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COST 732

Quality Assurance and Improvement of Micro-Scale Meteorological Models

COST 732 in Brief


  • The increasing use of micro-scale meteorological models is paralleled by a growing public awareness that the majority of these models have never been the subject of rigorous evaluation and quality assurance. Consequently, there is a lack of confidence in the modelled results.

  • To cast doubt on the results is perfectly justified, as was shown by systematic studies in which applications of the same model by different modellers to a given problem and applications of different models by either the same or different modellers to the same problem revealed significant differences. Nevertheless, these models are used in the preparation of decisions with profound economic and political consequences.

  • The reason that most of the models lack quality assurance is not due to insufficient efforts spent by the model developers, it is mainly caused by

  • the lack of a generally accepted quality assurance procedure for such models, and

  • the lack of data sets that are quality checked and generally accepted as a standard for model validation purposes.


The main objective of the Action is to improve and assure the quality of micro-scale meteorological models that are applied for predicting flow and transport processes in urban or industrial environments.


In particular it is intended

  • to develop a coherent and structured quality assurance procedure for these type of models which gives clear guidance to developers and users of such models as to how to properly assure their quality and their proper application,
  • to provide a systematically compiled set of appropriate and sufficiently detailed data for model validation work in a convenient and generally accessible form (www data bank),
  • to invite from all participating states scientists and users to apply the procedure and to prove its serviceability,
  • to build a consensus within the community of micro-scale model developers and users regarding the usefulness of the procedure,
  • to stimulate a widespread application of the procedure and the preparation of quality assurance protocols which prove the ‘fitness for purpose’ of all micro-scale meteorological models participating in this activity,
  • to contribute to the proper use of models by disseminating information on the range of applicability, the potential and the limitations of such models,
  • to identify the current weaknesses of the models and data bases,
  • to give recommendations for focussed experimental programmes in order to improve the data base and
  • to give recommendations for the improvement of present models and, if necessary, for new model parameterisations or even new model developments.


  • It is to be expected that the very existence of a widely accepted European standard for quality assurance in the field of micro-scale meteorological models in combination with the provision of suitable validation data will significantly improve “the culture” within which such models are developed and applied.


  • Model developers from all over Europe will find step-by-step guidance on how to demonstrate that their models are fit for a particular purpose. Data sets obtained from extensive experiments will be made accessible and more widely exploited.


  • Relevant expertise available within the member states will be brought together and combined to develop a consensus for appropriate model use and model improvement.


  • A state of the art report, which collects and synthesises the available expertise on quality assurance initiatives in the field of micro-scale meteorological modelling. Preparation of a glossary with a clear definition of terms that are used in the context of quality assurance work.

  • A Quality Assurance Plan for micro-scale meteorological models including a guideline for model developers on how to perform a structured model evaluation procedure for such models.

  • A collection of quality-checked validation data sets for micro-scale flow and transport models as complete as practically possible with known uncertainty ranges for the key parameters.

  • Recommendations for the improvement of model parameterisations, of sub-modules for specific processes or for micro-scale meteorological flow and transport models as such based on the results of the structured quality assurance work.


COST action 732 started March 30, 2005 and will end March 31, 2009

More information

More information is given in the memorandum of understanding