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


  • effect of reduced sea ice

    Do cold winters have an Arctic cause?

    Climate change leads to a warming Arctic and the decline of sea ice in the winter. The decrease in sea ice is sometimes linked to the occurrence of extreme winter cold at moderate latitudes. In a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from the KNMI and the University of Exeter conclude that a decrease in sea ice does not cause the cold waves: fluctuations in the atmospheric circulation simultaneously cause both a decrease in sea ice and cold waves at mid-latitudes.
  • A map of Java

    A comparative verification of raw and bias-corrected ECMWF seasonal ensemble precipitation reforecasts in Java (Indonesia)

    Seasonal forecasts of precipitation are becoming an increasingly important element in decision making systems in Indonesia, especially in the agriculture and hydrological sectors. In these two sectors, stakeholders and decision makers need seasonal forecasts to assist them in their planning strategy. However, seasonal forecasts from global circulation models are afflicted with biases to a degree that precludes their direct use, including seasonal ensemble forecasts of precipitation from the new ECMWF Seasonal Forecast System 5 (ECMWF-SEAS5). Lead author Dian Nur Ratri says "Our study shows that biases can be corrected using Empirical Quantile Mapping (EQM) bias correction (BC)". The results were published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
  • .

    30th EGOWS meeting

    The 30th annual meeting of the European Working Group on Operational meteorological Workstations (EGOWS) is hosted by the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in De Bilt, The Netherlands, November 12-14, 2019.
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    Cloud Representation, IMprovement and Evaluation in the HARMONIE model

    An improved turbulence scheme for Harmonie-Arome
  • CAMS_42

    Development of Global Reactive Gases Aspects for the Copernicus Atmospere Monitoring Service
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