The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
(ECMWF, the Centre) is an international organisation supported by eighteen European
Belgium, Denmark, Federal Republic of Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy,
Yugoslavia*, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden,
Turkey, United Kingdom.
* inactive since 5 June 1992
The Centre has concluded co-operation agreements with Croatia, Iceland, Hungary,
and Slovenia, and has working arrangements with the World Meteorological
Organisation (WMO), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of
Meteorological Satellites ( EUMETSAT), and the African Centre for Meteorological
Applications for Development (ACMAD).
Originally a COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) project, the Centre
was established in 1973 by a Convention.
The first real-time medium-range forecasts were made in June 1979. The Centre has been
producing operational medium-range weather forecasts since 1 August 1979.
The objectives of the centre
The principal objectives of the Centre are:
- the development of numerical methods for medium-range weather forecasting;
- the preparation, on a regular basis, of medium-range weather forecasts for distribution
to the meteorological services of the Member States;
- scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of these forecasts;
- collection and storage of appropriate meteorological data.
In addition, the Centre:
- makes available a proportion of its computing facilities to its Member States for their
- assists in implementing the programmes of the World Meteorological Organisation;
- provides advanced training to the scientific staff of the Member States in the field of
numerical weather prediction;
- makes the data in its extensive archives available to outside bodies.