High Resolution Numerical Weather Prediction Project
Website of the ALADIN Consortium
First stage outline proposal
Article published on 19 January 2005
last modification on 15 September 2008

by Patricia

The outline proposal as submitted in the first stage proposal (form B)

1. List of Partners

2. Short description of the STORMNET project

STORMNET (Scientific Training for Operations and Research in a Meteorological NETwork) aims at building a European training network for local short-range high-resolution numerical weather prediction and its applications.

European meteorological services now have to face the challenge of a quick march towards very high resolution applications for limited-area modelling and short-range prediction. Beside the research work specific to numerical weather prediction (NWP), the increased complexity of equations and the huge amount of data to handle at a reasonable cost will raise new problems in numerics and code organisation. The positive feedback on downstream applications like hydrology or air-pollution modelling will have to be checked too. As experts are spread among many small teams, an enhanced transfer of knowledge through training actions is needed.

3. Short Range Numerical Weather Prediction in Europe

Today’s NWP models have reached a degree of complexity that makes it difficult for any country, even a large one, to develop and test with its own resources all the modules of a leading edge numerical model for the high-resolution simulation of the atmospheric processes, inclusive of the difficult determination of adequate initial conditions from the observations and consideration of computing cost. One the other side, European NWP teams are usually small, around 7 persons on average, but down to 3 in some countries. As a consequence, several groups of national weather services (NWS) have gathered together, to share the development work and further maintenance of 4 world-class limited-area models, used operationally for weather forecasting at horizontal scales in the range 5-15 km.

These 4 groups, or consortia, are:

  • the ALADIN consortium, including the weather services of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Moldova, Morocco, Southern Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tunisia, who built and use the ALADIN model;
  • the COSMO consortium, including the weather services of Germany, Greece, Italy, Northern Poland, Switzerland, who built and use the LM model;
  • the HIRLAM consortium, including the weather services of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, who built and use the HIRLAM model;
  • the NWS of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, who takes care alone of the UM model.

Each group has its own identity and specific work relation between partners, but in all cases a quite efficient networking has been established over the years.

At a higher level, on a European scale, cooperation between NWP teams started 26 years ago, via the informal EWGLAM (European working group on limited-area modelling) network, reinforced 10 years ago with the creation of the SRNWP (short-range numerical weather prediction) programme to foster exchanges. Within these networks, around 3 scientific meetings are organized each year, on the general progress or specific scientific issues of short-range high-resolution NWP. SRNWP in its present form has proven its usefulness, but attempts to go further in exchanges at this level were not as successful as expected. There is still significant effort required to establish a very close cooperation between NWS, in practice between consortia, while preserving decentralization, which is mandatory for local operational applications.

4. Research Program

5. Training Program

Full B form document :

Outline proposal