The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute
In the Netherlands, KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) is known mainly for its weather forecasts and warnings, but is does a lot more in its capacity as a national data and knowledge centre for weather, climate research and seismology.
KNMI was founded by Royal Decree on 31 January 1854. C.H.D. Buys Ballot (1817-1890), its first general director, chose to establish KNMI at the Sonnenborgh observatory in Utrecht. In 1897, the Institute moved to De Bilt, where its headquarters is still located today. In all, KNMI has some 500 employees.
Prof. C.H.D. Buys Ballot (1817-1890)
KNMI is the national institute for weather, climate research and seismology. It disseminates weather information to the public at large, the government, aviation and the shipping industry in the interest of safety, the economy and a sustainable environment. To gain insight into long-term developments, KNMI conducts research on climate change. Making the knowledge, data and information on hand at KNMI accessible is one core activity. KNMI is an agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu). KNMI’s duties are set forth in KNMI Act (Wet op het KNMI).
Working globally - 24 hours a day
KNMI operates twenty-four hours a day. The combination of infrastructure, technology, sciences and service is unique in the fields of weather, climate research and seismology. On an international level, KNMI works closely with other institutes and research establishments, such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in England. KNMI also represents the Netherlands in numerous other international organisations, such as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European meteorological satellite network EUMETSAT.
At the weather centre in De Bilt, KNMI prepares 24 hours a day weather forecasts and warnings for the public at large and the aviation and shipping industries. For National Airport Schiphol and Rotterdam Airport KNMI offers meteorological data and service at the airports.
KNMI conducts both strategic and applied meteorological research. The strategic research focuses on understanding the most important processes that determine developments in the atmosphere, the oceans and on land, while the applied research focuses on answering questions posed by society and on developing the observation and modelling systems required to generate the necessary data. By housing operational meteorology and meteorological research under one roof, KNMI harnesses the power of synergy.
Climate research at KNMI focuses on observing, understanding and predicting changes in climate systems. Our selection of research topics is based on the state of international and Dutch climate research and on questions posed by the government and the public, such as: how does our climate change? What are the causes of climate change? What will our future climate be like?
In addition, KNMI also conducts research in the field of seismology, makes observations that form the basis for this research and disseminates information to a wide audience on earthquakes and related phenomena.