ECMWF free up their graphical data!

From today, all ECMWF graphical products are free and accessible to all! Medium-range, extended-range and long-range forecast charts of temperature, wind, precipitation, clouds and ocean waves are just some of the products available.


Isn’t it about time the Met Office followed suit?

The fact that the ECMWF have finally freed up all their graphical products after years of rather sparingly handing out a small subset of it on the internet comes as a rather startling but very welcome surprise to me. Let’s hope this finally spurs the Met Office to follow suit and free up much of their NWP data to the taxpayers of the United Kingdom who have funded it for all these years.

Why are the ECMWF moving more towards open data?

The EU and ECMWF Member and Co-operating States are themselves moving towards an open data policy. In the EU, a Directive on open data and the re-use of public sector information, also known as the ‘Open Data Directive’ entered into force on 16 July 2019. It focuses on the economic aspects of the re-use of information and it encourages EU Member States to make as much information available for re-use as possible. The Directive also introduces the concept of high value datasets (which includes weather data), the re-use of which is associated with particularly important benefits for society and the economy.


Because the open data policy the ECMWF are following is a directive from the EU, the Met Office could decide not to follow the lead taken by the Europeans and hide behind the Brexit decision. I for one would finally like to see how the various UKMO NWP models perform against those of the ECMWF, purportedly the best and most accurate NWP model in the world. Let’s hope the UKMO don’t decide to cop out of freeing up their NWP model data because the British people deserve better.

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