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The European Weather Cloud: driving weather applications close to the data

The European Weather Cloud will deliver data access and cloud-based processing capabilities for the European Meteorological Infrastructure (EMI) and their users. The EMI comprises ECMWF, EUMETSAT, and the National Meteorological Services of their Member States.  

As the EMI collects more detailed and frequent weather and climate observations and develops enhanced prediction capabilities and services, it is increasingly facing challenges to provide infrastructure to store, manage and process large datasets.

At the same time, technological progress offers new possibilities to enable harmonized online access to data across large data centres that have been joined together. Working on data in the cloud enables new types of capabilities including running software close to the data, rather than downloading vast amounts of data locally and needing a local infrastructure in support.

ECMWF and EUMETSAT hold an ever-growing data store for meteorological applications and so they have started the pilot phase of the “European Weather Cloud” to make it easier to work on weather and climate big data in a cloud-based infrastructure. The pilot phase also endeavours to develop the set of terms and conditions for operations and use of such an infrastructure, and for joining a federation of meteorological data centres.

The aim is to maximise the value generated by Member State investments, rationalise the usage of data access infrastructure and related developments, and foster new forms of data-driven collaboration across the EMI and users of meteorological data.