June to August constitutes an important rainfall season over the northern sector and western parts of the equatorial sector of the Greater Horn of Africa. The regional consensus climate outlook indicates an increased likelihood of below normal to near normal rainfall over much of the region in the forthcoming season, according to a statement issued by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum. Increased likelihood of near to above normal rainfall is indicated over central parts of the northern sector as well as the coastal and extreme western parts of the equatorial sector.
Factors which are expected to influence regional climate during June to August 2013 include sea surface temperatures, especially over the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The regional climate outlook covers seasonal timescale and relatively large areas. National meteorological services will downscale the regional outlook to provide detailed forecasts at national levels. >> More
Many temperature anomalies in northern hemisphere spring
Much of Europe, the United States of America, north-west Russia and parts of Japan had a much colder than average spring (1 March to 1 June), which ended with heavy rain in some European countries. By contrast, the Arctic region was considerably warmer than normal, as was a large area covering most of central and northern Africa (except Morocco and western Algeria), the Eastern Mediterranean, southern Russia and much of China.
This climate pattern started already in February, with cold Arctic air moving far to the south over Europe and the USA, and also wetter conditions over the eastern USA and western and southern Europe due to inclusion of the cold air in low pressure circulation. Corresponding sea level pressure anomalies showed higher pressure than usual over the Arctic and lower pressure than usual over mid-latitudes. This is a typical pattern of a negative phase of the so-called Arctic Oscillation (AO). The Arctic Oscillation had several phases of outstandingly negative values during the first half of spring.
In the second half of the spring, the Arctic Oscillation changed to a positive and then to a neutral phase. However, during the cold spell in late May there was still a similar pressure pattern with high pressure over Greenland and low pressure systems to the south, which caused Arctic air masses to flow to western and central Europe. >> More
West Africa and the Sahel region is not expected to experience severe precipitation deficits during the July-September rainy season, according to the seasonal climate outlook issued the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD).
Based on the current state and expected evolution of sea surface and sub-surface temperature patterns over the global oceans and their known relationships with the West African climate, as well as statistical and dynamical model outputs and expert judgment, the precipitation outlook for July-August-September 2013 is as follows:
“The region is not expected to experience severe precipitation deficits,” according to the Regional Climate Outlook Forum for West Africa, Chad and Cameroon (Prévisions saisonnières climatiques en Afrique de l’Ouest) at its 16th session held from 27 to 31 May 2013 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and coordinated by ACMAD. >> More
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from 1 June to 30 November, is expected to be active because of a combination of climate factors.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecast a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 63 kilometers per hour/39 miles per hour or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 119 kmh/74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 178 kph/ 111 mph or higher).
These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. >> More
An acclaimed WMO project to strengthen the capacity of meteorological services in developing countries to forecast hazardous weather is being rolled out in Southern and Eastern Africa, where it is making a significant contribution to disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.
The Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project has improved the lead-time and reliability for alerts about high-impact events such as heavy rain, severe winds and high waves, thus helping to save lives and property and supporting vital sectors like farming and fishing.
The project shares the expertise and sophisticated forecast and training products of top-level global centres with national public weather services in participating developing countries. It was piloted in 2007 in Southern Africa and now embraces 16 countries in the region, and was introduced in six Eastern African nations in September 2011.
East Africa Community (EAC) heads of National Meteorological Services joined a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, 27-31 May to discuss achievements and challenges and provide direction on future implementation.This will inform the EAC five-year Meteorological Development Plan and Investment Strategy. >> More
Prof Zaviša Janjic has received the IMO Prize – the World Meteorological Organization’s most prestigious award for his outstanding contributions to meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related sciences.
Prof Janjic accepted the award for his life-long contributions to the advancement of theory and practice of atmospheric modelling and numerical weather prediction at a ceremony 22 May during WMO’s Executive Council meeting. The ceremony was attended by Betty King, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, and Jugolas Nikolic, Deputy Director of the Republic Hydrometerological Service of Serbia and Permanent Representative with WMO. >> More
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud chaired a multi-agency coordinated Feature Event on “Drought Resilience in a Changing Climate, “ (22 May) to promote the benefits of Integrated drought risk management.
“Drought affects more people than any other disaster,” said Mr Jarraud. “We have the knowledge and we have the experience to reduce the impacts of drought.” A High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy, co-sponsored by WMO in March 2013, laid the foundations to proactive, integrated risk-management based drought policies to replace the current reactive, crisis-driven approach.
Saidou Sidibe, Minister and Director of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Niger – which was badly affected by drought in 2011-2012 - said the scale of the drought problem demanded international and regional cooperation. “We can not do it alone,” he said. >> More
The need for climate services to reduce disaster risk and promote sustainable development was emphasized by top World Meteorological Organization officials throughout the 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Disaster risk reduction is one of the top priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services now being implemented by governments with support from WMO and its partners. This global initiative aims to increase and improve climate services to help communities and countries, especially the most vulnerable, adapt to climate variability and change.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud emphasized the need for user-friendly climate services at an event organized by the Government of Norway 20 May. >> More
WMO in cooperation with World Bank/GFDRR and experts from national agencies and community representatives from Costa Ricaorganized several events and a special video presentation Costa Rica: Building community resilience to floods (May 21). This showcased how community involvement, institutional cooperation from national to local level, combined with latest technologies for observing, monitoring and forecasting of hazards, have led to a more effective and sustainable early warning system to protect the lives and livelihoods of communities at risk in the Sarapiqui River Basin in Costa Rica.The project has led to close coordination and cooperation among national agencies and empowered over 50 Sarapiqui River basin communities. A representative from the Sarapiqui communities was a panellist at the Formal Plenary on “Community Resilience: The Foundation of Resilient Nations” (May 22) at the Global Platform on DRR. >> More
The Korean Meteorological Administration is to host a new International Coordination Office of a project which aims to improve predictions at sub-seasonal to seasonal timescales. Improved weather-to-climate forecasts promise to be of significant social and economic value, especially in agriculture and food security, water resources management, transportation and tourism to just name a few applications.
A memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the office, to be based on Jeju island, was signed by World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud and Lee Ilsoo, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to WMO.
The main aim of the sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction project, known as S2S, is to improve forecast skill and understanding on the sub-seasonal to seasonal timescale. From a science point of view, the project brings together the weather and climate research communities to solve the unique scientific challenges related to this forecasting time range. From the end-user perspective, the sub-seasonal to seasonal timescale is critical to many areas such as climate adaptation planning, disaster risk management practices, and environmental stewardship of natural resources.
Improved sub-seasonal to seasonal predictions will further strengthen the scientific knowledge base of the Global Framework for Climate Services.
The International Coordination Office will support WMO to coordinate the planning and implementation of S2S activities under the scientific guidance of a Project Team and assist in the cooperation between S2S and other relevant international programmes.
WMO is sponsoring a workshop on climate monitoring, including the implementation of Climate Watch systems for Arab countries in West Asia.
The meeting in Amman, Jordan, 27-30 May, is organized by the Jordan Meteorological Department. It will consider how to implement Climate Watch systems in the region by maximizing existing infrastructure and expertise.
Given that extreme climate events have a negative impact on the well-being of populations andsustainable development, there is a need to improve climate risk management capabilities. This necessitates an efficient extreme weather and climate warning system, based on the continuous monitoring and forecasting of climate anomalies, is such a warning system.The climate watch system provides proactive advisories and statements to alert users, particularly in the disaster management sector, about evolving or foreseen climate extremes at the regional and national levels, thus allowing them to make informed decisions. This information includes observations on current conditions and weekly, 10-day, monthly, seasonal and annual monitoring and forecasting products. >> More
Disaster risk reduction is at the core of the mission of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs,). as over 90% of disasters are linked to weather, climate- and water-related hazards. Climate change is expected to lead to an increase in the intensity and frequency of some of these hazards. WMO is therefore an active participant in the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 19 to 23 May 2013.
About 4,600 representatives from governments, civil society and the private sector are expected to attend the Global Platform “Invest Today for a safer tomorrow: Resilient People Resilient Planet.” The event is organized by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction. Discussions will focus on a follow-up action plan to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015, which is a global initiative to make the world safer from natural hazards.Investment in meteorological and hydrological services is a key part of disaster risk reduction, according to a WMO statement submitted to the Global Platform. With a major Disaster Risk Reduction Programe, underpinned by the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), WMO works to strengthen weather, climate, and hydrological services to support risk analysis, early warning systems, sectoral planning and risk financing. >> More
The Executive Council of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) opened its annual meeting 15 May to review progress and challenges in providing weather, climate and water services to meet the growing needs of society.The development of cyclonic storm Mahasen, which could potentially impact more than 8 million people in the Bay of Bengal, underlined the vital role of meteorological warnings to protect lives and property.
Enhanced disaster risk reduction, improved quality and use of tropical cyclone warnings and public weather service delivery are on the agenda of the Executive Council.
The Executive Council will also consider atmospheric monitoring and research activities, including on air pollution and greenhouse gases. The importance of WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch has been highlighted by observations from several stations in its network that carbon dioxide concentrations have exceeded the symbolic 400 parts per million mark. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years, trapping heat and causing our planet to warm further, impacting on all aspects of life on earth. >> More
Observed concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have exceeded the symbolic 400 parts per million (ppm) threshold at several stations of the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Atmosphere Watch network. This is a wakeup call about the constantly rising levels of this greenhouse gas, which is released into the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and other human activities and is the main driver of climate change. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for thousands of years, trapping heat and causing our planet to warm further, impacting on all aspects of life on earth.
On May 9, 2013, the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of Mauna Loa, Hawaii, recorded a reading of 400.03 ppm, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mauna Loa is the oldest continuous atmospheric measurement station in the world and so is widely regarded as a benchmark site in the Global Atmosphere Watch.
Several other Global Atmosphere Watch stations have also reported CO2 concentrations exceeding the 400 ppm threshold during the seasonal maximum. This occurs early in the northern hemisphere spring before vegetation growth absorbs CO2. >> More
The World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate says that 2012 joined the ten previous years as one of the warmest — at ninth place — on record despite the cooling influence of a La Niña episode early in the year.
The 2012 global land and ocean surface temperature during January–December 2012 is estimated to be 0.45°C (±0.11°C) above the 1961–1990 average of 14.0°C. This is the ninth warmest year since records began in 1850 and the 27th consecutive year that the global land and ocean temperatures were above the 1961–1990 average, according to the statement The years 2001–2012 were all among the top 13 warmest years on record.
“Although the rate of warming varies from year to year due to natural variability caused by the El Niño cycle, volcanic eruptions and other phenomena, the sustained warming of the lower atmosphere is a worrisome sign,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “The continued upward trend in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and the consequent increased radiative forcing of the Earth’s atmosphere confirm that the warming will continue,” he said. >> Press release
As the world’s climate continues to change, hazards to human
health are increasing. The Atlas of Health and Climate,
published jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and
the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), illustrates some of the most pressing current and emerging challenges.
Droughts, floods and cyclones affect the health of millions of
people each year. Climate variability and extreme conditions
such as floods can also trigger epidemics of diseases such as
diarrhoea, malaria, dengue and meningitis, which cause death
and suffering for many millions more.
The Atlas gives practical examples of how the use of weather
and climate information can protect public health. The Atlas,
which has received widespread acclaim, is now available
in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
At a ceremony yesterday in Delt, The Netherlands, WMO Secretary-General Michael Jarraud signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, which was represented by its Rector, Professor Andras Szöllösy-Nagy. Under the MoU, the two organizations will co-sponsor up to three fellowships per year to enable students from developing countries to attend the Institute's prestigious Master Programmes. The participating students are to be designated by the Permanent Representatives of WMO Members.
Mr Jarraud also delivered the graduation address to the closing ceremony of the Institute's 2011-2013 academic period in the historic Old Church of Delft. UNESCO-IHE is the world’s largest institute for postgraduate education in the field of water. It has educated more than 15 000 water specialists from over 160 countries since it was established in 1957. Several of its alumni have served as staff members at the WMO Secretariat.
During the previous day, the WMO Secretary-General gave a well-attended lecture entitled "Water and Climate Change: Friends or Foes?" as part of the series "UN Water talks" organized annually by IHE-UNESCO, the City of Delft and the Delfland Water Board. The audience included the Lord Mayor of Delft, the Chairman of the Delfland Water Board (established in the year 1289, making it one of the older such institutions in the world), diplomats, members of Institute’s faculty, students and the general public. Mr Jarraud's lecture can be viewed here, his address to the graduation ceremony is here, and an interview with the Institute can be found here.
The sixteenth session of the WMO Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) was held from 12 to 19 April 2013, by invitation of the Government of Curaçao, at the Renaissance Curaçao Resort Hotel in the city of Willemstad. The session was attended by 34 participants from 18 Members of the Region, 6 observers from other regions and 1 observer from ICAO.
In his welcome statement, Mr Albert A.E. Martis, Permanent Representative of Curaçao and Sint Maarten with WMO and Director of the Curaçao Meteorological Department reminded that various countries of the region were severely impacted last year by tropical cyclones, in particular Sandy, which had devastating impacts that were monitored live during its passage over Cuba, the Bahamas and the east coast of the United States of America. He underlined the permanent need for coordinated efforts by all countries in the region for ensuring basic services to the population as well as for improving predictions, forecasts and warnings of climate, weather and water hazards. >> More
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their cooperation in improving safety at sea.
The two organizations will collaborate on matters such as the use of satellite telecommunication services for the collection and dissemination of marine meteorological and oceanographic data to promote the safety of life and property at sea and the safe and efficient operation of ships, according to the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding.
They will also exchange information and hold regular consultations in the field of maritime communications for maritime safety and efficiency of navigation. >> More
Large-scale summer monsoon rainfall for South Asia and the June-September season as a whole is most likely to be within the normal range, with a slight tendency to be – in the higher side of the normal range, according to the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum.
In terms of spatial distribution of rainfall, there is a likelihood for below normal rainfall over some areas of northwestern parts of South Asia, including much of Pakistan, and above normal rainfall over some areas along Himalayan region, including Nepal and Bhutan. Below-normal rainfall conditions are also expected in the southernmost parts of India and the adjoining island areas including much of Sri Lanka and northern parts of Maldives. Rainfall conditions close to the long-period average are more likely over the remaining parts, including most of India, according to the outlook. >> Full text
Two new Global Information System Centres have become operational under the World Meteorological Organization Information System which aims to improve and expand the current exchange of weather, climate and water data.
Global Information System Centres Seoul (Republic of Korea) and Melbourne (Australia) became operational 29 March and 16 April 2013 respectively. They join Beijing (China); Exeter (UK), Offenbach (Germany), Tokyo (Japan), and Toulouse (France), which became operational in 2012. >> full text
The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee has agreed to changes in its hurricane and tropical storm watch and warning system to take into account lessons learned from Sandy – which has now been retired from the official rotating list of names because of the devastation caused in October 2012. Sandy will be replaced by Sara.
The Hurricane Committee adopted a proposal from its Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) in Miami to broaden hurricane and tropical storm watch and warning definitions to allow these watches and warnings to remain in effect after a tropical cyclone becomes post-tropical, when such a storm poses a significant threat to life and property.
In future, the RSMC Miami will ensure a continuity of service by continuing to issue advisories during the post-tropical stage, when a storm poses a significant threat to life and property.
These changes were motivated by the special challenges posed by Hurricane Sandy, which evolved from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone prior to reaching the coast of the United States of America. They will be incorporated into the Operational Plan of the Hurricane Committee of WMO Regional Association IV (North and Central America and the Caribbean). >> More
WMO is sponsoring a workshop on climate monitoring, including the implementation of Climate Watch systems in Africa, with a special focus on Eastern and Southern Africa.
The meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, 15-18 April, is organized by the South African Weather Service. It will consider how to implement Climate Watch systems in the region by maximizing existing infrastructure and expertise.
Given that extreme climate events have a negative impact on the well-being of populations and sustainable development, there is a need to improve climate risk management capabilities. This necessitates an efficient extreme weather and climate warning system, based on the continuous monitoring and forecasting of climate anomalies, is such a warning system. >> full text
Costa Rica’s national meteorological service, the Instituto-Meteorológico-Nacional (IMN) has celebrated its 125th anniversary with a ceremony looking back at historic milestones and ahead to future challenges.
Among the guests at the ceremony 5 April were Costa Rica’s First Vice President Alfio Piva Mesén and WMO President David Grimes, who hailed the IMN as a first class meteorological institute with strong national, regional and international ties.
Looking ahead, Mr Grimes said WMO’s challenge over the next 50 years would be to mirror the success of weather services by developing climate services.
“The need to adapt to seasonal, yearly and multi-decadal climate variations is being exacerbated by the challenge imposed by long-term climate change. Fortunately, our understanding of the climate system continues to improve, allowing us to anticipate and even project future climate,” said Mr Grimes.
“It is therefore possible now to provide information that governments, organizations and individuals on whether the next season, year or decade is likely to be warmer or colder, or drier or wetter, than average. Useful information is available to the regional and country levels. But access is limited to many who need to manage climate risks and opportunities and build more resilient communities,” he said.
“In the future, climate services will make it possible to incorporate science-based climate information and prediction into planning and policy to achieve real benefits for society. This is needed because the challenges facing humanity today are increasingly complex and interconnected,” he said.
WMO is spearheading the rollout of the Global Framework for Climate Services, to improve and expand climate services, especially for the most vulnerable.
Lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy are high on the agenda of a meeting convened by the World Meteorological Organization to review the 2012 tropical cyclone season in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific and prepare for the forthcoming season.
The Hurricane Committee of WMO Regional Association IV (North and Central America and the Caribbean) meets in Curacao 8-12 April to discuss how to strengthen warning services and regional coordination to protect lives and property.
The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was marked by above-average tropical cyclone activity with the formation of 19 tropical storms, of which ten became hurricanes. The numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes were each above the long-term average (1981–2010) of 12 and 6, respectively. Two of the hurricanes – Michael and Sandy – strengthened into major hurricanes (Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), according to a review of the past hurricane season prepared by WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) Miami. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) serves as the RSMC for WMO Regional Association IV.
WMO Deputy Secretary-General Jerry Lengoasa said the massive impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Caribbean and United States had heightened international awareness about the threat of tropical cyclones in the region. >> Full text
WMO aims to be an active participant in the Oceans Compact: an initiative to help the UN system achieve the common goal of “Healthy Oceans for Prosperity” and deliver on its ocean-related mandates, consistent with the Rio+20 outcome document “The Future We Want”, in a more coherent and effective manner.
The Oceans Compact focuses on three interrelated objectives:
Of particular interest to WMO are the objectives and the activities of the Oceans Compact related to the sustained provision of global and regional coverage observational data, products and services to address the continued and expanding requirements of the maritime user community for marine meteorology services and information, focusing on safety of life and property at sea, integrated coastal management and societal impacts. >> full text
An agreement between the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)) will support up to ten PhD fellowships per year focused on weather, climate and water-related hazards.
The partnership joins WMO and TWAS in a venture to build science capacity in least-developed and developing nations that are vulnerable to weather-related risks and the effects of climate variability and change.
“The ever evolving need for expertise in weather, climate and water related sciences require more resources and broader partnerships to nurture young scientists. The agreement between WMO and TWAS will help build capacity in the human resources we need to face current and future global challenges,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud,
“Across the developing world, there is a critical need for expertise in a wide range of climate-related subjects," said Romain Murenzi, executive director of TWAS. "Through this agreement, we are pleased to strengthen our collaboration with WMO and start the process of providing high-quality training opportunities to give developing countries the chance to build their own indigenous scientific capacity.” >> More
STANFORD, 25 March - The expert and government review of the second order draft of the
Working Group II contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth
Assessment Report (AR5) starts on Thursday, 28 March. For the second round of expert reviews, Working Group II, which covers climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, is seeking
input from volunteer expert reviewers from all relevant fields. The second order draft of the contribution will also be reviewed by the member governments of the IPCC. The review period runs until 24 May. Registration for participation in the review is now open.
The IPCC seeks the widest possible participation by experts in the reviews of its draft reports.
Reviewers should reflect the full range of scientific, technical, and socio-economic views, expertise, and geographical representation. >> More
MyWorldWeather, a free mobile application (app) with official weather forecasts across the globe, has introduced new language versions to reach a growing number of people on the move.
Developed by the Hong Kong Observatory on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization, MyWorldWeather is now available on both iPhone and Android platforms in Chinese, English, German, Korean, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.
The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), Mr Shun Chi-ming, performed a launch ceremony for the MyWorldWeather with officiating guests including the President of the WMO, Mr David Grimes; the Deputy Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration, Shen Xiaonong; and Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Andrew Wong on 23 March, marking World Meteorological Day and the 130th anniversary of the Hong Kong Observatory. “Without the close collaboration and partnership that we have enjoyed in the past years, the Observatory alone could not have reached its current level of development and sophistication,” he said. >> More
The fulfillment of basic human needs, the environment, socio‐economic development and
poverty reduction are all dependent on water. Cooperating around this precious resource is
key for security, poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality.
“Water is central to the well‐being of people and the planet," Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐moon said in his video message for the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013. "We must work
together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource."
Every action involving water management and use requires effective cooperation between multiple actors, whether at the local or the international scale. In recognition of this reality, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 to be the International Year of Water Cooperation, following a proposal from a group of Member States led by Tajikistan. World Water Day, celebrated on 22 March, is dedicated to the same theme this year. UNESCO, in collaboration with UNECE and UN DESA, is leading activities for both the Year and the Day on behalf of UN‐Water. >> full text
WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch has held a major symposium
on how to improve the monitoring and understanding of air pollution,
ozone, ultraviolet radiation, greenhouse gases and other atmospheric
conditions which impact on our daily life.
The symposium is held every four years It focused on strengthening scientific data and information on the state of the atmosphere and its interactions with the oceans and the biosphere, and ensuring that it is relevant and accessible to service providers and policymakers. >> More
Some of the international partners in the World Weather Watch have also contributed items to the Bulletin to mark its 50th anniversary. This issue includes an interview of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Director-General Alan Thorpe and an article from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on environmental satellites. In addition, two newer international partnerships – the Tiksi International Hydrometeorology Observatory and ARISE – which promise to deliver scientific insights that will contribute to the World Weather Watch, are highlighted.
The development of human resources and the physical infrastructure of public weather services is key to the success of the World Weather Watch. The last two articles in this issue deal with these two important aspects. In the penultimate article, four WMO fellows provide insight into their fellowship experience at the China Meterological Administration. The final article highlights the Korean Meteorological Administration’s approach to the valuing of investments in data-processing and forecasting systems.
Watching the Weather to Protect Life and Property is the theme of World Meteorological Day which also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the World Weather Watch: a symbol of global cooperation born at the height of the Cold War
The formal ceremony at WMO headquarters takes place 21 March 2013, starting at 2.30. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud will give the welcome address. Special guest is Prof. Alan Thorpe Director-General of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Guest speaker is Dr Hamadoun Touré Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Full programme
WMO will host a Scientific and Technical Forum at its headquarters in Geneva on the morning of 21 March, featuring leading experts from around the globe. The Forum provides an overview of the past successes of World Weather Watch and its evolution into the 21st century. It will highlight advances in the three pillars of World Weather Watch: coordinated observations, telecommunications and meteorological forecasts. There will be a live webcast of the Forum. Details of how to access the webcast
At the Scientific and Technical Forum, Dr K. D. Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, will speak on Past, Present and Future: A Review of the World Weather Watch from NOAA's perspective. Dr Alexander Gusev, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring will provide a historical review of the World Weather Watch from Rosshydromet’s perspective. Other guest speakers are Dr J.L. Rasmussen, former director of the World Weather Watch, Dr F. Hemmer Head of Information Technology at CERN, and Dr S. Barrell, Vice President of WMO Commission for Basic Systems and ICG chair of WMO Integrated Global Observing System. Full details of the programme
Both the World Meteorological Day ceremony and the Scientific and Technical Forum are open to the public and media
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP) have launched a joint Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) on March 13, 2013, to improve monitoring and prevention of one of the world’s greatest natural hazards.
The programme was launched at the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP) in Geneva, Switzerland, where decision-makers and scientists from around the world are discussing proactive, forward-looking national drought policies to replace the current piecemeal, reactive approach.
“Whether because of climate variability or climate change, droughts have a severe impact on water availability and quality, agricultural and energy production, and ecosystem health,” says GWP Executive Secretary Dr Ania Grobicki. “There is an urgent need to develop better drought monitoring and risk management systems, and for countries to have frameworks in place to manage drought risks through an integrated approach. This programme aims to support countries in this endeavor, within their regional contexts.” >> Full text
A High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy, organized by three United Nations institutions, aims to promote practical and proactive policies at the national level to make drought-prone countries more resilient.
The scientific segment of the week-long conference, organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), opened 11 March. A ministerial session will be held 13-14 March.
Droughts cause more death and displacement than cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined, making them the world’s most destructive natural hazard. They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change. There is therefore an urgent need for coordinated drought and proactive policies. >> full text
Need to focus on building resilience and reducing risks
Geneva 8 March 2013 – Droughts cause the deaths and displacement of more people than
cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined, making them the world’s most destructive
natural hazard. Yet while droughts are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, effective drought management policies are missing in most parts of the world. Three United Nations institutions have now joined forces to promote the development and adoption of practical and proactive policies at the national level to make drought-prone countries more resilient.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and other
partners will hold a High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy on 11-15 March 2013 in Geneva to focus on drought preparedness and management policies. >> More
Water is life. But water is also a threat to life. During the past decade, water-related disasters have not only struck more frequently but have also been more severe, hampering sustainable development by causing political, social, and economic shocks in many countries.
Disaster risk levels are driven by factors such as climate variability, poverty, poor land-use planning and management, as well as ecosystem degradation, and are increasing as more people and assets locate in areas of high risk.
Integrated approaches to water resource management are critical for building the social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainable development, as highlighted by the Rio +20 conference last year. >> Full text
Participants of the meeting in front of the DWD headquarters in Offenbach, 26 February 2013
The German Meteorological Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD) hosted a meeting from 26-28 February 2013 of close to 50 representatives from international institutions to discuss which additional and special requirements for climate observations can be drawn from climate adaptation activities. The workshop was jointly organized by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The experts discussed to what extent specific socio-economic and scientific-technical sectors will need to apply climate adaptation activities and what kind of observations will be required. In particular, they discussed what data and product gaps and information deficiencies need to be addressed to improve already available climate information. The discussion highlighted the fact that in many cases the information provided by climate models and satellites is still not sufficient. This is because there is a huge demand for observation data that are of high quality and have adequate spatial and temporal resolution. This is true for both developed and developing countries, although for the latter the need for free, frequent and useful data is even greater.
The workshop results will serve as a qualified source of information for the 3rd Adequacy Report of Global Observing Systems for Climate that GCOS and its partners will produce by the end of 2014. This Report will then be presented to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The results of the workshop will be available in a report to be published available in May 2013.
WMO’s Voluntary Cooperation Programme (VCP) has just issued its 2012 newsletter with details of capacity building and development activities during the year.
In 2012, the VCP Secretariat received new requests for support from Armenia, Belarus, Cuba, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Kiribati, Mauritania, Moldova, Samoa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe. A total of 21 requests were received in 2012, of which WMO received sponsorship for 17 projects (80% of all requests).
Key projects and activities included:
· Emergency Disaster Assistance to Fiji for following severe flooding in early 2012
· Expert mission to Kiribati to update the Meteorological Service Strategic Plan
· Support to reinforcing the NMS of Mauritania and Ethiopia for broadcasting meteorological bulletins on local TV.
· Expert mission to Samoa to conduct QMS training for aviation services
· Expert services provided for Drafting of Meteorology Bill for the Kingdom of Tonga,
Niue and Vanuatu
· Expert mission in Seychelles for the installation of two Automatic Weather Stations
· LoA with Meteo-France- WMO`s contribution to implementation of Project on rescue
of climatalogical data in Madagascar including rehabilitation of the CliSys system.
Other countries that received support; included, Angola, Belarus, Cuba, Fiji, Madagascar,
Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Vanuatu and Zambia.
For an overview of on-going projects, outstanding requests and links to partners and donors, please check http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/dra/vcp/on-going.php
The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has issued its seasonal predictions for the forthcoming March-May rainy season which is vital to agriculture and food security in a region that has been hit by both droughts and floods in recent years.
There is an increased likelihood of near normal to below normal rainfall over much of the northern part of South Sudan; southern Sudan; northern and eastern Ethiopia; eastern half of Kenya; Somalia, and eastern parts of Tanzania, according to the outlook. Specifically, it indicated a 45 percent probability of near normal rainfall, a 35 percent probability of below normal rainfall, and a 20 percent probability of above normal rainfall in these areas.
Burundi; Rwanda; Uganda; southern parts of South Sudan; southwestern and central Ethiopia; western and central Kenya as well as western half of Tanzania have an increased likelihood of normal (45 percent) to above-normal (35 percent) rainfall in March-May, it said, noting a 20 per cent probability of below normal rainfall in these areas.
The climate outlook was issued at the end of a meeting organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development
Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), 18-20 February in Bujumbura, Burundi. Factors taken into
consideration included sea surface temperature conditions over the Western Indian and eastern tropical Atlantic Oceans,
as well as neutral El Niño Southern Oscillation conditions over the tropical Pacific Ocean. Key processes considered also included, the Indian Ocean Dipole, monsoonal wind systems over the region and tropical cyclone activities over Indian Ocean sub region. >> Full text
The International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 was officially launched 11 February 2013 by Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General and Chair of UN-Water and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of a high-level event taking place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
In December 2010 the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, following a proposal by Tajikistan. World Water Day, celebrated each year on 22 March, will be dedicated to the same theme. The slogan for the year is Water, Water Everywhere, Only if We Share.
Water, a vital resource unlike any other knows no borders. For instance, 148 countries share at least one transboundary river basin.
As rapid urbanization, climate change and growing food needs put ever-increasing pressure on freshwater resources, the objective of the Year is to draw attention to the benefits of cooperation in water management. It will serve to highlight successful examples of water cooperation and explore key issues, including water diplomacy, transboundary water management and financial cooperation.
International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 - Presskit
Water is one of the top priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services currently being implemented by WMO and partners. This aims to roll out improved climate services to help cope with our changing climate. http://www.wmo.int/pages/gfcs/documents/GFCS_water_community_flyer_en.pdf
Infographic on International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 at: http://www.unwater.org/watercooperation2013/downloads/2013_infographic.jpg
Poster on the water cycle:
In a seminar held on 12 February in Oslo, the Minister of International Development of Norway, Heikki Holmas, announced a contribution of NOK 60 million (approx. USD 11 million) to support climate services for food and nutrition security in Africa. The contribution is to support collaborative efforts to be implemented by the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization and other partners with extensive networks on the ground. As part of this contribution, the Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS) will receive NOK 2 million per year for a three-year programme starting in 2013. The Oslo seminar was entitled "Let's talk about the weather - and start preparing for changes!", and it was jointly organized by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign, WMO, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) and NORAD. For more information visit the Norad website.
Progress in rolling out climate services to help the most vulnerable cope with our changing climate and improve water, agriculture, disaster and health management is the focus of a one day seminar in Norway.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, NORAD and Cicero Center for International Climate and Environmental Research are organizing the event 12 February ”Let’s talk about the weather – and start preparing for changes.”
This seminar is an important occasion to take stock of the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to improve and expand climate services essential to cope with weather, climate and water-related hazards several of which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. >> full text
Today the mean sea level is rising, Arctic sea ice cover is shrinking and high
latitude areas are warming rapidly. These effects are caused by a mixture of
long-term climate change and natural variability. An improved understanding
of global changes in both the atmosphere and ocean is needed to project
regional impacts and guide international actions. Until recently, very little
data was available on the ocean, but that has now changed thanks to a
programme co-sponsored by WMO and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission (IOC). press release
In 1999, a small group of oceanographers outlined a plan to set up an array of profiling floats to monitor the state of the upper 2 km of the global ocean. The initial objective was to maintain a network of 3,000 units, in ice-free areas, providing both real-time data and higher quality delayed mode data and analyses to underpin a new generation ocean and climate models. The programme was called Argo.
Argo is now a collaborative effort of over 30 countries and by November 2012, it had collected its millionth profile of temperature and salinity, twice the number obtained by research vessels during all of the 20th century. 120,000 new profiles are collected every year, at the impressive rate of 1 profile approximately every 4 minutes. Each profile consists of up to 1,000 measurements of temperature and salinity at varying depths.
Today Argo, with over 3,500 active floats, provides global-scale, all-weather subsurface observations of the oceans, an unprecedented dataset for researchers studying the temperature, salinity, and circulation of the global oceans and how these change over periods ranging from days to decades. This data is also crucial for weather forecasts.
Argo, a major component of the Global Ocean Observing System, is managed
by the WMO and IOC Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography
and Marine Meteorology. This is an intergovernmental body of
technical experts that provides a mechanism for international coordination
of oceanographic and marine meteorological observing, data management
and services, combining the expertise, technologies and capacity building capabilities of the meteorological and oceanographic communities.
The 1 millionth observation is a symbolic milestone for Argo as we seek to increase our understanding of the oceans and their role in earth's climate.
The influence of climate change on tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin remains uncertain and more research will be required to understand the relative contributions of natural variations and climate change linked to human activity, according to a new analysis of the world’s most active tropical cyclone region.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)/World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Typhoon Committee considered the Second Assessment Report on the Influence of Climate Change on Tropical Cyclones in the Typhoon Committee Region at its recent meeting in Hong Kong, China. The report summarized the results and findings from research conducted by Members on the long-term trends of tropical cyclone activity in the region.
The assessment report indicated that, with considerable inter-annual and inter- decadal variations in the tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin, it remains uncertain whether there has been any detectable human influence on tropical cyclone frequency, intensity, precipitation, track, or related aggregated storm activity metrics in this basin. >> full text
Around 90 meteorological, hydrological and disaster reduction experts are
meeting in Hong Kong to take part in the 45th Session of the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)/World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) Typhoon Committee from 29 January to 1 February.
The session, hosted by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), is reviewing and
discussing collaboration on regional activities to reduce loss of lives and damage
caused by tropical cyclones. The Director of the HKO, Mr Shun Chi-ming, was
elected the Chairperson of the Typhoon Committee for 2013.
Jiao Meiyan, Deputy Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration and chair of the Typhoon Committee for 2012, described the year 2012 as a busy in terms of typhoon activity.
"In China, six typhoons packed with winds exceeding force 12 hit 18 provinces within one month, a historical record of the same period. Bopha, the strongest and deadliest storm that hit the Philippines this year led to more than 1,000 deaths and affected millions of people. Sanba, the most powerful typhoon in the decade lashed the Korean Peninsula, leaving power down, houses destroyed and transport interrupted,” Ms Jiao said.
"This reminds us the importance of the work of the Typhoon Committee - to minimise the loss of lives and material damages caused by typhoons in Asia through planning and implementation of required measures," Ms Jiao said
The Typhoon Committee comprises 14 Members: Cambodia; China; Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; the Philippines; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Thailand; Socialist Republic of Vietnam; and the USA.
The Thematic Consultation on Water is part of the UN-system led “global dialogue” comprising of 50-100 Country Consultations and eleven global Thematic Consultations. The Thematic Consultation on Water is mainly taking place as an online discussion using different social media. The purpose is to bring voices from a broad range of stakeholders to build consensus around key future challenges related to water and its role in the post-2015 development agenda.
The thematic consultation on water is divided in three sub-consultations:
• - Water, sanitation and hygiene
• - Water resources management
• - Wastewater management and water quality
The Water Resources Management stream will be running through 17 February. The main goal of these discussions is to brainstorm and discuss the potential for water resources management to be a part of the post-2015 development agenda.
The sub-consultation will allow debating important questions such as:
- How do water-related challenges and risks directly and indirectly affect you?
- How do we preserve water resources for future generations given the competing demands (i.e., agriculture, nature, transport, industry, domestic consumption, tourism, energy, etc.)? Who decides this?
- What key actions should be taken in your country to ensure water security for all uses including the environment?
- What can non-state actors and non-water professionals contribute to better water management?
WMO has been asked to lead the weekly sub-stream consultation 21-28 January 2013 on Climate Change and Water-related Risks of the Water Resources Management stream, coordinated by the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe.
Several activities will be taking place throughout the week, including
interventions by Harry Lins, President of WMO’s Commission for
Hydrology through a video clip. Michael Glantz, Director of the
Consortium for Capacity Building, will take part in a live interactive video
address Thursday 24 January at 1700 CET, when the audience will be able to ask questions.
Everyone is encouraged to get involved in the discussions, pose
questions, give feedback and partake in a lively debate that will help
further advance the dialogue on climate change and water-related
risks. You can follow the conversation on the website, on Twitter
(#waterpost2015) or on Facebook (WaterPost2015).
MyWorldWeather, a free mobile application (app) with official weather forecasts across the globe, is on the move.
A trial version for the Android platform supporting multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Polish, has been launched by the Hong Kong Observatory on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization. Meanwhile, an updated iPhone app is also available incorporating Spanish and Polish language versions.
MyWorldWeatherfeatures the WMO’sWorld Weather Information Service, withauthoritative weather forecasts for more than 1,600 cities, supplied by 133 WMO Members. Unlike other weather apps, MyWorldWeather forecasts are official as they are provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. >> More
South Sudan was admitted to the United Nations 14 July 2011. The Government of the United States of America, in its capacity as Depositary for the WMO Convention, received an instrument of accession to the Convention by the Government of South Sudan 14 November 2012. The Convention entered into force for South Sudan 14 December 2012.
The landlocked nation has a fragile natural environment and is vulnerable to extremes such as drought and flooding, exacerbated by desertification.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud has saluted the work of the International International Research Centre on El Niño/Southern Oscillation (CIIFEN) as a centre of excellence and expertise on a phenomenon which has a major impact on our climate.
“WMO considers the achievements of CIIFEN remarkable and of great service to the regional and international climate communities,” Mr Jarraud told a 10th anniversary ceremony in Guayaquil, Ecuador 10 January.
Mr Jarraud singled out the development of regional climate models to improve early warning and of scenarios for regional adaptation to climate change, the establishment of climate-based community networks and the implementation of a Regional Climate Information System.
CIIFEN works to develop, strengthen and share information and knowledge on ENSO and its influence on climate. It also contributes to WMO’s periodic Updates on El Niño/La Niña, a phenomenon which has a major impact on our climate and causes extreme conditions including droughts and floods.
Following several resolutions of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, CIIFEN was established in 1993. The U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) and WMO have co-sponsored CIIFEN, with support from the Government of Ecuador and the Spanish State Meteorological Agency. In a resolution passed in December 2012, the General Assembly reiterated the importance of CIIFEN.
In order to strengthen and ensure sustainability of CIIFEN and to support its future role as a WMO Regional Climate Centre, additional support is needed from national and other sources, said Mr. Jarraud. WMO’s Regional Association for South America approved the candidature of CIIFEN as a WMO Regional Climate Centre for the sub-region of Western South America. CIIFEN is currently implementing a demonstration phase.
Regional Climate Centres will play a key role in supporting the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services to improve the provision of regionalized climate information for agriculture and food security, water, disaster risk reduction and health.
The success of the GFCS will depend on a global partnership of governments and organizations, strengthening national and regional climate services and improving our ability to adapt and respond to the impacts of climate variability and climate change. Governments, organizations and individuals concerned are called on to contribute to this effort.
As a candidate Regional Climate Centre for Western South America, CIIFEN has an important role to play within the GFCS, enhancing its delivery of climate services and products tailored to the information needs of regional users, and coordinating the Climate Outlook Forum for the Western Coast of South America. CIIFEN has also been actively supporting training and capacity building of national stakeholders in the sub-region to provide climate services.
The maximum temperature anomaly from the 1961-1990 average for 1-7 january 2013. Units are °C
Large parts of central and southern Australia are currently under the influence of a persistent and widespread heat wave event, leading to a number of new temperature maximums. The Bureau of Meteorology expects further significant records to be set. The heat wave, which is pushing the limits of previous temperature extremes, has required an adjustment of the scale used to represent forecast temperatures with new colours representing 50-52°C and 52-54°C.
According to a Special Climate Statement issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, the current heat wave extends a four month spell of record hot conditions affecting Australia. These hot conditions have been exacerbated by very dry conditions affecting much of Australia since mid 2012 and a delayed start to a weak Australian monsoon.
For September to December, the average Australian maximum temperature was the highest on record with a national anomaly of +1.61 °C, slightly ahead of the previous record of 1.60 °C set in 2002. The start of the current heat wave event traces back to late December 2012, and all states and territories have seen unusually hot temperatures with many site records approached or exceeded across southern and central Australia.
Statement with list