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

  • bams logo

    A review of state-of-the-art machine learning methods for improving probabilistic weather forecasts

    KNMI scientists, Dr Maurice Schmeits and Dr Kirien Whan, have contributed to a review of the latest methods to improve weather forecasts using statistical and machine learning methods. The review was led by Dr Stéphane Vannitsem from the Belgium Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) and had contributions from scientists working on statistical post-processing at 11 national weather services (NWSs) in Europe, as well as Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
  • A map of the Arctic

    Climate State Dependence of Arctic Precipitation Variability

    Arctic precipitation is projected to increase more rapidly than the global mean in warming climates. However, warming-induced changes in the variability of Arctic precipitation are largely unknown. Scientists from KNMI, in collaboration with the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (Utrecht University), Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (University of Groningen), and the Water Systems and Global Change Group (Wageningen University & Research), have shown that the increase in precipitation variability towards warmer climates does not scale with the increase in mean precipitation. This is mainly attributed to the origin: while the increase in mean precipitation is largely attributed to the increase in surface evaporation, the increase in precipitation variability is attributed to variability in poleward moisture transport.
  • 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.
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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
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Publications

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