An overview of who we are can be found in the Who we are section. Below, we offer a breakdown of some of the essential facts relating to our work (as of December 2021).
- 23 Member States and 12 Co-operating States.
- About 390 employees from over 30 countries.
- Established in 1975.
Headquarters in Reading (UK), with sites in Bologna (Italy) and Bonn (Germany).
- The Member and Co-operating States of ECMWF are the principal source of finance for the Centre, with contributions totalling £51.3 million in 2020.
- External organisations support both core research and the complementary goals of the Centre. In 2020 their funding totalled £61 million, while revenue from sales of data and products provided additional income of just under £11 million.
- The term 'medium range' refers to time periods up to about 2 weeks ahead. Extended forecasts are also produced for monthly and seasonal timescales.
- The weather services of ECMWF Member States receive ECMWF's numerical weather prediction data in real time – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Forecasts are produced four times per day for weather services, commercial customers and research projects.
- Commercial licences are held by customers in over 30 countries.
- ECMWF uses advanced computer modelling techniques to analyse observations and predict future weather.
- ECMWF routinely processes data from around 90 satellite instruments as part of its operational daily data assimilation and monitoring activities. We receive 800 million observations daily, and 60 million quality-controlled observations are available daily for use in the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS); the vast majority of these are satellite measurements, but ECMWF also benefits from all available observations from non-satellite sources, including surface-based and aircraft reports.
Science and technology partnerships
- We use the scientific advances made in areas such as data assimilation, Earth system modelling, predictability and reanalysis to improve our forecasts.
- We have research partnerships with national meteorological services of the Member States and Co-operating States.
- We also carry out a number of research projects coordinated and financed through the European Union, European space agencies and national funding sources.
ECMWF, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) are the three organisations entrusted by the EU to deliver the first phase of the EU's Destination Earth programme.
- ECMWF's supercomputers are among the largest of their type in Europe.
- Our supercomputers operate with a sustained speed of more than 330 trillion floating point operations per second (330 teraflops).
The Centre’s next supercomputer will be made up of four Atos BullSequana XH2000 clusters and is planned to become operational in 2022.
- Our supercomputers serve a variety of purposes, with 50% capacity used for research, 25% used by Member States and 25% used for production of operational forecasts.
- The ECMWF meteorological data archive (MARS) is the largest in the world and continues to grow. As of November 2020, it contains around 270 petabytes of operational and research data, with about 200 terabytes being added daily. More than 400 billion meteorological fields are stored in MARS.
Read more about Supercomputing at ECMWF.