Météo-France, leader of climate
and meteorological services

The year 2017 was marked by a significant increase in activity benefitting various professional sectors. Business turnover reached €20.68m in 2017, representing annual growth of over 8%, which concerns all sales channels (direct sales in mainland France, overseas territories and online).

Growth in activity applied to almost all sectors, with a particularly sharp increase in the volume of activity associated with sporting assistance. Other highlights relate to very positive dynamics within the commercial aviation sector, new collaborations in the agriculture sector, development of an offering to assist actors in the energy sector, recovery of the construction sector, and, lastly, retention of all our major clients in the media world. These positive results validate the ambitions and strategy displayed by the agency in recent years, namely diversification of offerings supported by partnerships, extension of our services beyond borders and promotion of consultancy forecasting subsidiaries.

From agriculture to transport

First commercial successes of the Taméo service


February 2017 marked the operational launch of the agricultural meteorology service, Taméo, intended for soft wheat. Developed in partnership with Arvalis Institut du végétal (French arable crops R&D Institute), the service is a comprehensive tool combining agricultural weather with agronomic advice. It facilitates the prediction of crop stages, disease prevention and the optimisation of crop protection intervention, weeding and fertilisation. The commercial launch of the Taméo service was accompanied by well-orchestrated communications with Arvalis, to coincide with the Paris International Agricultural Show. Innovative decision support tools for producers containing advice that can be accessed from desktop PCs, tablets and smartphones have been promoted. More than 250 farms now subscribe to the Taméo service.

The service will also be made available to new crop types, with the integration of corn in the spring of 2018, followed by hard wheat, barley and triticale in the autumn. This decision support tool is intended to act as a benchmark in terms of precise weather forecasting. This therefore paves the way for better performing agriculture requiring the use of fewer crop protection products. This represents a major environmental and economic challenge for France, the largest producer of agricultural produce in the European Union.

For more information on this:

Visuel de la page « Stade » pour le maïs grain.
Image taken from the 'Stage' page for grain corn. Screenshot © Météo-France


Management assistance provided to the French national road network

The French Directorate-General for Infrastructure, Transportation and the Sea (DGITM) bestowed responsibility for road weather assistance of the 11 Directions interdépartementales des Routes (DIR Routes - inter-département Directorates of roads) and the Direction des infrastructures de transport (DIT - Directorate of transport infrastructure) to Météo-France for the next three years.

The 11 DIR Routes responsible for managing the non-franchised national network are set to benefit from the expertise of Météo-France, especially during winter periods. The agency will also provide advice to the 7 designated DIRs in the area on road crisis forecasting and management as well as the DIT responsible for the entirety of the national road network (non-franchised network dependent on the DIRs Routes, network dependent on advice provided by départements or local communities and the franchised network - essentially motorways).

The comprehensive service, which covers all of the DGITM’s needs, is based on the provision of meteorological systems (observations, imagery, forecasts at different maturities), road weather services (Optima service, imagery of road weather stations) and an extremely comprehensive decision support service. No fewer than 130 notifications are produced every day in the middle of winter by Météo-France forecasters for the attention of the 53 districts within the DIR Routes and the DIT. This ability to support client decision-making processes via integration of road sector-specific challenges and issues constitutes the cornerstone of this service.

Climate data to enlighten economic choices

Wind energy: studies carried out off the coast of Oléron, France

Éoliennes off-shore.
Offshore wind turbines.

In the spring of 2016, Météo-France began working with the French Directorate-General for Energy and Climate (DGEC), a service within the Ministry of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, to study wind in areas with wind turbines in seas off the coast of Dunkirk.

The partnership was strengthened in 2017 with the implementation of a research service off the coast of Ile d’Oléron, France. These studies fall within the framework of launches for the third and fourth invitations to tender for sea-based wind turbines led by the DGEC. They aim to identify risks that may arise in areas considered to be conducive to the development of offshore wind energy, and as such, constitute strategic assets within the development of renewable energy in France.

In order to successfully carry out the studies, the agency called upon two different service providers to obtain wind measurements at each site and at different heights, ranging from 40 m to 200 m, carried out using a lidar. Two measurement campaigns took place over a period of 12 months each, from 1st January to 31st December 2017 for the site at Dunkirk, and from 1st September 2017 to 31st August 2018 for the site at Oléron.

Three regional research offices were involved in the projects; the DIRN monitored and inspected measurements and the DIRO and the DIRSO carried out assessment studies of wind, wave and turbulence risk.

PROSNOW: optimisation of snow management in mountainous and ski areas

Lunettes de ski.

In September 2017, the PROSNOW project, tasked with the development of a decision support tool for the optimisation of snow management in ski areas, was launched in Grenoble. Managed by Météo-France, it groups 12 European partners and will last 3 years. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730203.

Management of artificial snow production currently relies on imprecise criteria. As such, necessary volumes are largely estimated at the start of the season based on the ‘worst’ year recorded, with records limited to one or two decades. During the season, the decision to produce snow is made on a day-to-day basis, depending on the weather conditions at the time. This lack of forecasting can have negative consequences, both economically and ecologically.

The PROSNOW project has developed a decision support service for the production of artificial snow, relying on weather forecasts (several days) just as much as seasonal forecasts (several months).

The results are formatted in such a way as to make them directly accessible by users, with targeted information (forecasts of snow depths and stocks using modelling of on-piste snow conditions, local conditions at resorts, snow depths measured on-piste, satellite images of snowfall, etc.).

Eight ski areas in the Alpine region (France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany) are set to contribute to the design of the service and will test the demonstrator until 2020.

Motor racing at the forefront

Return to Formula 1 for the 2017 season

The FIA (International Automobile Federation) chose Météo-France to provide assistance throughout the Formula 1 World Championship marking one of the major successes of the year. As such, Météo-France assisted all 20 Grand Prix events of the 2017 season, as well as the official pre-season tests, in order to provide support to the race managers and race teams who benefitted from the service. This dedicated service, which combines on-site measurements, access to forecasts, and expertise from forecasters on-site, showcases our expertise in terms of sporting assistance.

Gaining a new client in the world rally championship sector resulted in previously unseen volumes of sporting assistance in 2017. Assistance was provided to no fewer than 64 sporting events during the 2017 season, the majority taking place outside of France (motor circuit and rally competitions across five continents, Paris-Dakar in South America, Wimbledon tournaments, the US Open, and sailing events). This represented a total 129 weeks of support, both on-site and remotely.

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