The theme of UEF2021 was ‘Weather in extraordinary circumstances’.
The second fully virtual Using ECMWF’s Forecasts (UEF2021) event was held from 1 to 4 June 2021. The meeting attracted people from all over the world to discuss and provide feedback on ECMWF products and services.
It included networking opportunities and interactive events using the gather.town platform. The User Voice Corner, poster sessions, coffee breaks, a social event and feedback and discussion sessions were all held in the platform.
There were also a number of new elements at UEF2021, including the first full day focused on the EU’s Copernicus services linked to ECMWF, five-minute ‘lightning talks’ on a variety of topics, and a Science and Art event.
Artwork by Louise Arnal as part of the Virtual Water Gallery, shown during the Science and Art Event at UEF2021.
The overall theme of UEF2021 was ‘Weather in extraordinary circumstances’. One of the topics was the impacts of COVID-19 on forecasting, which were highlighted and discussed.
Bruce Ingleby (ECMWF) gave a presentation on ‘Aircraft data and COVID-19: impact and mitigation measures at ECMWF’.
The theme also aimed to encompass other extraordinary events which impact forecasting, modelling, users and the public.
Authors presented a range of activities and tools which help users and forecasters better understand and forecast extreme weather and its impacts.
All oral presentations were livestreamed. Participants could post their questions and comments using a comment box on the livestream page. Discussions also continued on the dedicated UEF2021 microsite, where each presentation and poster had its own page for comments and conversation.
Parmoita Chakraborty (National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, India) presented on ‘Multi-model ensemble prediction of Super Cyclone Amphan using ECMWF, GEFS and NEPS-G forecasts’.
A Forecast User Forum was launched at UEF2021. The forum offers a discussion platform for users of ECMWF forecasts around the world to discuss current and recent weather and forecasts. It widens the opportunities to provide feedback to ECMWF beyond events like the UEF.
Enhancing interaction with gather.town
The gather.town platform was used for all interactive activities at UEF2021 and to facilitate networking opportunities for attendees.
After featuring in several other ECMWF events, it was the first time the platform had been used at the UEF, and positive feedback was received. Participants liked how they could easily interact with others, including seeing colleagues virtually face to face who they hadn’t seen for years.
The functionality to run poster sessions and events like the User Voice Corner and the Science and Art Event also proved popular.
A discussion on extended-range forecasts took place in gather.town.
For the first time at a UEF event, a whole day was dedicated to presentations of the EU environmental services in which ECMWF is involved.
The aim of the day was to showcase the products and services of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), which are run by ECMWF, as well as the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS), to which ECMWF contributes.
The services provide early warnings of natural hazards and data and information on atmospheric composition and climate change.
The day was packed with presentations covering topics related to the UEF2021 theme, including COVID-19 impacts, monitoring climate change, and data to support the insurance and finance sectors.
The hashtag #UEF2021 was very active on Twitter during the week. The following is just a small selection of the tweets that were posted:
@AntjeWeisheimer: Great talk by @DorringtonJos @ECMWF’s #UEF2021 on the link between model development/verification and user requirements to maximise the real world benefits of our forecasts
@RobbinsJoanne: Excited to present @MetOffice_Sci & @UofE_Research progress on automatic impact data collection for impact-based forecast evaluation at #UEF2021
@TheClimDatFac: A big thanks to @ECMWF/@CopernicusECMWF for the invitation to present #UEF2021 #C3S #climate
@N_Korhonen: Thank you very much for this event! Every day was interesting, inspiring and well organised!
Presentations and recordings are available on the UEF2021 page on the ECMWF website.