The Deutscher Wetterdienst, German pronunciation: [ˌdɔʏ̯ʧɐ ˈvɛtɐdiːnst], commonly abbreviated as DWD, (translated from German as German Meteorological Service), residing in Offenbach am Main, Germany, is a scientific agency that monitors weather and meteorological conditions over Germany and offers weather services for the general public as well as specific services for e.g. nautical, aviational or agricultural purposes. Organizationally, it lies within the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (Germany). The DWDs main task is to warn against weather-related dangers, as well as monitoring and rating changes in the German climate. The organization runs atmospheric models on their own supercomputer to help in the task of weather forecasting. The DWD is also responsible for running the national climate archive and runs one of the biggest libraries worldwide that is specialized on weather and climate.
The DWD was founded in 1952 by joining the weather services of the western occupation zones. In 1954 the Federal Republic of Germany joined the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In 1975 the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) was founded for numerical weather prediction up to ten days in advance. In 1990 the DWD integrated the weather services of the German Democratic Republic after reunification.
Since the 1990s, the DWD continuously decreased the number of manned weather stations, which resulted in substantial staff cutbacks. According to the DWD, no reduction in forecast quality is to be expected, since techniques like weather radar or satellites have significantly improved weather data overall.
Numerical weather prediction
The German Weather Service has been running their global hydrostatic model, the GME, using a hexagonal icosohedral grid since 2002. They developed the High Resolution Regional Model (HRM) in 1999, which is widely run within the operational and research meteorological communities and run with hydrostatic assumptions. The German non-hydrostatic Lokal-Modell for Europe (LME) has been run since 2002, and an increase in areal domain became operational on September 28, 2005. Since March 2009, the DWD operates a NEC SX-9 with a peak performance of 109 teraFLOPS to help in the weather forecasting process.
Since 2005, the DWD publishes regional warnings against heat with the aim to reduce heat related fatalities. This decision was made because of the hot summer in 2003, when estimated 7000 people died from direct or indirect effects of the heat. Additionally it sends out sea weather reports as radioteletype and faxes. Since 2006, the pollen warnings can be subscribed to for free on the DWD web site. Within its duty of primary meteorological information, the DWD offers a free daily weather report for Germany which can be subscribed to by e-mail on their official home page.
The Deutsche Wetteramt belongs to the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs. This establishes a close link to the German government, communes, economy, industry, country and state ministries for purposes of cooperation and consulting. Its work is based on the law about the DWD ("Gesetz über den Deutschen Wetterdienst"). Currently, the DWD consists of roughly 2600 occupants. Besides the DWD central in Offenbach, there are regional centers in Hamburg, Potsdam, Leipzig, Essen, Stuttgart and Munich. Additionally, it runs Germany's densest network of meteorological measurement points with 183 full-time meteorological stations (60 of them manned), as well as about 1784 extraordinal weather stations run by volunteering amateurs (2014).
- Eikenberg, S., K. Frohlich, A. Seifert, S. Crewell, and M. Mech (2011-02-25). "Evaluation of ice and snow content in the global numerical weather prediction model GME with CloudSat" (PDF). Geoscientific Model Development 4: 422. Bibcode:2011GMDD....4..419E. doi:10.5194/gmdd-4-419-2011. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Center (2009-09-29). "HRM - Atmospheric Model". Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- Schultz, J.-P. (2006). "The New Lokal-Modell LME of the German Weather Service" (PDF). Consortium for Small-scale Modeling (6). Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- "Neuer Computer sagt Wetter genauer voraus". Berliner Morgenpost (in German). March 18, 2009.
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