Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Bureau partners with European Centre to ensure more eyes on Earth


The Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) has signed an agreement with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on collaboration, data and knowledge sharing and capability exchange programs.

A five-year strategic relationship agreement was signed this week by the Bureau's CEO and Director, Dr Andrew Johnson, and the Centre's Director-General, Dr Florence Rabier.

The Bureau has been invited to work with ECMWF as part of the Copernicus Climate Change Service. Copernicus is the Earth observation component of the European Union’s space programme and includes satellite and in situ observations combined with expert modelling to provide services such as the Climate Change Service implemented by ECMWF.

“Under this agreement we are adding long-range global forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator – also known as ACCESS – to the Copernicus multi-model global ensemble. ACCESS will join other world-leading models, demonstrating the importance of scientific collaboration and of Australia’s contribution to the international community," Dr Rabier said.

“This is an important ongoing partnership for ECMWF, the benefits of which will be felt worldwide in the ensemble forecasts produced. It will also lead to further improvements in weather and climate modelling and research conducted in Europe and Australia.”

ACCESS is the Bureau's extended and long-range forecast system. It is a state-of-the-art dynamical (physics-based) forecast modelling system, which uses ocean, atmosphere, ice and land observations to initiate forecasts for the season ahead.

There are eight contributors to the ECMWF Copernicus multi-system global ensemble and the addition of the Bureau's ACCESS forecasts brings this total to nine.

"This new agreement enables the Bureau to access more comprehensive data from some of the world’s best forecast models to support and improve its own services," Dr Johnson said.

"It also provides more opportunities for joint research projects exploring weather and climate impacts in the southern hemisphere and around the globe."

"This is a huge accomplishment for the Bureau and Australia. The benefits of this partnership will lead to future improvements in Australian weather and climate products and services for the benefit of the Australian community."

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 35 states. It is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. The ECMWF was established in 1975 and its purpose – then as now – was to pool Europe's meteorological resources to produce accurate climate data and medium-range forecasts - ECMWF | Advancing global NWP through international collaboration. It implements the Copernicus Climate Change Service and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service on behalf of the European Commission. Homepage | Copernicus.

The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia's national weather, climate, oceans, water and space weather agency. Its expertise and services assist Australians in dealing with the harsh realities of their natural environment, including drought, floods, fires, storms, tsunami and tropical cyclones. Through regular forecasts, warnings, monitoring and advice spanning the Australian region and Antarctic territory, the Bureau provides one of the most fundamental and widely used services of government - Australia's official weather forecasts & weather radar - Bureau of Meteorology (