Cloud technologies open many new opportunities for the community working in operational meteorology to better serve our users. Emerging and mature cloud infrastructures in the weather domain, such as the WEkEO DIAS and the European Weather Cloud, allow users to access the full extent of large volumes of weather and climate data without having to move it first. Offering server-side processing, either through standardised APIs or web user interfaces, has become common place and enables interactive data analytics using machine learning on a larger scale. The impact of these new technologies will continue to revolutionise many aspects of our work: data delivery, web applications for decision makers, product developments, service monitoring and training.
A special interest for ECMWF is how users can take advantage of the full potential of our forecast data, especially ensemble data. Web services, such as ecCharts, have made it possible in recent years for users to explore all of ECMWF's forecasts visually. Still it has been challenging for scientists and developers to explore all of ECMWF's data and prototype new products targeted for their users. Cloud technologies combined with the popular and powerful Python ecosystem allow us now to open up these opportunities. At the same time our user community is growing and therefore new interfaces have been designed to be less domain specific to open up the potential of the data to data scientists across disciplines. This development is not only limited to ECMWF and we are keen to share and hear from the experience in our community.
ECMWF invited participants to share and exchange their experiences and plans for using cloud technologies to improve our services at this virtual workshop. Contributions covered the following topics:
- New possibilities for user services through the use of the cloud
- Server-side processing and data analytics of meteorological data
- New opportunities for provision of training using the cloud
- The role of standards and APIs to move services between cloud environments