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Design of a forecasting system for ECMWF

Bengtsson, L. (1976) Design of a forecasting system for ECMWF. In: ECMWF Seminar on Scientific Foundation of Medium Range Weather Forecasts. ECMWF, Reading, UK, pp. 673-713.

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As laid out in its convention there are 8 different objectives for ECMWF. One of the major objectives will consist of the preparation, on a regular basis, of the data necessary for the preparation of medium-range weather forecasts. The interpretation of this item is that the Centre will make forecasts once a day for a prediction period of up to 10 days. It is also evident that the Centre should not carry out any real weather forecasting but merely disseminate to the member countries the basic forecasting parameters with an appropriate resolution in space and time. It follows from this that the forecasting system at the Centre must from the operational point of view be functionally integrated with the Weather Services of the Member Countries. The operational interface between ECMWF and the Member Countries must be properly specified in order to get a reasonable flexibility for both systems. The problem of making numerical atmospheric predictions for periods beyond 4-5 days differs substantially from 2-3 days forecasting. From the physical point we can define a medium range forecast as a forecast where the initial disturbances have lost their individual structure. However we are still interested to predict the atmosphere in a similar way as in short range forecasting which means that the model must be able to predict the dissipation and decay of the initial phenomena and the creation of new ones. With this definition, medium range forecasting is indeed very difficult and generally regarded as more difficult than extended forecasts, where we usually only predict time and space mean values. The predictability of atmospheric flow has been extensively studied during the last years in theoretical investigations and by numerical experiments. As has been discussed elsewhere in this publication (see pp 338 and 431) a 10-day forecast is apparently on the fringe of predictability.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Environmental Systems Science Centre
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:31959

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