E-SURFMAR stands for Surface Marine observations. E-SURFMAR Operational Service is one of the component of the EUMETNET Observation Programme. It delivers marine observations from Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) operated by EUMETNET members, as well as from drifting and moored buoys. EUMETNET EIG is the grouping of European National Meteorological Services.
In 2015, 19 European Meteorological Services out of the 31 EUMETNET members, are participating in the E-SURFMAR Operational Service. The objective of the service is to co-ordinate, optimise and progressively integrate the activities for surface observations over the sea within the EUMETNET Observation Programme.
The initial programme started on 1st April 2003. It has been initially defined with a duration of 4 years (2003-2006). A second period, in phase with the other EUMETNET observation programmes lasted from 2007 to 2012. In 2013, the E-SURFMAR Programme became an Operational Service. The present period runs till the end of 2017. Meteo-France has been responsible for E-SURFMAR since its start in 2003.
E-SURFMAR includes Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS) operated by participating members as well as data buoys which had been co-ordinated by the European Group on Ocean Stations (EGOS) for many years. E-SURFMAR Operational Service is fitted with an Expert Team who helps the Programme Manager to conduct the programme. The Expert Team is composed of two groups, one for the observing ships, another one for the data buoys.
One of the main objective of the EUMETNET Observation Programme is to optimise the ground observing system to improve short range forecast over Europe. In this context, a suitable network of surface marine observations has been proposed by E-SURFMAR to meet WMO requirements of surface marine data for regional Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) as complement of the data provided by satellite remote sensing. The proposition includes an increase of the density of air pressure measurements carried out in the north of 30N in the North Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the use of a few moored buoys for the calibration and the validation of wind and wave satellite data.