National Meteorological Services from across Europe and North Africa have established a new consortium, ACCORD, to strengthen collaboration and improve their forecasting.
Though Europe has a long tradition of cooperation in meteorology, its forecasting has remained somewhat fragmented. Meteorological satellites are procured and operated by EUMETSAT, other observations are coordinated under EUMETNET, and global medium-range numerical weather predictions are produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Meanwhile, high spatial resolution, short-range numerical weather predictions are the responsibility of National Meteorological Services (NMS) which, since the 1980s, have collaborated within the frame of several regional consortia.
Three of these consortia  have now entered a larger partnership, resulting in a collaboration of 26 countries across Europe and Northern Africa. Together these NMSs say they will further develop the science of weather prediction and develop new algorithms to tackle the challenges of parallel computer architectures and massive data flows, leading to more accurate weather forecasts. The new consortium will also collaborate closely with EUMETSAT, EUMETNET and ECMWF.
A key aim of the partnership will be to advance and strengthen research and development of the common Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model code and extend the cooperation on the new components of the complex system with more efficient maintenance. The production and delivery of operational NWP forecasts will remain organized on a national or regional basis.
Dr Saji Varghese, head of research in Met Éireann and chair of the consortium’s science committee, commented, “We will advance and strengthen research in the complex science of weather prediction, develop new algorithms to take advantage of the opportunities from parallel computer architectures, and tackle the challenge of massive data flows. We will enhance and evolve the development of our numerical weather prediction model code, and extend cooperation on new components of the modeling system.”
The operational numerical weather prediction systems of individual NWS will receive regular upgrades to include the scientific and technical innovations developed within the 26-member consortium.
1: ALADIN (Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey), LACE (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) and HIRLAM (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden).