INSPIRE Knowledge Base


European Meteorological Infrastructure
Mission and Objectives: 
The European National Meteorological Services (ENMSs) have implemented the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EMI), an operational infrastructure which combines a network of national assets and shared European capabilities established through ECMWF, EUMETSAT and EIG EUMETNET, into a consistent European information system, and which delivers information services to decision makers, customers and users throughout Europe. ECMWF ( delivers advanced global data assimilation and medium range to extended range forecasts (weather and sea state), and other services including real time quality control of observations. This is based on one of the world largest super computing facilities and world leading advanced numerical models of the Earth system . ECMWF also produces periodical reanalyses providing the most accurate four-dimensional history of the atmosphere (ERA-40). ECMWF data and products, which include access to its huge archive are delivered through ENMSs of Member States or via dedicated servers or networks. ECMWF also manages the Regional Data Communication Network (RMDCN) which is both the WMO telecommunication system for the European Region and the telecommunication system between ECMWF and its Member States.At national level, European NMS maintain networks of skilled personnel and operate high density in-situ observation networks, data collection, information, and dissemination and IT systems and IT and information systems covering their full national territory. They run regional short range forecast systems and a variety of information services, in the field of meteorology and climatology, and, when this is within the scope of their legal mandate, global forecasts or other specific forecasts and observation systems e.g. for ocean, hydrology, air quality prediction, seasonal prediction and climate simulations. EUMETNET ( observation programmes like EUCOS (including E-AMDAR and E-ASAP), E-SURFMAR or WINPROF, optimise the design, integration and day to day operations of fully integrated European in situ observations networks of common interest. EUMETNET programmes also address cross border exchange and standardisation of weather radar data (OPERA), development of an internet-based information system offering uniform access to all kinds of meteorological data and products (UNIDART), exchange of information on observing systems (OBS-INFO), exchange of information and improvement of the quality of climate data (ECSN, ECA&D, European Climate Atlas), exchange of information and cooperation on short range numerical weather prediction (SNRWP), development of a European portal harmonising and integrating national awareness information services (EMMA) or computer assisted learning (EUMETCAL). Other EUMETNET programmes are devoted to support research (MAP-NWS) or to ensure the protection of radio-frequencies essential to meteorological observations (E-FREQ). The emphasis of EUMETNET is also on applications using information from the EMI. In this capacity, EUMETNET coordinates the development of standard or common tools, and the contribution of ENMSs to GMES EURORISK projects aimed at demonstrating prototype services for risk management of natural and technological hazards. EUMETNET has also established an environment working group (WG-ENV). EUMETSAT ( components are operational systems of European satellites for meteorology and climate monitoring. These systems (e.g. Meteosat, MSG, EPS, Jason-2) include real time data dissemination capabilities (EUMETCast), central facilities for basic data services, and a geographically distributed network of Satellite Applications Facilities (SAF) delivering other products. The output data streams are relevant to meteorology, but also to atmospheric chemistry, oceanography, sea ice and climate monitoring, land application and hydrology.
Formal Mandate: 
The European or global components of the EMI are provided through EUMETSAT and ECMWF, two intergovernmental organisations involving Member States from within and outside the European Union, and by EIG EUMETNET, a grouping of 26 European National Meteorological Services.
Basic meteorological activities such as observing systems, data processing, forecasting, research and development, training, in order to serve environment management and climate monitoring and to bring to all European users the best available quality of meteorological information.The EMI is implemented along four basic lines:a) European components addressing common, European-scale or global requirements and involving large joint investments are implemented through joint European facilities or fully integrated networks, with standard or interoperable interfaces to the European scale components to the global components operated by WMO and IOC; b) More specific capabilities required only at regional, national or local scale are implemented through regional or national efforts, with standard or interoperable interfaces to the European scale components;c) Specific joint efforts are dedicated to:- Design, connectivity, interoperability and integration of national infrastructure elements (e.g. radars, in-situ networks…) or information services (e.g. awareness information services…) for shared access and optimum use at European level;- Development of specific compatible application software tools or systems for use at local scale (e.g. for risk management);d) Combined use of several forecasts models, into European ensembles, when ensemble, multi-model techniques bring additional value, e.g. in the areas of risk management or seasonal forecasting.
ECMWF and EUMETSAT are intergovernmental agencies involving Member States from within and outside the European Union. EUMETNET is a grouping of the National Meteorological Services from: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom
As a European infrastructure, the EMI supports and integrates all components of the information chain, i.e. from in-situ and space-based observation systems, product extraction facilities, numerical prediction or simulation, models to information delivery services to decision makers, customers and end users.In addition, the EMI is embedded in a broader, worldwide infrastructure, the World Weather Watch of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and, as such, gives European access to world-wide observations, including new types of observations e.g. from new satellite instruments e.g. from NOAA, NASA, JMA, etc.This EMI model can easily be extrapolated to other disciplines, in particular to the development of air quality monitoring or operational oceanography in Europe, based on large scale modelling capabilities driving a network of regional (or basin/shelf-sea) and local (or coastal) information systems. ECMWF also coordinates the meteorological activity of the European funded project SIMDAT. The objective for SIMDAT meteorology activity is to develop a virtual and consistent view of all meteorological data distributed in the real-time and archived databases of ECMWF, EUMETSAT and the National Meteorological Services of France, Germany and UK and to provide a secure, reliable and efficient mechanism to collect, exchange and share these distributed data and their associated metadata, in order to support research and operational activities of the European meteorological community. By the use of Grid technologies and standards and protocols for metadata, data discovery, transport and on-line browsing, the virtual infrastructure will improve the load distribution and availability of the system and provide a uniform external interface to the users allowing them to easily locate, access and use the diverse distributed forms of data and their associated metadata.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • contribute to cost/benefit analysis of the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Geographic area covered by European countries plus North Atlantic and Mediterranean sea.
    Societal Sector
    EU Nations + Island + Norway + Switzerland
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    EUMETNET is a network grouping 26 European National Meteorological Services aimed at developing their collective capability to serve environment management and climate monitoring and to bring to all European users the best available quality of meteorological information including weather, climate, operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. NMSs have a private communication network used for international and regional data exchange. This is a highly developed, reliable and robust system which is used for operational (daily, hourly and more frequent) weather and related and health and safety bulletins. This is a highly interoperable system of metadata, data, protocols, formats which can only be changed through existing formal WMO processes.
    Environmental application domains
    Meteorological observing network,Data management and data exchange,Climate change,Forecasts to help managing risks related to severe winds, forest fires, pollution, air quality,..Atmospheric sciences,Aeronautical meteorology,Agricultural meteorology,Oceanography and marine meteorology, Climatology.
    Primary Business
    Meteorology (weather and climate) including observation and forecasting