International co-operation, such as the gathering of global observational information, is essential to the work of all national weather services
Weather and climate crosses borders of countries and as such international co-operation is essential to the work of all national meteorological and hydrological services. The Met Office engages with intergovernmental organisations to co-ordinate mutually beneficial activities, including sharing observations of weather, hydrology and oceanography with other countries, as well as sharing resources for research and capacity development. Participating in these collaborative activities contributes to the foundation of our capability to provide services enabling the UK and other nations to stay safe and thrive.
The WMO is dedicated to international co-operation and co-ordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources. The Met Office leads the UK’s engagement with the WMO, providing global leadership in key areas.
WMO’s intergovernmental agreements allow all member countries to share information and data with each other on a free and unrestricted basis. This forms the foundation of our capability to provide weather, climate and hydrological services enabling the UK and other nations to make decisions based on the best available information.
WMO runs a Voluntary Cooperation Programme (VCP) to work in partnership with the local meteorological and hydrological services in developing countries. For more information on the Met Office’s contribution visit our VCP page.
The European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an intergovernmental organisation governed and supported by 34 Member States and Co-operating States.
The UK is a founder member of ECMWF (established in 1975) and is the host nation, with its headquarters based in Reading. The Met Office leads representation to ECMWF on behalf of the UK.
ECMWF is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service. Its primary purpose is to produce global numerical weather forecasts, carry out scientific and technical research to improve forecast skill and maintain an archive of meteorological data. ECMWF is also an entrusted entity to operate two services from the EU Copernicus Earth Observation programme: the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
ECMWF is one of the six members of the Co-ordinated Organisations, which also include the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the Council of Europe (CoE), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, dedicated to the provision of satellite observations in support of weather, climate and ocean science. EUMETSAT was established in 1986 and has 30 Member States.
EUMETSAT’s strategic goal is to ensure the continuity and improvement of satellite observations. These observations are vital inputs to the weather, climate and environmental information services delivered by the National Meteorological Services of their Member States and ECMWF. To do this, EUMETSAT operates the Meteosat series of satellites in geostationary orbit and the Metop satellites in a polar low-Earth orbit. EUMETSAT is also a part-funder of the Jason/Sentinel-6 series of ocean altimetry satellites. EUMETSAT plays an important role in the EU Copernicus programme, operating Sentinel-3, -4, -5 and -6 missions.
The Met Office leads representation to EUMETSAT on behalf of the UK, representing the nation’s interests within the Space and Earth Observations sector for the benefit of weather and climate monitoring and research.
EUMETNET is a grouping of 31 European National Meteorological and Hydrological Services including the Met Office. It provides a framework to allow cooperation and collaboration between members in meteorological activities including observations, forecasting, aviation and climate.
EUMETNET’s mission statement is: “To help its Members to develop and share their individual and joint capabilities through cooperation programmes that enable enhanced networking, interoperability, optimisation and integration within Europe; and also to enable collective representation with European bodies in order that these capabilities can be exploited effectively.”
The Met Office is currently the co-ordinating member of the EUMETNET Observations programme for the period 2019 – 2023. The EUMETNET observations programme provides a substantial proportion of European surface observing capability and is a great example of collaboration between Meteorological Services.
The Met Office is also a member of ECOMET, a grouping of 28 European National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. ECOMET was established in 1995 to ensure fair competition in the field of meteorological services through wide availability of basic meteorological data.
ECOMET’s core objective remains in maintaining a level playing field for commercial activities in Europe. In support of this, ECOMET operates and maintains an administrative framework to increase and facilitate the access to data and products throughout Europe for ECOMET members and third parties. ECOMET also advises the community on data policy, in particular regarding the exchange of meteorological data and products.
Most Met Office data is openly available in the ECOMET catalogue, along with the data of other ECOMET members.