Seminars / Informal seminars / Lectures by ECMWF Staff and Invited Lecturers

Seminars contribute to our ongoing educational programme and are tailored to the interests of the ECMWF scientific community.

Informal seminars are held throughout the year on a range of topics. Seminars vary in their duration, depending on the area covered, and are given by subject specialists. As with the annual seminar, this may be an ECMWF staff member or an invited lecturer.

The following is a listing of seminars/lectures that have been given this year on topics of interest to the ECMWF scientific community.  See also our past informal seminars


14 February
at 10:30

Room: LT

Aircraft Weather Observations and their Use (current and future)

Speaker: Steve Stringer (Met Office and EUMETNET) and Siebren de Haan/Jan Sondij (KNMI and EMADDC)


Aircraft based weather observations (ABO) have increasingly become a very valuable input into the global weather forecasting process, with some independent assessments showing their impact on NWP to be second only to that of satellite data. An international workshop on Aircraft Based-Observations (ABO) is to be hosted at ECMWF, 12th/13th February 2020, bringing together ABO data users and ABO data providers to share their experience of aircraft data use and to recommend any necessary changes to procedures in the provision or use of aircraft data in the future. The seminar will provide an overview of the current status ABO data provision, plans for the future, together with outcomes and recommendations from the ABO Workshop. An overview of European plans to implement an operational centre and service for the  delivery of quality controlled Mode-S derived aircraft observations will be also included.  (Mode-S reports are derived from air traffic management messages and provide very high resolution data, particularly winds, over parts of Europe and potentially elsewhere.  They are not yet processed at ECMWF.)  

11 February
at 14:00

Room: LT

The relationship between the circumglobal teleconnection, the Indian monsoon and European summer weather

Speaker: Jonathan Beverley (University of Reading, University of Exeter)


Recent research has led to improvements in European winter seasonal forecasts, however summer forecast skill remains relatively low. One potential source of predictability for Europe is the Indian summer monsoon, which can influence the weather across many parts of the northern hemisphere via a global wave train known as the “circumglobal teleconnection” (CGT). Here I assess the ability of the ECMWF coupled seasonal forecast model to represent this teleconnection mechanism. To understand how errors in its representation are related to errors in summer forecast skill over Europe, results from relaxation and thermal forcing experiments, as well as barotropic model experiments, will be presented. These experiments were designed to identify possible causes of errors in the teleconnection pathway, and to explore the impact of improving the representation of the CGT on European summer forecast skill.

23 January
at 14:00

Room: LT

Can GNSS Polarimetric Radio Occultations (GNSS  PRO) contribute to better understanding, monitoring or predicting extreme events?

Speaker: Estel Cardellach (ICE-CSIC/IEEC, Spain)


The GNSS Polarimetric Radio Occultations (GNSS PRO) is a new measurement concept being proved aboard the PAZ satellite, operating since May 2018. The technique is based on the 'traditional' GNSS Radio Occultations (GNSS RO), widely used for atmospheric profiling of thermodynamic parameters and assimilated in operational NWP. Adding polarimetric capabilities to the RO system enables to sense hydrometeors, especially big rain droplets in heavy rain, and frozen particles. The system, thus, is the first technique with joint and synchronous sensitivity to both types of parameters: thermodynamic and hydrometeor profiling. Whereas the geophysical content of the GNSS RO signals to infer the 'traditional' products lays on the bending of the signal propagation (atmosphere acting as a lens because of its vertical gradients in T, p and q), the physical principle to sense hydrometeors is the excess propagation delay of the horizontally polarized signal with respect to the vertically polarized one. These are two independent sensing principles obtained from a single set of data.

Can GNSS PRO contribute to better understanding, monitoring or predicting extreme events? We are not ready to provide a full answer to this question, yet. But the seminar will present the technique, the facts demonstrated during the PAZ mission so far, the current identified limitations, and potential areas of interest and opportunities for scientists at ECMWF working on precipitation, micro-physics modeling and large scale convective systems -- elements towards improved understanding, monitoring and prediction of some extreme events.


LT = Lecture Theatre, LCR = Large Committee Room, MZR = Mezzanine Committee Room,
CC = Council Chamber