The objective of the EUMETNET-ASAP (E-ASAP) Operational Service is to:

coordinate and optimize weather balloon observations (so called radiosoundings) over the data sparse ocean regions in the EUCOS area of interest. Most of these observations are performed by the crew members on board merchant vessels in regular service between Europe and North America.

  • "Coordination and optimisation of weather balloon observations over the ocean regions"

The tasks

– to design the E-ASAP Operational Service to meet the requirements, and in particular identify suitable merchant ships;

– to negotiate and conclude contracts in association with NMSs as appropriate with the shipping companies;

– to procure the necessary equipment or reimburse NMSs for the procurements;

– to ensure proper installation, training and logistics for the supply of consumables;

– to establish means of communication, insertion on the GTS and monitoring of performance;

– to liaise with the other components of the EUCOS programme and with the ASAP Task Team of the WMO.

The requirements

A. To deliver 3900 radiosoundings (from 18 stations) onto the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and to make the data available to all National Meteorological Services (NMSs) for their weather forecast.

B. To optimize the overall system regarding efficiency of sounding operations and distribution of sounding data.

C. To contribute to the World Weather Watch of WMO through a limited number of soundings produced outside the EUCOS area of interest.

The organisation

The current Programme phase will last until the end of 2023. The Deutscher Wetterdienst has been the Coordinating Member for the Operational E-ASAP since 2003. The Operational Service Manager is Mr Rudolf Krockauer.


Article published in the December 2009 issue of the periodical Seaways. Purpose of the Article is to promote E-ASAP in the seafarer’s community. Read the article.