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Project start01.01.2001
Project end31.12.2013
StatusCompleted projects
  • Research & cooperation
  • Climate


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Swiss federal authoritiesSwiss federal authorities

National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Climate

From 2001 to 2013 MeteoSwiss has contributed to the Swiss Research Networks NCCR Climate I-III with several sub-projects.

These internal projects included the development of probabilistic forecasting systems for extreme weather events and the seasonal time scale. Furthermore, several observational data sets were analysed and water vapour measurements were calibrated.

NCCR Climate II (2005 - 2008)

Climate variability Today and Tomorrow:

Society and many sectors of the economy have a growing need for the reliable assessment of weather and climate risks. In response to this, MeteoSwiss has chosen climate variability and its predictability as the focus of its activities for the NCCR Climate.

Research has been conducted in the following areas: improvement of monthly forecasts and seasonal forecasts, new methods for predicting heavy precipitation, damage potential of winter storms in Europe, connections between large scale circulation patterns and regional weather parameters such as temperature, snow and phenological phases. With these activities, MeteoSwiss supports on the one hand its customers in their effort to manage weather and climate risks more effectively, on the other hand it makes a contribution to current climate research.

MeteoSwiss NCCR Climate II project overview:

Final Symposium of NCCR Climate II at MeteoSwiss

Hotel Zürichberg, Zürich
22th of January, 2009

Climate Variability Today and Tomorrow:
The Contribution of MeteoSwiss to NCCR Climate II

Most of the talks were given in German.

09:00 Begrüssung und Begrüssungskaffee

09:30 Begrüssung, Gerhard Müller, MeteoSchweiz

09:45 Forschung der MeteoSchweiz im Rahmen des NCCR Climate II, Christof Appenzeller, Mark Liniger, MeteoSchweiz

10:15 Towards cloud-resolving regional climate simulations over the Alpine region, Cathy Hohenegger, ETH Zürich

10:45 Schnee- und Temperaturvariabilität im Schweizer Alpenraum, Simon Scherrer, MeteoSchweiz

11:15 Verbesserung von Langfristprognosen durch Multimodelle und statistische Methoden, Andreas Weigel, MeteoSchweiz

11:45 Probabilistische Vorhersagen von Starkniederschlägen, Felix Fundel, MeteoSchweiz

12:15 Stehlunch

13:30 Die Anwendung probabilistischer Wettervorhersagen in landwirtschaftlichen Entscheidungsproblemen, Pierluigi Calanca, Forschungsanstalt Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART

14:00 Phänologische Muster und ihre Beziehung zum Klimawandel im grösseren Alpenraum, Nicole Meier, MeteoSchweiz

14:30 Der Einfluss sinkender Luftschadstoffe und steigender Treibhausgase auf die rasche Klimaänderung der letzten Dekaden, Rolf Philipona, MeteoSchweiz

15:00 Pause

15:30 Improved estimates of the European wind storm climate, related losses and the covariation of large-scale climate diagnostics, Paul Della-Marta, MeteoSchweiz / PartnerRe

16:00 Öffentlich-private Forschungszusammenarbeit in der Klimafolgenforschung, David Bresch, SwissRe

16:30 Abschluss, Mark Liniger, MeteoSchweiz

NCCR Climate III

As a governmental office one of our roles is to provide high quality climate information on the past, current and future conditions to the public, research and decision makers in federal offices, policy and private sector. MeteoSwiss is developing the scientific background to create such an information framework bundling resources from different external funding and a substantial internal contribution.

MeteoSwiss is an active member of the C2SM (Center for Climate Systems Modeling) and participant of various research projects, in particular of the NCCR Climate (Swiss National Center of Competence In Research - Climate), COST-Actions and projects funded by the European Union. MeteoSwiss coordinates the CH2011 Initiatve, an update of climate scenarios for Switzerland within the framework of C2SM and NCCR Climate.

Project vision

How will climate change affect Switzerland in the future: Will there be palm trees in Lucerne in 30 years? Will more floods occur and cause damages? Will agriculture profit from the new conditions? Or will everything stay the same?

And what about today’s climate: What precipitation field could cause a catastrophic flood event? Where are favorable wind conditions for alternative energy use? Is a Swiss harvest at danger in the upcoming weeks?

The overarching goal of our research project is to provide high resolution data sets in space and time which will help to answer such questions.

Weitere Projekte



Erdin, R. (2013): Geostatistical methods for hourly radar-gauge combination: An explorative, systematic application at MeteoSwiss. Scientific Report MeteoSwiss, 92.


Erdin, R., Frei, C. and Kuensch, H.R. (2012): Data transformation and uncertainty in geostatistical combination of radar and rain gauges. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 13, 1332-1346.

Gangsto, R., Weigel, A. P., Liniger, M. A., and Appenzeller, C. (2012): Comments on the evaluation of decadal predictions. Climate Research, doi: 10.3354/cr01135.

Hirschi, M., Spirig, C., Weigel, A. P., Calanca, P., Samietz, J. and Rotach, M. W. (in press): Monthly weather forecasts in a pest forecasting context: Downscaling, recalibration, and skill improvement. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 51(9):1633-1638, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-12-082.1

Scherrer, S.C., Ceppi, P., Croci-Maspoli, M. and Appenzeller, C. (2012): Snow-albedo feedback and Swiss spring temperature trends. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, doi:10.1007/s00704-012-0712-0.


Fischer, A.M., Weigel, A.P., Buser, C.M., Knutti, R., Künsch, H.R., Liniger, M.A., Schär, C. and Appenzeller, C. (2011): Climate Change Projections for Switzerland based on a Bayesian multi-model approach. International Journal of Climatology, doi: 10.1002/joc.3396.

Hirschi, M., Stöckli, S., Dubrovsky, M., Spirig, C., Calanca, P., Rotach, M.W., Fischer, A.M., Duffy, B. and Samietz, J. (2011): Downscaling climate change scenarios for apple pest and disease modeling in Switzerland. Earth System Dynamics, Vol. 2, 493-529.

Hirschi, M., Seneviratne, S., Alexandrov, V., Boberg, F., Boroneant, C., Christensen, O., Formayer, H., Orlowsky, B. and Stepanek, P. (2011): Observational evidence for soil-moisture impact on hot extremes in southeastern Europe. Nature Geoscience, Vol. 4, No. 1, 17-21.

Mason, S. J., Tippett, M. K., Weigel, A. P., Goddard, L. and Rajaratnam, B. (2011): Reply to "Comment of Conditional Exceedance Probabilities''. Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 139, 3325-3327.

Mueller, B., Seneviratne, S., Jimenez, C., Corti, T., Hirschi, M., Balsamo, G., Ciais, P., Dirmeyer, P., Fisher, J., Guo, Z., Jung, M., Maignan, F., McCabe, M., Reichle, R., Reichstein, M., Rodell, M., Sheffield, J., Teuling, A., Wang, K., Wood, E. and Zhang, Y. (2011): Evaluation of global observations-based evapotranspiration datasets and IPCC AR4 simulations. Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 38, No. L06402

Mueller, B., Hirschi, M. and Seneviratne, S. (2011): New diagnostic estimates of variations in terrestrial water storage based on ERA-Interim data. Hydrol. Process, Vol. 25, No. 7, 996-100.

Weigel, A. P. and Mason, S. J. (2011): The Generalized Discrimination Score for ensemble forecasts. Monthly Weather Review Vol. 139, No. 9, 3069-3074.


Calanca, P., Bolius, D., Weigel, A. P. and Liniger, M. A. (2010): Application of long-range weather forecasts to agricultural decision problems in Europe. J. Agricultural Science , Vol. 149, 15-22.

Ceppi, P., Scherrer, S. C., Fischer, A. M. and Appenzeller, C. (2010): Revisiting Swiss temperature trends 1959-2008. International Journal Of Climatology. DOI: joc.2260 10.1002

Della-Marta, P. M., Liniger, M. A., Appenzeller, C., Bresch, D. N., Köllner-Heck, P. and Muccione, V. (2010): Improved estimates of the European winter wind storm climate and the risk of reinsurance loss using climate models. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 49, 2092-2120

Fundel, F., Walser, A., Liniger, M. A., Frei, C. and Appenzeller, C. (2010): Calibrated Precipitation Forecasts for a Limited-Area Ensemble Forecast System Using Reforecasts. Mon. Weather Rev., Vol. 138, No. 1, 176-189

Scherrer, S. C. (2010): Present-day interannual variability of surface climate in CMIP3 models and its relation to the amplitude of future warming. International Journal Of Climatology

Schiemann, R., Erdin, R., Willi, M., Frei, C., Berenguer, M. and Sempere-Torres, D. (2010): Geostatistical radar rain-raingauge combination with nonparametric correlograms: methodological considerations and application in Switzerland. Hydrology and Earth System Science Discussion, Vol. 7, 6925-6979

Schiemann, R., Liniger, M. A. and Frei, C. (2010): Reduced-space optimal interpolation of daily rain-gauge precipitation in Switzerland. J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 115, No. D1410

Weigel, A. P., Knutti, R., Liniger, M. A. and Appenzeller, C. (2010): Risks of model weighting in multi-model climate projections. J. Clim. Vol. 23, 4175-4191.

Wüest, M., Frei, C., Altenhoff, A., Hagen, M., Litschi, M. and Schär, C. (2010): A gridded hourly precipitation dataset for Switzerland using rain-gauge analysis and radar-based disaggregation. Int. J. Climatol.


Della-Marta, P. M., Mathis, H., Frei, C., Liniger, M. A., Kleinn, J. and Appenzeller, C. (2009): The return period of wind storms over Europe. Int. J. Climatol., Vol. 29, 437-459, DOI: doi:10.1002/joc.1794.

Della-Marta, P. M. and Pinto, J. G. (2009): Statistical uncertainty of changes in winter storms over the North Atlantic and Europe in an ensemble of transient climate simulations. Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 36, No. L14703, , DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038557.

Mason, S. J. and Weigel, A. P. (2009): A generic forecast verification framework for administrative purposes. Mon. Wea. Rev., Vol. 137, 331-349

Rotach, M. W., Ambrosetti, P., Ament, F., Appenzeller, C., Arpagaus, M., Bauer, H.-S., Behrendt, A., Bouttier, F., Buzzi, A., Corazza, M., Davolio, S., Denhard, M., Dorninger, M., Fontannaz, L., Frick, J., Fundel, F., Germann, U., Gorgas, T., Hegg, C., Hering, A., Keil, C., Liniger, M. A., Marsigli, C., McTaggart-Cowan, R., Montaini, A., Mylne, K., Ranzi, R., Richard, E., Rossa, A., Santos-Muñoz, D., Schär, C., Seity, Y., Staudinger, M., Stoll, M., Volkert, H., Walser, A., Wang, Y., Werhahn, J., Wulfmeyer, V. and Zappa, M. (2009): Supplement to MAP D-PHASE: Real-Time Demonstration of Weather Forecast Quality in the Alpine Region: Additional Applications of the D-Phase Datasets. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 90, No. 9, 28-32

Rotach, M. W., Ambrosetti, P., Ament, F., Appenzeller, C., Arpagaus, M., Bauer, H.-S., Behrendt, A., Bouttier, F., Buzzi, A., Corazza, M., Davolio, S., Denhard, M., Dorninger, M., Fontannaz, L., Frick, J., Fundel, F., Germann, U., Gorgas, T., Hegg, C., Hering, A., Keil, C., Liniger, M. A., Marsigli, C., McTaggart-Cowan, R., Montani, A., Mylne, K., Ranzi, R., Richard, E., Rossa, A., Santos-Muñoz, D., Schär, C., Seity, Y., Staudinger, M., Stoll, M., Volkert, H., Walser, A., Wang, Y., Werhahn, J., Wulfmeyer, V. and Zappa, M. (2009): MAP D-PHASE: Real-Time Demonstration of Weather Forecast Quality in the Alpine Region. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 90, No. 9, 1321-1336

Weigel, A. P., Liniger, M. A. and Appenzeller, C. (2009): Seasonal ensemble forecasts: Are recalibrated single models better than multi-models?. Mon. Wea. Rev., Vol. 137, No. 4, 1460-1479

Weigel, A. P. and Bowler, N. E. (2009): Comment on "Can multi-model combination really enhance the prediction skill of probabilistic ensemble forecasts?". Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., Vol. 135, 535-539


Ahrens, B. and Walser, A. 2008: Information-based skill scores for probabilistic forecasts. Mon. Wea. Rev. 136, 353-363

Appenzeller, C., Begert, M., Zenklusen, E. and Scherrer, S. C. 2008: Monitoring climate at Jungfraujoch in the high Swiss Alpine region. Science of the Total Environment 391, 262 - 268

Begert, M., Zenklusen, E., Häberli, C., Appenzeller, C. and Klok, L. (2008): An automated procedure to detect discontinuities; preformance assessment and application to a large European climate data set. Meteorol. Z., Vol. 17, No. 5, 663-672

Ferro, C. A. T., Richardson, D. S. and Weigel, A. P. 2008: On the effect of ensemble size on the discrete and continuous ranked probability scores. Meteorol. Appl. 15, 19-24

Hendricks Franssen, H.-J. and Scherrer, S. C. 2008: Freezing of lakes on the Swiss Plateau in the period 1901-2006. International Journal of Climatology 28, 421-433

Hohenegger, C., Walser, A. and Schär, C. (2008): Cloud-resolving ensemble simulations of the August 2005 Alpine flood, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 134 889-904

Jaun, S., Ahrens, B., Walser, A., Ewen, T. and Schaer, C. 2008: A probabilistic view on the August 2005 floods in the upper Rhine catchment. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 8, 281-291

Raible, C. C., Della-Marta, P. M., Schwierz, C., Wernli, H. and Blender, R. (2008): Northern Hemisphere Midlatitude Cyclones: A Comparison of Detection and Tracking Methods and Different Reanalyses. Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 136, 880-897

Weigel, A. P., Baggenstos, D., Liniger, M. A., Vitart, F. and Appenzeller, C. 2008: Probabilistic verification of monthly temperature forecasts. Mon. Wea. Rev. 136, 5162-5182

Weigel, A. P., Liniger, M. A. and Appenzeller, C. 2008: Can multi-model combination really enhance the prediction skill of probabilistic ensemble forecasts ?. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. 134, 241-260


Baggenstos, D. 2007: Probabilistic verification of operational monthly temperature fore-casts. Diploma Thesis, Veröffentlichung der MeteoSchweiz Nr. 76, 52pp

Bruegger, R., Studer, S. and Stöckli, R. (2007): Changes in plant development monitored on the individual plant and over geographical area. Schweiz. Z. Forstwes., Vol. 158, No. 7, 221-228

Brunet, M., Jones, P. D., Sigró, J., Saladié, O., Aguilar, E., Moberg, A., Della-Marta, P. M., Lister, D., Walther, A. and López, D. 2007: Temporal and spatial temperature variability and change over Spain during 1850-2003. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 112, D12117

Della-Marta, P. M., Haylock, M. R., Luterbacher, J. and Wanner, H. 2007: Doubled length of western European summer heatwaves since 1880. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 112, D15103

Della-Marta, P. M., Luterbacher, J., von Weissenfluh, H., Xoplaki, E., Brunet, M. and Wanner, H. 2007: Summer heat waves over western Europe 1880--2003, their relationship to large scale forcings and predictability. Climate Dynamics 29, 251-275

Della-Marta, P. M. and Beniston, M. 2007: Summer heat waves in western Europe, their past change and future projections. Springer

Kunz, H., S. C. Scherrer, Liniger, M. A. and Appenzeller, C. 2007: The evolution of ERA-40 surface temperatures and total ozone compared to observed Swiss time series. Meteor. Z. 16(2), 171-18

Liniger, M. A., H. Mathis, Appenzeller, C. and Doblas-Reyes, F. J. 2007: Realistic Greenhouse Gas Forcing and Seasonal Forecasts. Geophys Res Lett 34, L04705

Luterbacher, J., Liniger, M. A., Menzel, A., Estrella, N., Della-Marta, P. M., Pfister, C., Rutishauser, T. and Xoplaki, E. 2007: Exceptional European warmth of Autumn 2006 and Winter 2007: Historical context, the underlying dynamics, and its phenological impacts. Geophys Res Lett 34, L12704

Studer, S., Stöckli, R., Appenzeller, C. and Vidale, P. L. 2007: A comparative study of satellite and ground-based phenology. Int J Biometeorol 51(5), 405-414

Verbunt, M., Walser, A., Gurtz, J., Montani, A. and Schär, C. 2007: Probabilistic Flood Forecasting with a Limited-Area Ensemble Prediction System: Selected Case Studies. J. Hydrometeor. 8, 897-909.

Weigel, A.P., M. A. Liniger and Appenzeller, C. 2007: The discrete Brier and ranked probability skill scores. Mon. Wea. Rev. 135(1), 118-124.

Weigel, A. P., Chow, F. K. and Rotach, M. W. 2007: On the nature of turbulent kinetic energy in a steep and narrow Alpine valley. Boundary-Layer Meteorology 123, 177-199.

Weigel, A.P., M. A. Liniger and Appenzeller, C. 2007: Generalization of the Discrete Brier and Ranked Probability Skill Scores for Weighted Multimodel Ensemble Forecasts. Mon. Wea. Rev. 135(7), 2778-2785.


Ansell, T. J., Jones, P. D., Allan, R. J., Lister, D., Parker, D. E., Brunet, M., Moberg, A., Jacobeit, J., Brohan, P., Rayner, N. A., Aguilar, E., Alexandersson, H., Barriendos, M., Brandsma, T., Cox, N. J., Della-Marta, P. M., Drebs, A., Founda, D., Gerstengarbe, F., Hickey, K., Jonsson, T., Luterbacher, J., Nordli, O., Oesterle, H., Petrakis, M., Philipp, A., Rodwell, M. J., Saladie, O., Sigro, J., Slonosky, V., Srnec, L., Swail, V., Garcia-Suarez, A. M., Tuomenvirta, H., Wang, X., Wanner, H., Werner, P., Wheeler, D. and Xoplaki, E. 2006: Daily mean sea level pressure reconstructions for the European-North Atlantic region for the period 1850-2003. Journal Of Climate 19(12) 2717-2742

Della-Marta, P. M. 2006: A method of homogenizing the extremes and mean of daily temperature measurements. Journal Of Climate 19(17), 4179--4197

Moberg, A., Jones, P. D., Lister, D., Walther, A., Brunet, M., Jacobeit, J., Alexander, L. V., Della-Marta, P. M., Luterbacher, J., Yiou, P., Chen, D. L., Tank, A. M. G. K., Saladie, O., Sigro, J., Aguilar, E., Alexandersson, H., Almarza, C., Auer, I., Barriendos, M., Begert, M., Bergstrom, H., Bohm, R., Butler, C. J., Caesar, J., Drebs, A., Founda, D., Gerstengarbe, F. W., Micela, G., Maugeri, M., Osterle, H., Pandzic, K., Petrakis, M., Srnec, L., Tolasz, R., Tuomenvirta, H., Werner, P. C., Linderholm, H., Philipp, A., Wanner, H. and Xoplaki, E. 2006: Indices for daily temperature and precipitation extremes in Europe analyzed for the period 1901-2000. Journal Of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 111(D22), D22106

Morland, J., Liniger, M. A., Kunz, H., Balin, I., Nyeki, S., Mätzler, C. and Kämpfer, N. 2006: Comparison of GPS and ERA40 IWV in the Alpine region, including correction of GPS observations at Jungfraujoch (3584 m). Journal Of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 111(D4), D04102

Scherrer, S. C., M. Croci-Maspoli, C. Schwierz and Appenzeller, C. 2006: Two dimensional indices of atmospheric blocking and their statistical relationship with winter climate patterns in the Euro-Atlantic region. International Journal Of Climatology 26, 233-249

Scherrer, S. C., Appenzeller, C. and Liniger, M. A. 2006: Temperature trends in Switzerland and Europe: Implications for climate normals. International Journal Of Climatology 26(5), 565-580

Scherrer, S. C. and Appenzeller, C. 2006: Swiss Alpine snow pack variability: major patterns and links to local climate and large-scale flow. Climate Research 32, 187-199

Schmuki, D. and Weigel, A. P. 2006: Saisonale Vorhersage in Tradition und Moderne: Vergleich der "Sommerprognose'' des Zürcher Bööggs mit einem dynamischen Klimamodell. Arbeitsbericht der MeteoSchweiz Nr. 214, 46pp

Schwierz, C., Appenzeller, C., Davies, H. C., Liniger, M. A., Müller, W., Stocker, T. F. and Yoshimori, M. 2006: Challenges posed by and approaches to the study of seasonal-to-decadal climate variability. Climatic Change 79(1-2), 31--63

Walser, A., M. A. Liniger, C. Appenzeller, 2006: Einfluss der Alpen auf das Starkniederschlagsereignis. Contribution to "Starkniederschlagsereignis August 2005", Arbeitsbericht MeteoSchweiz Nr. 211. Editors Mathias Rotach, Christof Appenzeller, Peter Albisser. p53-56

Walser, A., Arpagaus, M. and Appenzeller, C. 2006: The Impact of Moist Singular Vectors and Horizontal Resolution on Short-Range Limited-Area Ensemble Forecasts for Two European Winter Storms. Mon. Wea. Rev. 134, 2877-2887


Scherrer, S.C., C. Appenzeller, M. A. Liniger, and C. Schär, 2005: European temperature distribution changes in observations and climate change scenarios, Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 32, L19705, DOI:10.1029/2005GL024108

Mueller, W., C. Appenzeller and C. Schaer, 2005: Probabilistic seasonal prediction of the winter North Atlantic Oscillation and its impact on near surface temperature, Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-004-0492-z.

Mueller W. A., C. Appenzeller, F. J. Doblas-Reyes, M. A. Liniger 2005: A debiased ranked probability skill score to evaluate probabilistic ensemble forecasts with small ensemble sizes, Journal of Climate, 18 (10), 1513-1523