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Simmer, Clemens; Adrian, Gerhard; Jones, Sarah; Wirth, Volkmar; Göber, Martin; Hohenegger, Cathy; Janjic, Tijana; Keller, Jan; Ohlwein, Christian; Seifert, Axel; Trömel, Silke; Ulbrich, Thorsten; Wapler, Kathrin; Weissmann, Martin; Keller, Julia; Masbou, Matthieu; Meilinger, Stefanie; Riß, Nicole; Schomburg, Annika; Vormann, Arnd; Weingärtner, Christa (2016): HErZ: The German Hans-Ertel Centre for Weather Research. In: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 97, No. 6: pp. 1057-1068
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Abstract

In 2011, the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development laid the foundation of the Hans-Ertel Centre for Weather Research [Hans-Ertel-Zentrum fur Wetterforschung (HErZ)] in order to better connect fundamental meteorological research and teaching at German universities and atmospheric research centers with the needs of the German national weather service Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD). The concept for HErZ was developed by DWD and its scientific advisory board with input from the entire German meteorological community. It foresees core research funding of about Euro2,000,000 yr(-1) over a 12-yr period, during which time permanent research groups must be established and DWD subjects strengthened in the university curriculum. Five priority research areas were identified: atmospheric dynamics and predictability, data assimilation, model development, climate monitoring and diagnostics, and the optimal use of information from weather forecasting and climate monitoring for the benefit of society. Following an open call, five groups were selected for funding for the first 4-yr phase by an international review panel. A dual project leadership with one leader employed by the academic institute and the other by DWD ensures that research and teaching in HErZ is attuned to DWD needs and priorities, fosters a close collaboration with DWD, and facilitates the transfer of fundamental research into operations. In this article, we describe the rationale behind HErZ and the road to its establishment, present some scientific highlights from the initial five research groups, and discuss the merits and future development of this new concept to better link academic research with the needs and challenges of a national weather service.