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26-member ACCORD consortium launched to improve forecasting in Europe
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7th December 2020

26-member ACCORD consortium launched to improve forecasting in Europe

Met Éireann is now a member of ACCORD the largest research consortium globally focused on the research and development of world-leading weather prediction for local and regional weather conditions in Europe.

Today marks a new page in the history of meteorology as National Meteorological Services from 26 European countries, including Ireland, begin to broaden and deepen their research collaboration on developing advanced high-resolution weather prediction capability for their local areas. The largest international weather prediction research consortium world-wide, ACCORD will focus on developing world-leading weather forecasting systems to provide the best possible support to society, based on knowledge leading research and pioneering supercomputing technology.

Eoin Moran, Director of Met Éireann, said: "ACCORD is a step change in localising weather prediction for Europe and Ireland – linking knowledge-leading science to deliver even better, more localised,weather forecasts to the Irish public."

ACCORD builds on Europe’s impressive tradition of cooperation in meteorology. EUMETSAT provides Europe with advanced weather satellite capability; EUMETNET coordinates weather and climate observations across Europe; while ECMWF is the undisputed leader in global weather prediction. ACCORD will collaborate closely with each of these international organisations to provide the very best weather prediction capability for Ireland and Europe.

Advanced high resolution short-range weather prediction models are developed through the research efforts of National Meteorological Services such as Met Éireann. Since the 1980s, owing to the complex and specialised scientific endeavor involved, National Meteorological Services have by necessity collaborated within several international consortia, with Met Éireann becoming a member of HIRLAM (High-Resolution Limited Area Model) in 1989.

ACCORD is in fact a merger of the 3 existing consortia, ALADIN, HIRLAM and LACE, resulting in a unique collaboration of twenty-six countries of Europe and Northern Africa. Research scientists working at Met Éireann will contribute knowledge and expertise in areas including mathematical modelling, data assimilation, observation pre-processing, model numerics and physics, machine learning, nowcasting and ensemble prediction.

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 modelling system."

While the consortium will collaborate on science and development, the production and delivery of operational weather forecasts will continue to be provided on a national basis. The operational numerical weather prediction systems will receive regular upgrades to include the scientific and technical innovations developed within the 26-member consortium.

With our joint effort, we will accelerate the improvement of weather forecasts which will have a knock-on effect on the many sectors of society that rely on accurate weather information.

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