WMO and ECMWF launch web tool to assess quality of weather observations

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The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has joined forces with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to create a new online tool to monitor the availability and quality of global meteorological observations.

The new web-based system that was launched last week monitors the performance of the WMO’s Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS).

The software will form part of the WIGOS Data Quality Monitoring System (WDQMS), which assesses the availability and quality of land-based observations of weather conditions at Earth’s surface.

WDQMS relies on near-real-time monitoring data from three global numerical weather prediction (NWP) centers besides the ECMWF: the German national meteorological service (DWD), the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

It works by comparing the number of observations received from the four participating centers to those scheduled to be ingested. Any discrepancies between what was scheduled and what was actually observed are then flagged up and investigated.

Performance reports on the availability and quality of meteorological observations will displayed as maps available in three different time formats – six-hourly intervals, daily intervals and, in the future, monthly intervals.

“For the first time, this new system is able to collect six-hourly quality monitoring reports from the four WIGOS Monitoring Centres and store the data in the WDQMS database at ECMWF,” said ECMWF scientist Cristina Prates. “The data is then aggregated and the calculated statistics compared against performance thresholds.”

There are also plans to extend the tool to include marine and aircraft observations.

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