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Meteo Italian SupercompuTing poRtAL

MISTRAL Project – Meteo Italian SupercompuTing poRtAL

 Two working years project, funded under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – Telecommunication Sector Programme of the European Union and started on 1 October 2018.

The project aimis the creation of a National Meteorological Open Data Portal to provide citizens, public administrations and national and international private organizations with meteorological data from observational networks, historical and real-time analyses and forecasts, with high accuracy. The data will be available in terms of gridded fields, probabilistic products (as rainfall forecasts for flash flood prediction) or point time-series coming from the Italian operational forecast modelling chain and post-processing fields (as thunderstorm probability).

The goal of the MISTRAL portal is to facilitate and foster the re-use of the datasets by the weather community, as well as by its cross-area communities, to provide added value services through the use of HPC resources, turning it into the level of new business opportunities.

Ten specific project’s objectiveslead the activity implementation: 

  1. improve the access to large datasets of the weather public institutions
  2. unleash a large scale weather datasets  creative exploitation using supercomputers
  3. Big Data Challenge: to create a new service at the Italian national level, that address the scalable exploitation of the massive amount of public open data available and accessible
  4. exploit supercomputing facilities to analyze complex combinations of large public weather datasets to make the forecasts more valuable
  5. improve the interoperability of weather regional data providers thank to adoption of international standards
  6. provide the direct upload of the data generated by the supercomputers onto the Italian National Data Open Portal and into EU Open Data Portal,  assuring trans-European access,  interoperability and services linking the weather sector to the core service platform of EU Open Data Portal
  7. provide official and certified data and services to foster  data re-use in accordance with Public Sector Information and open government initiatives
  8. provide citizens with free access to the weather observational and forecast data and visualizations
  9. design and implement new ways of displaying and visualizing datasets and metadata, tailored on the user’s needs
  10. identify viable business models that can support a sustainable usage of weather datasets and the valorization of Italian weather public institutions resources in European repositories, in a trans-national perspective

Six partners and an inclusive approach to involve users. The project partners will work together with the national wider meteorological community to promote the “data opening” and to implement tools to collect, harmonise, aggregate, discover, view, download, transform and disseminate scientifically significant weather data and forecast. The consortium of partners will define open data policies for the national weather data in order to define a national regulation and promote the weather data re-use.  

Different interfaces, user experiences, services and functionalities, clear and public data licensing, will be tailored to serve professional users, economic actors and the general public. Both citizens, stakeholders and decision makers will be able to access datasets and metadata, both through the use of open services and also thanks to the availability of visualization tools. Advanced, interactive and innovative visualization solutions will be implemented in order to display the datasets both for scientific and institutional use of data and for non-expert users. 

MISTRAL Portal Services & activities

  • Open data portal of the Italian met observed data, collected in a centralized digital archive.
  • Open data portal of Italian weather forecasts as the output of the meteorological models and the fields derived by the model output post-processing.
  • Open data Policies for the national weather data in order to define a national regulation and promote the weather data re-use will be defined. The stakeholders will be consulted in a pro-active way in the policy definition process as well as in the portal design.
  • High Availability service: The national meteorological open data portal will be designed in order to operate in high availability and providing a service 24x7 with the necessary support and maintenance.
  • Several services coming from HPC post processing of observations and weather forecasts:
    • Weather Observed Data (Current Weather, Historical data, Satellite data, Radar layers);
    • Weather Forecasted data on a regular grid interactive service (at high resolutions and for different forcast time and with several updates, weather alerts);
    • Weather maps and post-processing layers;
    • Italy Flash Flood: Gridded, high accuracy, probabilistic rainfall forecasts, for flash flood prediction
  • MISTRAL Open portal promotion: a specific activity about the public dissemination of the portal functionalities and opportunities will be carried on to ensure its effectiveness and raising awareness of the potential users. Specific interaction with targeted stakeholder will also be implemented.
  • Connectivity between data and computer nodes will be improved as necessary.

To design a business model  is one of the project output: the national portal MISTRAL will be active not only for the duration of the project, but will be a stable instrument for the dissemination of meteorological data and it will be dedicated to different kind of end users, scientific community, researchers, general public, local, national and international institutions. Moreover, this Portal could be integrated into the European Data Portal to achieve a highest level of visibility through a pan-European synergy.  

Innovative technology for HPC (High performance Computer)  facilities and big data storage will be used to support the MISTRAL portal implementation. 

The open portal will be designed for datasets and metadata interoperability, sharing and re-use and will be supported by a large repository for data (gridded data, images, maps, etc.) and metadata. The repository will have in-built functionalities for highly innovative and advanced data and metadata management and will integrate visual analysis components for data visualisation.

Big data storage and HPC facilities will be made available to the project in order to perform post-processing and visualisation of the observed and forecast data, in order to make the forecasts more useful and usable, tailoring the output to the need of the intended audience.



CINECA, the national facility for supercomputing applications and research, one of the largest infrastructure in Europe, providing HPC cutting edge resources and qualified support to academic and industry organizations. Lead Partner

The Italian Civil Protection Departmentsteers the National Service of Civil Protection with a leading role, in cooperation with regional and local governments, for risk prevention, forecasting and monitoring activities as well as for emergency preparedness and intervention procedures in cases of on-going or upcoming crisis events

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is an international organization aimed to produce medium-range and long-range weather forecasts for distribution to the meteorological services of the Member States, the development of scientific and technical research directed to the improvement of these forecasts and the collection and storage of appropriate meteorological data

The Regional Agency for the Environmental Protection of Emilia Romagna carries on numerical Weather Predictions activities at national level and owns a huge monitoring station network and manage a met radar system

The Regional Agency for the Environmental Protection of Piedmontowns a huge monitoring station network, remote sensing instruments together with the deep expertise in weather data interpretation, data processing and model forecast verification

Dedagroup Public Services, a private company, one of the largest Information Technology group with expertise in systems integration, digital design and digital innovation of companies, public bodies and financial institutions, with deep competencies and experience in geo data, open data, and international standards and directives


Funded under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – Telecommunication Sector Programme of the European Union,


The project will last two years, starting on 1 October 2018.

Head of the project at Cineca 

Gabriella Scipione