the latter under the EU-WB/GFDRR Western Balkans DRM Program managed by the World Bank and GFDRR. The initial phase of the project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. 

How to cite: Taalas, P., Rabier, F., Pappenberger, F., Modigliani, U., Wetterhall, F., Dacić, M., Lappi, S., and Kull, D.: South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-305,, 2021.

Tom Copping

The study focuses on the role of the private sector in the development and delivery of hydromet and early warning services (EWS) in sub-Saharan Africa, within the current landscape of the Africa Regional Weather Enterprise (ARWE).

The study was sponsored by the World Bank and conducted through interviews with 28 National Hydro­Meteorological Services (NMHS) and 87 participating companies who either work in or have interest in the region’s hydromet market, varying in size from single-person entities to large multinationals. Less than 4% of companies have their headquarters (and solely operate) in Africa. 157 projects were identified from the 65 most active donors financing hydromet projects in sub-Saharan Africa, and classified by sector and complexity, from niche to “full-chain” solutions.

The study analyses which and how private sector actors operate within the framework of national, regional and international hydromet projects, in which countries, which products and services they provide and in which end-user categories, from research and development, to innovation and capacity building initiatives.

The study further analyses the success rates of international companies winning tenders in sub-Saharan Africa , and the patterns leading to success.

The report concludes by drawing on lessons from the positive dynamics and gaps in partnerships and engagements between public and private actors. The results of the study create the need for sixteen recommendations to further improve the ARWE, with a key emphasis on PPE, to successfully complete African hydromet programs, and in turn satisfy end-user needs, to protect lives, property, and to support their national economies for the prosperity of all.

How to cite: Copping, T.: The Africa weather enterprise : filling a large gap, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-393,, 2021.

Roberta Boscolo, Hamid Bastani, Asmerom Beraki, Nicolas Fournier, Raül Marcos-Matamoros, Alberto Troccoli, Yasmina Dkhissi, Andre Kamga, Trevor Lumsden, Dragana Bojovic, Matteo Dell'Acqua, Hiba Omrani, and Mohau Mateyisi

FOCUS-Africa is an EU Horizon 2020 project funded to co-develop tailored climate services in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The project, led by the WMO and started in September 2020, gathers 16 partners across Africa and Europe jointly committed to addressing the value of climate services for key economic sectors in Africa: agriculture and food security, water, energy, and infrastructure.

The project is piloting eight case studies (CSs) in five different countries involving a wide range of end-users. New services derived from seasonal and decadal forecasts are applied for food security and crop production in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. High-resolution climate projections, as well as historical climate reanalyses, are used to support planning and investment decisions for: a railway infrastructure and a mix of renewable energies in Tanzania, hydropower generation assessment under climate change scenarios in Malawi, and water resources management in Mauritius.

For all the FOCUS-Africa’s case studies, socio-economic impact assessment of the delivered climate services will be carried out in collaboration with the CS leaders, service providers, and end-users, by providing ex-ante and ex-post evaluations grounded in the Global Indicator Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals. The project will align the capacity development efforts with those promoted by WMO for enhancing the capabilities of the NMHSs to deliver climate services to users and will make sure that the project's innovative processes and tools will be part of the WMO training curricula.

FOCUS-Africa's expected impacts are:

  • Build a strong link between the climate scientific community and stakeholders in the SADC region by leveraging the advanced scientific knowledge and strong networks of the implementing team, and by establishing dedicated channels of communications, so as to target the full value chain of our users, from the start of the project
  • Advance the way in which climate information is developed by characterising end-use requirements through regular engagement
  • Contribute to the advancement of the scientific knowledge in the region and strengthened support for international scientific assessments through publications and reports such as those relevant for the IPCC, through the innovative science developed by FOCUS-Africa
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of the climate information by strengthening the adaptive capacity of end-users by delivering tailored, actionable, and exploitable climate services and by estimating their socio-economic benefits across the full value chain.
  • Enhance policy-making for climate adaptation in the project and other countries
  • Increase women’s access to climate services

How to cite: Boscolo, R., Bastani, H., Beraki, A., Fournier, N., Marcos-Matamoros, R., Troccoli, A., Dkhissi, Y., Kamga, A., Lumsden, T., Bojovic, D., Dell'Acqua, M., Omrani, H., and Mateyisi, M.: Demonstrating the full-value chain of climate services in Southern Africa: the FOCUS-Africa project, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-460,, 2021.


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