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ESSEM COST Action ES1303
Towards operational ground based profiling with ceilometers, doppler lidars and microwave radiometers for improving weather forecasts (TOPROF)

The new generation of high-resolution (1km) weather forecast models now operational over Europe promises to revolutionise predictions of severe weather and poor air quality. To realise this promise, a dense observing network is required, focusing especially on the lowest few km of the atmosphere, so that forecast models have the most realistic state of the atmosphere for initialisation, continuous assimilation and verification. This Action will focus on developing three instruments available throughout Europe: i) Several hundreds of ceilometers providing backscatter profiles of aerosol and cloud properties with 30m vertical resolution every minute, ii) more than 20 Doppler lidars, a new technology, providing vertical and horizontal winds in the lower atmosphere with a resolution of 30m every 5 minutes, and iii) About 30 microwave profilers giving profiles of temperature and humidity in the lowest few km every 10 minutes. These instruments are relatively inexpensive and have proven suitable for unmanned network operations. Current and recent COST and FP7 projects have considered the profiling ability of advanced lidars and radars, but none has specifically addressed these three instruments. In collaboration with Numerical Weather Prediction centres, the action will lead towards operational networking of these existing but so far under-exploited, instruments.

(Descriptions are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.)

General Information*

Chair of the Action:


Vice Chair of the Action:

Dr Dominique RUFFIEUX (CH)

Science officer of the Action:

Dr Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative officer of the Action:



Action Fact Sheet

Download AFS as .RTF

Memorandum of Understanding

Download MoU as PDF


* content provided by e-COST.
Data is synchronised once per night.


Last updated: 28 May 2013 top of page