Welcome to the Marine Meteorology Centre 
(“Centre de Météorologie Marine”, CMM)

Contact :

Last updated : 12/01/2016

 Version française


The CMM is a unit of the Department of Observation Systems (“Direction des Systèmes d’Observation”, DSO) of Météo-France.

The centre is located in Brest and hosted by the SHOM.


The core activity of CMM is marine instrumentation. This includes the procurement or development of stations and sensors, their qualification before deployment (organising calibration, metadata management), their implementation at sea, their maintenance in operational condition, and the collection of the resulting observation data and their qualification (quality control).

The activities of CMM serve the following:

·        operational needs of Météo-France and E-SURFMAR (Surface Marine Operational Service of EUMETNET, grouping of European National Meteorological Services, including Météo-France);

·        operational needs of CORIOLIS (grouping of French institutes involved in operational oceanography: CNES, INSU of CNRS, IFREMER, IPEV, IRD, Météo-France, and SHOM);

·        research needs in marine meteorology (e.g., HYMEX).


*Marine activities


*                photo6-mise_a_leau_bouee_redMoored buoys

Météo-France maintains in operational conditions:

Near-real-time data access is available from this link.

N.B.: Moored buoys in the Mediterranean also host sensors for research activities.


In addition, Météo-France contributes to the maintenance in operational conditions of the tropical moored buoy arrays PIRATA (Atlantic Ocean) and RAMA (Indian Ocean):


*                Drifting buoys

SVP-B_IridiumThe CMM organizes the deployment of drifters for various entities: Météo-France in the Tropical North Atlantic, international partners of the International Buoy Programme for the Indian Ocean (IBPIO), E-SURFMAR in the North Atlantic, but also Arctic and South Atlantic (AtlantOS).


The positions of these buoys can be visualised using this link.




The CMM also deploys drifters on demand, for research needs. These can be SVP drifters (picture) or Marisonde buoys for research campaigns.




*                eucawsShips

For E-SURFMAR, the CMM has developed:

o   ship automatic weather stations (S-AWS) BAROS.


In addition, a European S-AWS (called EUCAWS) has been developed according to specifications common to several European National Meteorological Services members of EUMETNET.






*Data and metadata


The CMM is involved in defining and organising the operational data management of surface marine observations. As a network operator of observing systems, the CMM aims to maintain the highest possible quality for the data served.


*                Data formats

With its international partners, the CMM contributes to the continued evolution of the data formats employed for international data exchange. These standardised formats include transmission from sea platforms (via various satellite telecommunication operators) but also exchange between national meteorological services.

The transition from alphanumerical messages (TAC) to binary messages (BUFR) is documented on this page.


*                Data quality control


The website QCTools provides data quality control tools. User can search platforms at sea (moored buoy, drifter, ship) for the past 15 days.


The website also provides lists of suspicious platforms, as well as monitoring statistics.





The website offers other functionalities. Please get in touch with us if needed, we appreciate feedback.





*                Metadata databases


The CMM maintains the metadata database VOSMETADATA, used world-wide to inventory ships recruited to carry out meteorological observations.


For buoys, the CMM collects and maintains up-to-date metadata for all the platforms and sensors that it manages directly.





*Contributions to international programmes


The actions of CMM are within the remit of the Data Buoy Cooperation Panel (DBCP) and the Ship Observations Team (SOT). They contribute to international programmes coordinated by the WMO-IOC Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM). WMO is the World Meteorological Organisation and IOC the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Within the DBCP, the CMM coordinates two action groups:


o    IBPIO.



The CMM maintains the following websites:

o    E-SURFMAR extranet

o    E-SURFMAR internet

o    IBPIO internet.