GWE Forum Webinar 1: Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)

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In the presentation: ‘A Vision for Numerical Weather Prediction in 2030’, Professor Tim Palmer of Oxford University shared his vision of the way global ensemble forecast systems should develop and address the question: ‘How many global ensemble systems do we need worldwide?’.

Professor Palmer presented his views about whether downscaling to postcode scales should be done by limited-area-models or by AI-based software. The discussion touched on the role of National Met Services and of forecasters in the National Met Services in the 2030s.

The focus was primarily on extreme event prediction for the developing world and what, in particular, it needs for proactive disaster preparedness schemes like forecast-based finance to flourish in the 2030s.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session. Panelists include Alice Soares, Dr. Lars Peter Riishojgaard and Professor Alan Thorpe.

About the participants

Tim Palmer – Speaker


Tim Palmer is a Royal Society Research Professor in Weather and Climate Physics, in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford. Prior to that he worked at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and the UK Met Office, where he pioneered the development of ensemble weather and climate prediction. Broadly speaking, Tim’s research covers areas of physics where nonlinearity is important. He coordinated two EU climate prediction projects, was lead author, member of scoping committee and review editor of IPCC assessment reports and chaired the International Scientific Steering Group of the World Climate Research Programme’s CLIVAR project. He has won the top prizes of the European and American Meteorological Societies, and in 2020 was elected an International Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Tim’s PhD was in the field of general relativity, an area where he remains active.

Alice Soares – Panel discussant

Ms. Soares provides expert assistance and advice on weather, climate and water-related issues to the World Bank (WB), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), French Agency for Development (AFD), Government of Myanmar, and other organizations. As a senior advisor to the World Bank, Ms. Soares assists in assessing the capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, and in preparing modernisation projects in developing and least developed countries of Southeast Asia, South Asia, South Eastern Europe, and Northern Africa and Middle East. For the Government of Myanmar, she has been advising on all aspects of the operations of hydrometeorological services, liaison with users, as well as on the organizational and institutional aspects.

Lars Peter – Panel Discussant

Dr. Lars Peter Riishojgaard is the Director of the Earth System Branch in the WMO Secretariat with responsibility for the operational aspects of all numerical modeling activities and for the marine, hydrologic and cryosphere components of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). In addition, He is leading the Secretariat support for the review of WMO’s data policy resolution and the development of the regulatory material required to implement the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON). He has a long-standing interest in using numerical weather prediction systems and methods to assess data impact and help establish user requirements for new observing systems.

Alan Thorpe – Panel discussant

Alan Thorpe was for many years a Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading. Subsequently he became Director of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research and then Chief Executive of the UK’s environmental science funding agency. From 2011 to 2015 Alan was Director-General of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. Now he advises various organisations on weather science and policy.