Medium-Range Weather PredictionThe European Approach
This book provides an overview of the early years of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, and reviews the work of the institute over the past 30 years, describing along the way the European approach to medium-range weather forecasting. Its combination of historical view and scientific insight is unique.
About 450 million people live in the 18 States that set up the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Thirty years ago, they est- lished an independent institution with a clearly defined objective. It was not to be a university-type institute for research, neither was it to be an ope- tional weather forecast office. It would combine the scientific and technical resources of its Member States to use the most powerful computers in order to extend the range of weather forecasts beyond two or three days, the limit of useful forecasts at that time. It would be small; the work force was to be limited to about 150, incl- ing administrative and other support staff. In 2005, 30 years after the Convention was signed, the staff totalled about 160. The Centre attracted the best talent in its specific field of endeavour. Each year about ten scientists left, to be replaced by newcomers bringing younger minds and fresh ideas. It is not surprising that it quickly became a world leader in its field. It is widely recognised as having maintained its leading position. This book considers how the Centre was conceived in the confusing and difficult political period of the 1960s in Europe. It summarises the political, scientific, technical and financial discussions that led to the drafting of its Convention, and how it came to be built 60 km west of London, England.
Foreword from the President of the ECMWF Council Foreword from the Director ECMWF Foreword from the President of Committee of COST Senior Officials Preface Contents Acknowledgements 1 The First Director 2 The Beginnings: the Political Background 3 Meteorological Developments 1967 to 1971 4 The Project Study 5 The Convention 6 In the United Kingdom 7 1974 to 1980 - The Formative Years 8 The Analysis System, from 0I to 4D- Var 9 The Medium-Range Model 10 Ensemble Prediction - Forecasting the Error 11 Seasonal Prediction 12 Wave Prediction 13 Data from on High 14 Re-analysis - Towards a new ERA 15 Archives and Graphics: Towards MARS, MAGICS and Metview 16 The Computer System: CDC, Cray, Fujitsu, IBM 17 Communicating the Forecasts: Mail and 50 Baud to RMDCN 18 Commercial Issues 19 The Staff 20 And the outlook is. . . Annex 1 Directors Annex 2 The Council and its Committees Annex 3 List of Abbreviations
Dr. James Austin Woods (PhD Meteorology Penn State University 1970 and 1972) joined ECMWF in 1978 from the Irish Meteorological Service as Head of Meteorological Operations and became Assistant Director in 1984. In 2004 he retired, at the age of 63.
The book is unique in combining a historical view of one of the world's leading meteorological institutes and a scientific insight in the work is has done over the past 30 years