Dear Reader,

Welcome to the seventh issue of the Newsletter and please accept my apologies for the slight delay in publication this year. As usual you will find the report of the seventh meeting of the WGCEF in the first article. Our meeting was held in conjunction with ECAM 2001 and took place in Budapest, Hungary. Once again, thanks to the Hungarian Meteorological Service (especially Marta Sallai), for the use of their facilities on the Saturday following ECAM. It was encouraging to see so many new faces in the best attended meeting so far (not forgetting the 'old' faces, of course). This was also Liisa Fredrikson's first meeting as Chairperson and thanks go to her for the hard work of organisation in the months leading up to our time in Budapest.

The ECAM conference itself certainly provided an interesting few days where many opinions about the future of weather forecasting were aired. One of the themes was how we measure the "added value" provided by the human forecaster. I would again urge others to think hard about how we do this in a meaningful way.

This newsletter has been produced in the normal way again this year but we now have a WGCEF website where it can be accessed on 'soft-copy'. It is hoped that we can display all of the previous newsletters on the website in due course. For those who do not know the address, it is as follows:

Many thanks must go to Andre-Charles Letestu for developing the webpages. We will expand them in the near future and hope that members of WGCEF will use them to exchange views etc.

Some of you may have noticed our new logo on the front cover which was agreed upon between Liisa, Andre-Charles and myself (inspired perhaps by the wonderful sunshine which we experienced in Zurich when the subject was being discussed). The logo and website are designed to give our group a higher profile in the future. We are, for example, hoping to strengthen ties with the European Meteorological Society.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all those who have contributed this seventh newsletter and hope that it provides interesting reading. We always encourage anyone to contribute if they have an article that would be of interest to forecasters across Europe. Finally, we wish Manfred Kurz best wishes in his retirement (well, official retirement anyway!).

Regards to all, Nick Grahame

Nick Grahame (Vice-Chairman, WGCEF)