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Met Éireann researchers in European collaboration to improve forecasts for the solar energy industry
09 October 2014



Met Éireann is a member of the HARMONIE (HiRLAM Aladin Regional Mesoscale Operational NWP In Europe) numerical weather prediction consortium which develops the high resolution HARMONIE model mainly used for short range weather forecasting. Met Éireann uses the model as guidance for forecasts out to 54 hours ahead. As well as using HARMONIE for operational weather forecasting purposes, researchers at Met Éireann are also involved in the development of the model.

One area of development we work on is the improvement of the solar (shortwave) and terrestrial (longwave) radiation physics  in HARMONIE. This radiation interacts with clouds, atmospheric gases, aerosols and the Earth's surface undergoing absorption, scattering, reflection and emission processes. Radiation schemes in numerical weather prediction (NWP) models are one of the most computationally time-consuming components and efforts to improve their speed and accuracy are of high importance.

The EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC requires that 20% of the energy consumed within the EU comes from renewable sources by the year 2020. As solar energy is a major source of renewable power, the provision of high accuracy solar radiation forecasts for use in the solar energy sector throughout Europe is becoming increasingly important.

Met Éireann collaborates with the Danish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute and the Estonian Meteorological Hydrological Institute on improving the solar radiation physics in HARMONIE and has recently published the following paper in Geoscientific Model Development:

Link to paper:

Model information:,

For further information contact:

Emily Gleeson

Research, Environment and Applications Division, Met Éireann

e: Emily DOT Gleeson AT

t: 01-8064236


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