European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

The ECMWF (English European Centre for Medium - Range Weather Forecasts, German: European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast, ECMWF) is an international organization based in Reading, England, which was founded in 1975 and is supported by 18 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

Co-operating States are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Macedonia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Morocco, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.


The main objectives of ECMWF are:

  • The development of numerical methods for medium-range weather forecast
  • The development of medium-range forecasts for Europe, which are made ​​available to Member States available
  • Scientific and technical research on the improvement of these forecasts
  • The collection and archiving of meteorological data

For the main task, the calculation of twice heard daily, medium-term, global weather forecasts based on physical models. The deterministic forecasts of the IFS model are calculated for 10 days in advance. The model resolution is currently at about 16 km. In addition, the ECMWF has introduced one of the first organizations in 1992 ensemble calculations. The repeated calculation of the prediction model with slightly different initial conditions as statements about the Eintreffwahrscheinlichkeit can be made. The atmospheric model of the ECMWF Ensemble expects the time to 15 days in advance.

Well-known research results

By analyzing data from the ECMWF Yong Zhu and Reginald E. Newell discovered from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1998, atmospheric rivers, which are responsible for the transport of 90 percent of the moisture from the Äquatorrialregionen in the mid-latitudes. This discovery is the basis for the Arkstorm - Szenaro the United States Geological Survey (USGS ).