EMS Silver Medal 2016: Michel Jarraud

Michel Jarraud

Michel Jarraud

The EMS has chosen Michel Jarraud as Laureate of the EMS Silver Medal 2016. He is honoured for significant scientific contributions to the establishment of spectral methods in numerical weather prediction, his leading role in developing the World Meteorological Organization into the recognized authority about weather, climate and water within the United Nations system, and his part in the development of several major initiatives, in particular the launching of the Global Framework for Climate Services.

Michel Jarraud said “This is a very pleasant surprise. I feel most grateful and honoured to receive this award, and to be in the prestigious company of previous awardees. Although still young, the EMS has grown into one of the world’s most respected Meteorological Societies and I am convinced that its role and influence will continue to expand. The EMS Silver Medal will further strengthen my determination to continue to contribute to the development and promotion of our wonderful discipline.”

The Silver Medal ceremony, which included the Silver Medal Lecture by the Laureate, was held on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 during the EMS Annual Meeting and European Conference on Applied Climatology in Trieste, Italy.
Title of Silver Medal Lecture: “Meteorology and 21st century challenges”

 

Michel Jarraud undoubtedly made outstanding contributions in support of the worldwide meteorological community and beyond: His capabilities and achievements, ranging from science to management and successfully combining them, were instrumental for the introduction of modern forecasting methods at Météo-France and ECMWF. He had leading roles in Météo-France, ECMWF and above all in WMO and made significant scientific contributions to the establishment of spectral methods in numerical weather prediction. He developed the World Meteorological Organization into the recognized authority on weather, climate and water within the United Nations system and he was instrumental in the development of several major initiatives, in particular the launching of the Global Framework for Climate Services.

Michel Jarraud is an outstanding researcher and internationally recognized expert in spectral methods. His work in the early days of ECMWF was instrumental in the selection of this method for the ECMWF model. As director of forecasting at Météo-France and as Head of Operations at ECMWF he focused his attention on reinforcing the links between the research and operation departments, in order to ensure a smooth and efficient transfer of research developments into the operational forecasting system.

His utmost legacy will be the accomplishment to turn WMO into the reference UN institution not only concerned with weather, but in addition also with hydrology and climate, which culminated in the establishment of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). As WMO Secretary General he has immensely contributed to strengthening the effectiveness of UN voices in water, disasters and climate issues.

Being a strong advocate of free data policy, his pioneering efforts to make meteorological data freely available has greatly helped to enhance the public understanding of meteorological information. His view to make data freely available was visionary and ground breaking.

Michel Jarraud ’s career

In 1974 Michel Jarraud graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in Paris with the degree “Ingénieur de l’Ecole Polytechnique” and in 1976 from Ecole de la Météorologie Nationale in Paris, with the final degree of “Ingénieur de la Météorologie”. From September 1976 to May 1978 he worked as a Researcher in Numerical Weather Predictions at Météo-France. In June 1978 he joined the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) where he played a major role in the development of the ECMWF operational spectral numerical model. 1985 Michel Jarraud became Director of the national forecasting division at Météo-France. He re-joined ECMWF in 1990 as Head of Operations Department and since 1991 as Deputy Director.

Leadership positions in international organisations include

1991-1995 ECMWF Head of Operations Department and Deputy Director
1995-2003 WMO Deputy Secretary General
1995-2003 WMO representative at UN Inter-Agency Task Force for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR).
2004-2015 WMO Secretary General
2012-2015 Chair UN-Water

Memberships, Honorary Titles and Distinctions:

  • Member of the French Meteorological Society
  • Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (USA)
  • Honorary member of the Chinese Meteorological Society
  • Honorary member of the Cuban Meteorological Society
  • Member of the Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
  • Member of the African Meteorological Society
  • 2004 Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) of the Universidad Nacional Agraria « La Molina », Peru
  • 2010 Honorary Professor of the Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 2013 Honorary Doctor of the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction, Armenia
  • 2016 Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France)