The interpretation of improvements in global NWP skill depends crucially on the parameter, metrics and application of interest. Judged against traditional parameters e.g. 500hPa height, PMSL, global NWP might be viewed as a subject of diminishing returns in recent years. However, this masks the significant improvements associated with broadening of applications of global NWP over the past decade e.g. direct prediction of weather (e.g. cloud/precipitation analysis and prediction) and providing the boundary conditions for NWP at km-scale. Therefore, the true value of global NWP has to be assessed in this wider context. This talk will provide an assessment of global NWP skill improvements in this wider context.
Looking forward, the need for continued prioritization to maintain global NWP skill improvements is as important as it ever was and so a 'rolling review of requirements' process is essential. Where is the 'Achilles Heel' of the global NWP system? Which current/new applications or regional foci of global NWP provide the greatest potential return on investment? Is the solution new observations (if so, which, where and what?) or even greater investment in NWP to reduce biases and/or provide more diverse output? The answer is almost certainly both, especially given that global NWP is often only one of several applications of the global observing network (e.g. direct use by forecasters, etc). This talk will provide a summary of which areas the Met Office sees as priority areas for investment to improve global NWP in the next few years.