European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

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Coordinates: 51°25′10″N 0°57′03″W / 51.41956°N 0.95077°W / 51.41956; -0.95077

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 18 European Member States and 15 Co-operating States. At its headquarters in Reading, England, one of the largest supercomputer complexes in Europe [1] is linked by high-speed telecommunication lines to the computer systems of the national weather services of its supporting States. The Centre's computer system contains the world's largest archive of numerical weather prediction data.



ECMWF is renowned worldwide as providing the most accurate medium-range global weather forecasts to 15 days and seasonal forecasts to 12 months. Its products are provided to the European National Weather Services, as a complement to the national short-range and climatological activities. The National Meteorological Services of Member States and Co-operating States use ECMWF’s products for their own national duties, in particular to give early warning of potentially damaging severe weather.

ECMWF was established in 1975, in recognition of the need to pool the scientific and technical resources of Europe’s meteorological services and institutions for the production of medium-range weather forecasts and of the economic and social benefits expected from it. The Centre employs about 160 staff members and 70 consultants coming from Member and Co-operating States.

The primary purposes of the Centre are the development of a capability for medium-range weather forecasting and provision of medium-range weather forecasts to the Member States. The objectives of the Centre shall be to develop, and operate on a regular basis, global models and data-assimilation systems for the dynamics, thermodynamics and composition of the Earth's fluid envelope and interacting parts of the Earth-system, with a view to preparing forecasts by means of numerical methods, providing initial conditions for the forecasts, and contributing to monitoring the relevant parts of the Earth-system.

The main objectives of the ECMWF are:

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