Numerical Weather Prediction

The NWP SAF aims to improve and support the interface between satellite data/products and European activities in NWP.

SAF Official Service Name

Satellite Application Facility on Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP SAF)

SAF on Numerical Weather Prediction

SAF Objectives

The NWP SAF exists to increase the benefits derived from numerical weather prediction by developing techniques for more effective use of satellite data, and to improve the exploitation of data and products from EUMETSAT satellites programmes, and related programmes of other agencies.

To achieve these objectives, the NWP SAF updates, assesses and prioritises user requirements and develops the satellite data processing modules needed to meet those requirements. These include: pre-processing; retrieval and assimilation modules; modules for monitoring, tuning and quality control, and modules for validation of satellite products and of observation operators. It also monitors the quality of many satellite data streams and makes the results available on the web. European National Meteorological Services are the NWP SAF's primary users, but the tools it develops have found a worldwide community of users, with a wide range of research and operational applications extending well beyond NWP. NWP SAF products also underpin activities in international programmes, such as the Copernicus programme.

SAF Leader and Consortium

Leading Entity
Met Office, UK

Consortium Members
Météo-France, France
Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, The Netherlands

SAF Phases

Development Phase: November 1998–February 2004
Initial Operations Phase: March 2004–February 2007
Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2007–February 2012
Second Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2012–February 2017
Third Continuous Development and Operations Phase: March 2017–February 2022

SAF input satellite data

The NWP SAF does not routinely process satellite data, but provides users with tools to process such data in their own applications, principally assimilation for NWP. Satellites and instruments addressed by former, existing or planned NWP SAF products, or by NWP SAF data monitoring activities, include the following:

Sensor Satellite   Sensor Satellite   Sensor Satellite
MVIRI /SEVIRI MTP/MSG   MODIS Terra/Aqua   WindSat Coriolis
Other geostationary imagers GOES, MTSAT, etc.   SCAT, ASCAT ERS-2, Metop      

SAF products

The products provided by the NWP SAF are mainly software modules for processing satellite data and web-based data monitoring reports. See the Product Navigator for detailed information on the NWP SAF products.

SAF structure and procedures

The NWP SAF develops software products for use at licensed users' own sites. It does not derive and distribute geophysical products for operational purposes, and, therefore, does not maintain infrastructure to support such activities.

NWP SAF software products are developed, maintained and enhanced in the research and development departments of the consortium members: the Met Office (UK), ECMWF, KNMI and Météo France. Most of the products involve contributions from more than one member. Each product has a designated member responsible for its distribution to users, usually by FTP.

The data monitoring reports are freely available at the monitoring reports section on the NWP SAF's website, which is hosted by the Met Office.

SAF user community

National Meteorological Services, European and worldwide NWP communities, EUMETSAT, other SAFs, RARS operating centres, European Union (through application of NWP SAF products to Copernicus activities), atmospheric research institutes and scientists worldwide, global community of users needing to check the quality of satellite data.