computerruimte van het KNMI (Bron Tineke Dijkstra)

Weather & Climate Models

The department Research and Development of Weather and Climate models (RDWK) investigates and develops research tools for weather and air quality prediction applications and climate models. We work on detailed physical processes, data assimilation, long term climate projections and practical applications including storm surge forecasts and statistics of extremes. RDWK participates in a number of international projects directed towards a variety of weather and climate related research and development areas and acts as the Netherlands Focal Point to the IPCC.

RDWK is structured in 3 clusters: Mesoscale modelling develops tools for regional numerical weather prediction (NWP) and climate analyses; Large scale modelling focuses on global climate and atmospheric chemistry; Postprocessing and Analysis develops statistical analyses, applications and climate services.

RDWK consists of about 45 research professionals (including PhD and technical support staff). We have a strong international network, and most activities are executed in collaboration with partners in e.g. HIRLAM/Harmonie, EC-Earth, ECMWF and universities.

Contracts from Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, funding organisation NWO, the European Copernicus program and European research programs provide roughly half of the annual portfolio. The other half is basic funding for servicing the weather forecast centre, climate scenarios and strategic research.

Some recent and ongoing activities and projects: development of the NWP model system Harmonie, and its tailoring to the needs of the KNMI Early Warning Centre is embedded in the HIRLAM consortium work program, and focuses on data assimilation and ensemble prediction. The KNMI’14 climate change scenarios will be followed by a new generation of generic and specific scenarios in the timeframe 2018-2020, focusing on future weather applications, urban scenarios and sea level rise. Contributions to the international EC-Earth program focuses on the development of high resolution projections and the coupling of atmospheric chemistry in the Earth System Model configuration. Observations and climate models are used to attribute causes of past climate change and extreme weather events.  The KNMI Climate Explorer is a web-based climate data browser, used by many students, researchers and practicioners worldwide. Other research topics include air quality forecasting, extreme precipitation statistics, sea level rise, and evaluation of weather alerts.

Infographic KNMI weather and climate models

News

  • A figure showing changes in the moisture budget terms (precipitation, vaporization, atmospheric moisture transport across 70°N) in the Arctic region (70-90N) A. Average values, B. Year-to-year variations

    Strong increase in year-to-year variation in Arctic precipitation

    Recent research by climatologists from KNMI, UG, WUR and TU Delft shows that, on average, more precipitation will fall in the Arctic region due to global warming. Initially this will mainly take the form of snow; after continued warming, this will turn into rain. A new article from climatologist Prof. Richard Bintanja (KNMI and UG) and his colleagues from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), which was published in Science Advances, shows that the year-to-year variation in precipitation will also strongly increase. This increase has a very different cause than the average increase in Arctic precipitation.
  • the knmi wow logo

    Citizen Science Wind Observations in The Netherlands

    Early career researchers from KNMI (RDKW and the DataLab), WUR, TU Delft and UU met at KNMI last Thursday to discuss citizen science wind observations in The Netherlands
  • A photo of wind damage that caused a tree to fall over

    Estimating wind gusts during severe wind conditions

    Extreme windstorms are the most important natural hazards affecting Europe. Losses are not primarily caused by the sustained wind speed but by the gusts, i.e., the maxima of the wind speed during a few seconds.
Show all news

Projects

  • IMPRINT

    Improvement of sub-seasonal probabilistic forecasts of European high-impact weather events using machine learning techniques
  • CRIME

    Cloud Representation, IMprovement and Evaluation in the HARMONIE model
  • HARATU

    An improved turbulence scheme for Harmonie-Arome
Show all projects

Publications

Show all publications