François Bouttier

CNRM -GAME (UMR CNRS & Météo-France)

Mesoscale Modeling Department

Ensemble prediction research

42, Av. G. Coriolis
31057 Toulouse Cedex 1, France
Tél. +33 (0) 5 61 07 98 25
Fax +33 (0) 5 61 07 96 27
courriel : francois point bouttier at meteo point fr


  Research Topics

Research on atmospheric ensemble prediction at convective scales:

  • Probabilistic forecasts using the AROME numerical weather prediction model
  • Use of ensemble prediction and probabilistic forecasts
  • Atmospheric predictability at kilometric scales
  • Data assimilation, observation processing and forecast verification
  • Model error representation by stochastic physics
  • Weather modification

  Scientific experience

1991: internship at CNRM, Météo-France, Toulouse, France. Development with Jean-Francois Mahfouf of a soil humidity data assimilation system for the Peridot model. Validation on HAPEX-MOBILHY field experiment data. This data assimilation scheme has been adapted into the ARPEGE/ALADIN operational prediction system circa 1997.

1991-1993: preparation of a Toulouse University PhD in meteorology at the CNRM lab. Study of atmospheric predictability using Kalman filter techniques in a global barotropic model of the atmosphere: study of error covariance dynamics and their evolution in a data assimilation framework.

1994-1995: scientist at CNRM. Development of a global 3DVar data assimilation for the ARPEGE NWP model. Study of issues with the variable resolution model geometry. The ARPEGE 3DVar became operational at Météo-France in 1999.

1995-1997: scientist at ECMWF, Reading, England. Development (with John Derber) of a revised multivariate background error covariance model Jb, which became operational at ECMWF in 1997, and at Météo-France in 1999.

1997-2000: head of ECMWF’s Data Assimilation section. Development of the Obstat software for comparing observations with ECMWF’s IFS system. Studies of dropsonde and profiler data assimilation, of forecast sensitivity to initial conditions and observing network experiments, of the 4DVar data assimilation algorithm. Implementation (with Florence Rabier) of an extension of the 4DVar time window from 6 to 12 hours, which entered production in 2000.

2000-2008: scientist at CNRM. Leader of the AROME project for the design of a kilometric-scale numerical weather prediction system based on the Méso-NH and ALADIN model and data assimilation systems. AROME became operational at Météo-France in 2008, and is in preoperational phase at a dozen of European weather services (from the HIRLAM and ALADIN consortia), sometimes under the ’HARMONIE’ nickname.

2003-2010: head of the Numerical Weather Prediction group at CNRM, Météo-France.

2011-: scientist at CNRM on convective-scale ensemble prediction. Evaluation of multimodel ensembles in cooperation with the german (DWD) et Bristish (Met Office) meteorological institutes. Software development for probabilistic forecast production and performance evaluation. Experimentation of AROME ensemble predictions components including stochastic physics, surface perturbations, coupling using machine learning. Management and contribution to cooperative research contracts related to aviation (SESAR European program), renewables (FEDER METEOSWIFT contract), hydrometeorology (ANR PICS contract), automated meteorological forecasts (3P/ALPHA project).

2012-: media contact point on weather modification issues.

2014: qualification to manage scientific research (French HDR), topic : ’modelling numerical weather prediction errors’. Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse.

Peer-reviewed publications

  • Bouttier, F., J.-F. Mahfouf and J. Noilhan, 1993: Sequential assimilation of soil moisture from atmospheric low-level parameters. Part I: Sensitivity and calibration studies. Jour. Appl. Meteor., 32, 1335-1351.
  • Bouttier, F., J.-F. Mahfouf and J. Noilhan, 1993: Sequential assimilation of soil moisture from atmospheric low-level parameters. Part II: Implementation in a mesoscale model. Jour. Appl. Meteor., 32, 1352-1364.
  • Bouttier, F., 1993: The dynamics of error covariances in a barotropic model. Tellus, 45A, 408-423.
  • Bouttier, F., 1994: A dynamical estimation of error covariances in an assimilation system. Mon. Wea. Rev., 122, 2376-2390.
  • Rabier, F., A. McNally, E. Andersson, P. Courtier, P. Undén, J. Eyre, A. Hollingsworth and F. Bouttier, 1998: The ECMWF implementation of three-dimensional variational assimilation (3D-Var). Part II: structure functions. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 124, 1809-1829.
  • Barkmeijer, J., M. van Gizjen and F. Bouttier, 1998: Singular vectors and the analysis error covariance metric. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 124A, 1695-1713.
  • Derber, J. and F. Bouttier, 1999: A reformulation of the background error covariance in the ECMWF global data assimilation system. Tellus, 51A, 195-222.
  • Järvinen, H., E. Andersson and F. Bouttier, 1999: Variational assimilation of time sequences of surface observations with serially correlated errors. Tellus, 51A, 469-488.
  • Bouttier, F., 2001: The use of profiler data at ECMWF. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 10, no.6, 497-510, Dec 2001.
  • Bouttier, F. and G. Kelly, 2001: Observing system experiments with the ECMWF data assimilation system. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 127, 1469-1488.
  • Hello G. and F. Bouttier, 2001: Using adjoint sensitivity as a local structure function in variational data assimilation. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 8, (6), 467-483.
  • Michel, Y. et F. Bouttier, 2006: Automated tracking of dry intrusions on satellite and synthetic water vapour imageries. Quart. Jour. Roy. Met. Soc., 132, pp.2257-2276.
  • Stoffelen, A., G.-J. Marseille, F. Bouttier, D. Vasiljevic, S. de Haan and C. Cardinali, 2006: Doppler Wind Lidar observation system simulation experiment. Quart. Jour. Roy. Met. Soc,. 132, 1927-1948.
  • Bouttier, F., 2007: Arome, avenir de la prévision régionale. La Météorologie, 8e série, no. 58, 12-20.
  • Richard E., C. Flamant, F. Bouttier, J. Van Baelen, C. Champollion, S. Argence, J. Arnault, C. Barthlott, A. Behrendt, P. Bosser, P. Brousseau, J.-P. Chaboureau,U. Corsmeier, J. Cuesta, P. Di Girolamo, M. Hagen, C. Kottmeier, P. Limnaios, F. Masson, G. Pigeon, Y. Pointin, F. Tridon, Y. Seity et V. Wulfmeyer, 2009: La campagne Cops: genèse et cycle de vie de la convection en région montagneuse, La Météorologie, 64.
  • Rotach MW, Ambrosetti P, Ament F, Appenzeller C, Arpagaus M, Bauer HS, Behrendt A, Bouttier F, Buzzi A, Corazza M, Davolio S, Denhard M, Dorninger M, Fontannaz L, Frick J, Fundel F, Germann U, Gorgas T, Hegg C, Hering A, Keil C, Liniger MA, Marsigli C, McTaggart-Cowan R, Montani A, Mylne K, Ranzi R, Richard E, Rossa A, Santos-Muñoz D, Schär C, Seity Y, Staudinger M, Stoll M, Volkert H, Walser A, Wang Y, Werhahn J, Wulfmeyer V, Zappa M: 2009, MAP D-PHASE: Real-time Demonstration of Weather Forecast Quality in the Alpine Region, Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 90 (9), 1321-1336, DOI:10.1175/2009BAMS2776.1
  • Seity, Y., Brousseau, P., S. Malardel, G. Hello, P. Bénard, F. Bouttier, C. Lac and V. Masson, 2011: The AROME-France convective scale operational model. Mon. Wea. Rev., 139, 976-99. doi: 10.1175/2010MWR3425.1
  • Brousseau, P., L. Berre, F. Bouttier and G. Desroziers, 2011: Background-error covariances for a convective scale data-assimilation system: AROME-France 3D-Var. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137: 409-422. doi:10.1002/qj.750 .
  • Brousseau, P., L. Berre, F. Bouttier and G. Desroziers, 2012: Flow-dependent background-error covariances for a convective scale data assimilation system. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc. , 138, 310-322. doi: 10.1002/qj.920
  • Vié, B., G. Molinié, O. Nuissier, V. Ducrocq, F. Bouttier and E. Richard, 2012: Hydro-meteorological evaluation of a convection-permitting ensemble prediction system for Mediterranean heavy precipitating events. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci, 12, 2631-2645. doi:10.5194/nhess-12-2631-2012.
  • Brousseau, P., G. Desroziers, F. Bouttier and B. Chapnik, 2013: A posteriori diagnostics of the impact of observations on the AROME-France convective-scale data-assimilation system. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 140, 982-994. doi:10.1002/qj.2179.
  • Raynaud, L., O. Pannekoucke, P. Arbogast and F. Bouttier, 2014: Application of a Bayesian weighting for short-range lagged ensemble forecasting at the convective scale. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc.,141, 459–468. doi: 10.1002/qj.2366
  • Bouttier F., L. Raynaud, O.Nuissier and B. Ménétrier, 2016: Sensitivity of the AROME ensemble to initial and surface perturbations during HyMeX.. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc, 142, 390-403. doi: 10.1002/qj.2622
  • Raynaud, L. and F. Bouttier, 2016: Comparison of initial perturbation methods for ensemble prediction at convective scale. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 142, 854–866, doi: 10.1002/qj.2686. doi:10.1002/qj.2686
  • Nuissier O., C. Marsigli, B. Vincendon, A. Hally, F. Bouttier, A. Montani and T. Paccagnella, 2016: Evaluation of two convection-permitting ensemble systems in the HyMeX Special Observation Period (SOP1) framework. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 140, 1900-1916, doi: 10.1002/qj.2859
  • Beck, J., F. Bouttier, C. Gebhardt, L. Wiegand and N. Roberts, 2016: Development and verification of two convection-resolving multi-model ensembles over northwestern Europe. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 142, 2808-2826, doi: 10.1002/qj.2870
  • Raynaud, L. and F. Bouttier, 2017: The impact of horizontal resolution and ensemble size for convective-scale probabilistic forecasts. Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc in Aug 2017. 143 : 3037-3047. doi:10.1002/qj.3159
  • Osinski, R and F. Bouttier, 2018: Short-range probabilistic forecasting of convective risks for aviation based on a lagged-average-forecast ensemble approach. Met. Apps. 25, 105-118. doi:10.1002/met.1674
  • Bouttier, F. and L. Raynaud, 2018: Clustering and selection of boundary conditions for limited area ensemble prediction. Accepted for publication in Quart. Jour. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 9pp. doi:10.1002/qj.3304


  • Enseignant de Master 2 "Océan, Atmosphère et Surfaces Continentales" (Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse): data assimilation course.
  • Enseignant de Master M2 ISAE/Supaéro Toulouse ’’observation de la Terre et sciences de l’univers’’, module ’’météo, atmosphère, climat’
  • membre du jury du Master M2-SOAC de l’Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse

 Media and communication

  • multiple interviews in the wide media and consulting work about weather modification issues: cloud seeding, hail modification, contrails/chemtrails...

 Research contracts

  • 2003-2007: CNRS INSU/LEFE ’assimilation de données à échelle fine AROME’ (project leader)
  • 2005-2007: ANR ’campagne de mesures COPS’ (leader: Evelyne Richard, Laboratoire d’Aérologie)
  • 2006-2009: ANR ’ADDISA’ (assimilation de données d’images, leader: Isabelle Herlin, INRIA)
  • 2012-2014: INSU/LEFE/MANU VIPS ’Valorisation et Interprétation des Prévisions Probabilistes’ (project leader)
  • 2012-2014: SESAR WP11.2.2 D3 ’superensemble’ (multimodel ensemble forecasts of convective hazards for air traffic) (subtask leader)
  • 2014-2016: IMET (SJU SESAR) aircraft probabilistic routing project
  • 2016-2018: METEOSWIFT FEDER / Région occitanie: probabilistic wind power prediction. (task leader)
  • 2018-: ANR PICS: hydrometeorological prediction.


Data assimilation course (2017, mostly French)

Scientific & technical reports

ResearchGate ’Francois Bouttier’

No one shall be held responsible, scientifically or otherwise for the content of these pages / articles, but the authors themselves and in no way the responsibility of the CNRM-GAME .