Ongoing research project |
2018 to 2020

MISTRAL: Meteo Italian SupercompuTing poRtAL

The project aim is the creation of a National Meteorological Open Data Portal to provide citizens, public administrations and national and international private organizations with meteorological data from observational networks, historical and real-time analyses and forecasts, with high accuracy. The data will be available in terms of gridded fields, probabilistic products (as rainfall forecasts for flash flood prediction) or point time-series coming from the Italian operational forecast modelling chain and post-processing fields (as thunderstorm probability).

The goal of the MISTRAL portal is to facilitate and foster the re-use of the datasets by the weather community, as well as by its cross-area communities, to provide added-value services through the use of HPC resources, turning it into the level of new business opportunities.

Ten specific project’s objectives lead the activity implementation:

  1. To improve the access to large datasets of the public weather institutions;
  2. To unleash a large scale weather datasets creative exploitation using supercomputers;
  3. Big Data Challange: to create a new service at the Italian national level that addresses the scalable exploitation of the massive amount of public open data;
  4. To exploit supercomputing facilities to analyse complex combinations of large public weather datasets to make forecasts more valuable;
  5. To improve the interoperability of regional weather data providers based on the adoption of international standards;
  6. To provide the direct upload of data generated by supercomputers to the Italian National Open Data Portal and to the EU Open Data Portal, assuring trans-European access, interoperability and services linking the weather sector to the core service platform of the EU Open Data Portal;
  7. To provide official and certified data and services to foster data re-use in accordance with Public Sector Information and open governments initiatives;
  8. To provide citizens with free access to weather observational and forecast data and visualisations;
  9. To design and implement new ways of displaying and visualising datasets and metadata, tailored to the user's needs;
  10. To identify viable business models that can support a sustainable usage of weather datasets and visualisations of Italian public weather institution sources in European repositories, in a trans-national perspective.

Six partners and an inclusive approach to involve users.

The project partners will work together with the national wider meteorological community to promote the “data opening” and to implement tools to collect, harmonise, aggregate, discover, view, download, transform and disseminate scientifically significant weather data and forecast. The consortium of partners will define open data policies for the national weather data in order to define a national regulation and promote the weather data re-use.

In addition to ECMWF, the partners are:

  • ​​CINECA, the national facility for supercomputing applications and research, one of the largest infrastructures in Europe, providing HPC cutting edge resources and qualified support to academic and industry organizations (Lead Partner)
  • The Italian Civil Protection Department steers the National Service of Civil Protection with a leading role, in cooperation with regional and local governments, for risk prevention, forecasting and monitoring activities as well as for emergency preparedness and intervention procedures in cases of on-going or upcoming crisis events.
  • The Regional Agency for the Environmental Protection of Emilia Romagna carries on Numerical Weather Prediction activities at national level and owns a huge monitoring station network and manage a met radar system.
  • The Regional Agency for the Environmental Protection of Piedmont owns a huge monitoring station network, remote sensing instruments together with the deep expertise in weather data interpretation, data processing and model forecast verification.
  • Dedagroup Public Services, a private company, one of the largest Information Technology group with expertise in systems integration, digital design and digital innovation of companies, public bodies and financial institutions, with deep competencies and experience in geo data, open data, and international standards and directive​​

Interfaces, services and functionalities

Different interfaces, user experiences, services and functionalities, clear and public data licensing, will be tailored to serve professional users, economic actors and the general public. Both citizens, stakeholders and decision makers will be able to access datasets and metadata, both through the use of open services and also thanks to the availability of visualization tools. Advanced, interactive and innovative visualization solutions will be implemented in order to display the datasets both for scientific and institutional use of data and for non-expert users.


The design of a business model is one of the project outputs: the national portal MISTRAL will be active not only for the duration of the project, but will be a stable instrument for the dissemination of meteorological data and it will be dedicated to different kind of end users, scientific community, researchers, general public, local, national and international institutions. Moreover, this Portal could be integrated into the European Data Portal to achieve a highest level of visibility through a pan-European synergy.  

Innovative technology for HPC (High performance Computer)  facilities and big data storage will be used to support the MISTRAL portal implementation. 

​​The open portal will be designed for datasets and metadata interoperability, sharing and re-use and will be supported by a large repository for data (gridded data, images, maps, etc.) and metadata. The repository will have in-built functionalities for highly innovative and advanced data and metadata management and will integrate visual analysis components for data visualisation. 

Big data storage and HPC facilities will be made available to the project in order to perform post-processing and visualisation of the observed and forecast data, in order to make the forecasts more useful and usable, tailoring the output to the need of the intended audience.​


For more information, please visit http://www.mistralportal.eu/.

Co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union



Estibaliz Gascon

Andrea Montani

EU – Connecting Europe Facility