THORPEX (The Observing-System Research and Predictability Experiment)

THORPEX: A Global Atmospheric Research program was established in May 2003 by the Fourteenth World Meteorological Congress under the auspices of the WMO Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) and is a long-term research program organized under the World Meteorological Organization's World Weather Research Program. It is a 10-year international research and development programme to accelerate improvements in the accuracy of 1-day to 2- week high impact weather forecasts for the benefit of society, the economy and environmental stewardship and to reduce and mitigate the effects of natural disasters on society by transforming timely and accurate weather forecasts into specific and definite information in support of decisions that produce the desired benefits. THORPEX research topics include: global-to-regional influences on the evolution and predictability of weather systems; global observing system design and demonstration; multi-model ensemble predictions; targeting and assimilation of observations; and, social and economic and environmental benefits of improved weather forecasts.

THORPEX contributes to the development of a future global, interactive, multi-model, ensemble forecast system, which would generate numerical probabilistic products, available to all WMO Members including developing countries. The purpose is to provide accurate, timely, specific and definite weather warnings in a form that can be readily used in decision support tools, to improve and demonstrate such tools in order to reduce the impact of natural hazards and to realize societal and economic benefits of improved weather forecasts. THORPEX research will contribute to the design and the next generation global observing system from the perspective of weather. Thus, THORPEX will contribute to the goals of such programs as GOESS (the Global Earth Observing System of Systems).

THORPEX will advance our basic knowledge of the atmosphere through a focus on the global-to-regional processes that lead to high impact weather. THORPEX will also advance our knowledge of the predictability of such weather systems.

A desired outcome from THORPEX is an increased fundamental understanding of the dynamics and predictability of the atmosphere. In that context it will be necessary to determine how such predictability depends on larger space- and time-scale phenomena such as the variability of the organization of tropical convection in the intra-sesaonal oscillation, and to investigate the ability to predict weather between one and two weeks ahead. Another desired outcome is the development of much improved global and regional forecast systems.

The program establishes an organizational framework that addresses weather research and forecast problems whose solutions will be accelerated through international collaboration between academic institutions, operational forecast centres and users of forecast products.

Committee Membership and Sub-programme Leaders

Celeste Saulo Argentina University of Buenos Aires email
Dr Peter Steinle* Australia Bureau of Meteorology email
Mr Howard Diamond USA NOAA/NCDC email
Dr Manoel Gan Brazil INPE/CPTEC email
Dr Dirceu Herdies Brazil INPE/CPTEC email
Dr David Johnston New Zealand Joint Centre for Disaster Research, GNS Science/Massey University email
Teke Ramotubei Lesoto Lesotho Meteorological Service. email
Ms Filomena Nelson Samoa Disaster Management Office, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment email
Dr Matthieu Plu France (La Réunion) Météo-France email
Mr Eugene Poolman* South Africa South African Weather Service email
Monica Marino Argentina Argentina Weather Service email
Mr Galebonwe Ramaphane Botswana Department of Meteorological Services email
Prof Ian Simmonds Australia University of Melbourne email
Martina Suaya Argentina Argentina Weather Service email
Dr Michael Uddstrom New
NIWA email
* co-chairs