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Last updated: 16 April 2014

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Weather and Climate Information for Food Security
Posted 16 April 2014

Weather and Climate Information for Food Security

Farmers with rain gauges at roving seminar in Nigeria

WMO’s Commission for Agricultural Meteorology has held its quadrennial session, which was dominated by the need to optimize weather and climate services to improve food security for the growing global population and meet the challenges of climate change and extreme events such as droughts and floods, which can wreak havoc with crops, livelihoods and commodity prices.

The Commission, which met 10-15 April in Antalya, Turkey, set its priorities for the next four years. These include the critical need for more human and financial resources and capacity-building, and for closer cooperation between meteorologists, farmers and the wider agricultural industry, said Commission President Byong-Lyol Lee, who was re-elected for a second term.

Global food security, which is linked to a wide array of agriculture and water supply systems as well as natural ecosystems, is under constant threat from weather and climate extremes and, in the 21st Century will face greater challenges from a changing climate,” said WMO Assistant Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova. >> More



WMO Update Indicates Possible onset of El Nino Around Middle of Year
Posted 15 April 2014

Sub-surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific have warmed to levels similar to the onset of an El Nino event, and climate models surveyed by WMO experts predict a steady warming of the tropical Pacific during the months ahead, according to the latest Update from the World Meteorological Organization. A majority of models indicate that an El Niño may develop around the middle of the year, but it is still too early to assess the strength of any such event.

El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. It has a significant impact on climate in many parts of the world and has a warming influence on global temperatures. It is the opposite of the La Niña phenomenon, which is associated with cooling.

Since the second quarter of 2012, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators (e.g., tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, sea level pressure, cloudiness and trade winds) have generally remained at neutral levels. This is expected to continue into the earlier part of the second quarter of 2014, according to the WMO Update.>> More

 

New IPCC report highlights effective actions for reducing greenhouse gases and the risks of global climate change
Posted 14 April 2014

An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report launched here today confirms that it is still possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change – but only if the international community takes urgent and ambitious actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“Last year, the IPCC stated that limiting the warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions to a 2°C rise will require that our future emissions of carbon dioxide be dramatically lower than the total amount of all our past emissions. Today’s report on Mitigation of Climate Change presents what we need to do to meet this profound challenge,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, which, together with the UN Environment Programme, sponsors the IPCC. >> More

 

NOAA: WMO retires Ingrid and Manuel for Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins
Posted 11 April 2014

This image from NASA's MODIS satellite shows Manuel over western Mexico and Ingrid over eastern Mexico on Sept. 15, 2013. (Credit: NASA)

This image from NASA's MODIS satellite shows Manuel over western Mexico and Ingrid over eastern Mexico on Sept. 15, 2013. (Credit: NASA)

Both storms had deadly impacts on Mexico in 2013 - The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) hurricane committee announced today it will no longer use the name Ingrid for future tropical storms or hurricanes in the Atlantic, and the name Manuel in the eastern North Pacific, because of the death and destruction both storms caused in Mexico in September 2013.

The WMO will replace Ingrid with “Imelda” and Manuel with “Mario” when the 2013 lists are reused in 2019.

In September 2013, Ingrid was a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall as a tropical storm in northeastern Mexico. Simultaneously, Manual developed over the eastern North Pacific and made landfall as a tropical storm on the southern coast of Mexico. It then reformed in the Gulf of California and made a second landfall in Mexico as a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale hurricane. >> More

 

Post-Haiyan Mission visits Philippines
Posted 9 April 2014

An international team of experts is visiting the Philippines to consolidate lessons learnt from Typhoon Haiyan (also called Yolanda in the Philippines) from hazard monitoring and early warning perspectives and make recommendations on the way forward.

The 7-11 April mission, with experts from WMO, the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the joint Typhoon Committee, comes at the request of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). >> More


Cherrapunji, India, Holds New Record for 48-Hour Rainfall
Posted 4 April 2014

A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) panel has concluded that Cherrapunji in India now holds the world record for two-day (48-hour) rainfall, with 2 493 millimeters (98.15 inches) recorded on 15–16 June 1995.

This rainfall total exceeds the previous world 48-hour rainfall record of 2 467mm (97.1”) associated with the passage of a tropical cyclone over the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion (France) in April 1958. La Réunion, which is frequently hit by tropic cyclones and receives large amounts of rainfall over its mountains, continues to hold the record for the most rainfall over periods of 12-hours and 24-hours (in 1966), as well as 72-hours and 96-hours (in 2007).

The WMO Commission of Climatology international panel of experts reached its decision following an in-depth investigation of the Cherrapunji rainfall event for it to be included in the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes, the official international listing of weather and climate extremes. >> More

WORKSHOP TARGETS CLIMATE SERVICES FOR THE PACIFIC ISLAND STATES
Posted 1 April 2014

WORKSHOP TARGETS CLIMATE SERVICES FOR THE PACIFIC ISLAND STATES

A regional consultation aimed at improving weather and climate services is being held in the Cook Islands as part of a concerted drive to boost sustainable socio economic development and disaster resilience in Small Island Developing States on the frontline of climate change and extreme events.

The meeting in Rarotongo from 31 March to 4 April is being sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and other key partners. It brings together experts from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), regional organizations, research institutions and decision-makers, as well as experts on agriculture and food security, water, health and disaster risk reduction.

The consultation aims to strengthen weather and climate services for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and ensure that the ongoing implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services meets their unique needs and extreme vulnerability. Small islands in the Pacific are regularly exposed to extreme weather and climate-related hazards including, in recent months, tropical cyclones, coastal inundation, tidal surges, flooding and drought. Climate change and rising sea levels has increased the impact of these events.  More


IPCC report on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation confirms the high human costs of climate change - WMO urges governments to translate research findings
into actionable information through climate services
Posted 31 March 2014

Yokohama, 31 March 2014 – The IPCC’s Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, a comprehensive assessment report by leading scientists launched here today, offers policymakers and the general public a wealth of information about how climate change will affect the lives of current and future generations – and what governments can do to adapt and reduce vulnerabilities.

“Over the coming decades, climate change will have mostly negative impacts on cities and infrastructure, migration and security, ecosystems and species, crops and food security, public health, water supplies, and much more. We will see more ocean acidification and extreme droughts, floods and heatwaves. The poor and vulnerable will be most affected,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which, together with the UN Environment Programme, established the IPCC in 1988. >> More


TIGGE-LAM improves regional ensemble forecasts
Posted 28 March 2014

Members of the TIGGE-LAM coordination team

Members of the TIGGE-LAM coordination team

The World Weather Research Programme has launched a new tool to improve regional ensemble forecasts of high-impact weather and so strengthen early warning and disaster prevention.

A single web portal hosted by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) called TIGGE-LAM is now available. It currently groups five European ensemble systems in a standard data format, and five more will be added in the near future [see table]. >> More





USAID Investment to Improve Regional Resilience to Climate Change in the Caribbean

Posted 26 March 2014

USAID

the CIMH Course: Senior Level Meteorologist Technicians' Course - Forecaster andHydrological Diploma

Barbados, 26 March 2014 - Around 40 million people are set to benefit from a new Regional Climate Centre for the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), which will significantly improve the ability to understand and predict current and future climate-related issues and help one of the world’s most vulnerable regions adapt to climate change.

The Programme for Building Regional Climate Capacity in the Caribbean is funded by an investment of US$5.085 million over the next three years from USAID. Its launch is especially timely given that 2014 is the International Year of the Small Island Developing States. >> More


WMO and Italian National Civil Protection Department Agreement
Posted 25 March 2014

The World Meteorological Organization has signed a cooperation agreement with the Italian National Civil Protection Department. This opens the way for the Italian platform for natural risk management and prevention to be available as an open source to other countries.

The Head of the Civil Protection Department, Franco Gabrielli, and WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud signed the accord, which formalizes existing collaboration in the area of natural risk reduction. Under the agreement, the Italian National Civil Protection Service engages to make its long-term experience in emergency situations available in support of the needs identified at the international level.

To be more specific, Dewetra – the Civil Protection Department’s integrated system for real time monitoring, prediction and prevention of natural risks, will be made available internationally. Dewetra is operational in the framework of the Italian National System of Functional Centres, and is a platform developed between the Civil Protection Department and CIMA Foundation – International Centre for Environmental Monitoring – to contribute to hydro-meteorological and wildfire risk forecasting and mitigation.

The five-year agreement culminates a process started in November 2012. It defines the conditions for the transfer, installation and configuration of Dewetra in countries requesting it through WMO. The software will be made available through an open source license agreement. Remote and onsite assistance is to be provided by the staff of the Civil Protection Department and national competence centres.

Italian expertise – in instrumental monitoring, observation and assessment of risk scenarios and their evolution – will thus be an asset shared with all WMO Members who appreciate its advantages and who choose to adapt it to their requirements, in collaboration with WMO.

Currently, several Caribbean countries, as well as Albania, Bolivia and Lebanon, are already using the Dewetra platform, while The Philippines, Ecuador and Guyana have recently sent requests for its implementation.

 

WMO Annual Climate Statement Highlights Extreme Events
Posted 24 March 2014

The year 2013 once again demonstrated the dramatic impact of droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones on people and property in all parts of the planet, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate. The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend. It provided a snapshot of regional and national temperatures and extreme events as well as details of ice cover, ocean warming, sea level rise and greenhouse gas concentrations – all inter-related and consistent indicators of our changing climate.

Thirteen of the fourteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, culminating with 2001-2010 as the warmest decade on record. The average global land and ocean surface temperature in 2013 was 14.5°C (58.1°F) –  0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03°C (0.05°F) higher than the 2001–2010 decadal average. Temperatures in many parts of the southern hemisphere were especially warm, with Australia having its hottest year on record and Argentina its second hottest. >> More

 

Meteorological summer/winter sees many extremes
Posted 24 March 2014

WMO and UNITAR cooperate on climate services

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency Tokyo Climate Center
Seasonal Mean Temperature Anomaly (normalized) (Dec 2013 – Feb 2014)

The recently ended meteorological summer/winter (December, January, February) witnessed many extreme weather conditions. The World Meteorological Organization has put together a compilation of highlights, based on reports from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and WMO Regional Climate Centres. This round-up is meant to serve as an information guide and is in response to media enquiries. It is not fully comprehensive and does not replace the WMO’s authoritative reports on the Status of the Global Climate.

According to the U.S. National Climatic Data Center, the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for December-February was the eighth highest on record for this period, at about 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average of 12.1°C (53.8°F). >> More

 

World Water Day: UN Stresses Water and Energy Issues; Tokyo Leads Public Celebrations Around the World
Posted 21 March 2014                                                 

The deep-rooted relationship between water and energy was
highlighted during celebrations in Tokyo marking the United Nations’ annual World Water Day.

The deep-rooted relationship between water and energy was
highlighted during celebrations in Tokyo marking the United Nations’ annual World Water Day.

The UN predicts that by 2030, the global population will need 35% more food, 40% more water and 50% more energy. Already today 768 million people lack access to improved water sources, 2.5 billion people have no improved sanitation and 1.3 billion people cannot access electricity. >> More

UNFCC Turns 20
Posted 21 March 2014                                                 

Friday, 21 March 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is a moment to celebrate the far-sightedness of the Convention and all of the investment in its implementation that so many thousands of people have made over the last two decades, according to its Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.

In a statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon praised the UNFCC as a “major catalyst in the growing developmental shift to clean technology, renewable energy, improved efficiency and adaptation.”

“At the same time, considerably greater ambition is needed to match the scale of the global challenge posed by climate change. Greenhouse gases are at their highest atmospheric concentration in 800,000 years. People everywhere – especially the poorest and most vulnerable – are experiencing the growing effects of unpredictable and increasingly extreme weather patterns,” he said

Ms Figueres said the anniversary highlighted “the distance we all have yet to travel to achieve the ultimate objective enshrined in the Convention, which is to preventdangerous human interference with the climate system and ensure sustainable development for everyone.”

To mark the anniversary, the secretariat has prepared an interesting, informative and fun timeline. Relive great moments in the history of the Convention in stories, photos, and video! Read more

More information

 

World Meteorological Day Focuses on Youth
Posted 20 March 2014                                                 

Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth is the theme of World Meteorological Day 2014, seeking to increase awareness among young people about climate change and mobilize them as champions for action.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is also using the 23 March occasion as a rallying call for more young people – especially women – to become meteorologists: a profession which makes a vital contribution to the safety and well-being of society.

Today’s youth will benefit from thedramatic advances being made in our ability to understand and forecast the Earth’s weather and climate. Most will live into the second half of this century and experience the increasing impacts of climate change. >> More

 

WMO and UNITAR cooperate on climate services
Posted 12 March 2014

WMO and UNITAR cooperate on climate services

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud and UNITAR
Executive Director Sally Fegan-Wyles, Executive Director

The World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have agreed to boost cooperation as part of a wider international initiative to strengthen links between providers and users of climate services as well as the education and research community.

The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 7 March to strengthen collaboration on projects of mutual interest, in support of implementation and effective operation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

A strong priority of the GFCS is to increase and improve interactions between climate service providers and those who make use of the services, in order to increase the uptake and effective use of climate information. This will require unprecedented collaboration because no single government or agency has the necessary resources to address all the challenges on its own. Consequently, the success of the GFCS depends on the ability of all relevant stakeholders including WMO to partner effectively to meet its objectives. >> More

 

WMO formalizes cooperation with EUMETNET
Posted 12 March 2014

WMO formalizes cooperation with EUMETNET

Steve Noyes, EUMETNET Executive Director and WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud

WMO and the Network of European Meteorological Organizations, EUMETNET, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their cooperation in areas such as observations, climate services, forecasting and training, early warning systems, disaster risk reduction, aviation meteorology and protection of radio frequencies need for meteorological purposes.

One of the immediate priorities will be joint work on the EUMETNET-AMDAR (Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay) Operational Service for high quality measurements of upper air meteorological variables from aircraft. There will also be closer cooperation to implement the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS).
EUMETNET has 31 Members in Europe and seeks to strengthen their individual and joint capabilities through enhanced networking, interoperability, optimization and integration. It coordinates the Meteoalarm warning system (www.meteoalarm.eu) providing relevant information needed to prepare for extreme weather in Europe.

 

International Women’s Day 2014
Posted 7 March 2014

On International Women’s Day, WMO is encouraging more women to become meteorologists and hydrologists, and shape knowledge and action on weather, climate and water to meet present and future challenges to build weather and climate resilient societies.

“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made in the WMO Policy on Gender Mainstreaming; to review the challenges, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by strong and talented women meteorologists and hydrologists who have played an extraordinary role in WMO and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, universities and other institutions,” said WMO Assistant-Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova.  “Regretfully there are still too few women on key positions in WMO’s constituencies. Women can and should play a greater role as both providers and users of cutting-edge meteorological science,” she said.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March is “Equality for Women is progress for all.” >> More

 

Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum
Posted 3 March 2014

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 vulnerable to both droughts and floods.

It predicted an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall over northern, western and southern Tanzania; Burundi; Rwanda; much of Uganda; western Kenya; western Ethiopia and much of South Sudan. Specifically, it said there was a 40% probability of near normal rainfall, a 35% probability of above normal rainfall and a 25% probability of below normal rainfall in these areas.

Increased likelihood of near normal (40%) to below normal (35%) rainfall is indicated over much of the northern, eastern and coastal areas, it said, noting a 20% probability of above normal rainfall in these areas. >> More

 

National Climate Outlook Forum in Mozambique
Posted 3 March 2014

A pilot National Climate Outlook Forum is taking place in Mozambique as part of the WMO-spearheaded initiative to roll out user-friendly climate services and increase resilience to extreme events and climate change.

The meeting in Maputo from 3 to 6 March brings together providers of climate information together with the users: water managers, city councils, the energy sector, health authorities, research and academic institutes, farmers, fishermen, private sector sugar and banana companies, as well as international development agencies. There will be a special segment devoted to agrometeorology.

It is regarded as a test case for the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services.  At the heart of the GFCS lies the principle that building interfaces between user agencies and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) will facilitate climate-smart decisions in critical sectors. Priority is being given to reducing impacts of climate-related disasters, improvement of food security and health outcomes, and efficient water resource management. One of the mechanisms for creating such climate information user interfaces are the National Climate Outlook Forums (NCOFs). >> More

 

A Career in Meteorology
Posted 3 March 2014

WMO has revised and updated its popular booklet A Career in Meteorology as part of the activities marking this year’s World Meteorological Day “Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth.”

Since the first edition was published in 2006, weather and the related concerns of climate and hydrology have gained an increasingly high profile and are seen as fundamental to sustainable development. This new edition reflects the changes in our physical, socio-economic and professional environment. It highlights these challenges and reaches out to young people showing them how they could make a vital contribution to the safety and well being of their community and country.>> More

[Russian]

 

Global Precipitation Core Observatory Launched
Posted 3 March 2014

WMO welcomes the successful launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). ““The GPM Core Observatory, unified with a fleet of satellites, airborne and ground based observations, will form the very first integrated constellation mapping precipitation covering the Antarctic and Arctic Circles,” said Wenjian Zhang, Director of WMO Observing and Information Systems Department. “It will advance our understanding of the global water and energycycle, and improve our understanding the climate system. It represents a major scientific advance which will truly benefit humanity.” >> More

 

Boost for International El Niño Research Centre
Posted 27 February 2014

The Governing Board of the International Research Centre on El Niño Phenomenon (in Spanish Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno de El Niño, or CIIFEN) has given its support to the growing contribution by the Ecuador-based centre to regional climate predictions and climate services in South America. The Governing Board of CIIFEN is composed by the Government of Ecuador, the national meteorological service of Spain- Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET)- and the U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), being WMO and the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific permanent observers of the Board. >> More

 

Typhoon Committee acts on Haiyan
Posted 25 February 2014

WMO is organizing an expert mission to the Philippines to assess the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, consider how to help in the rebuilding of meteorological infrastructure destroyed by the tropical cyclone and examine ways of strengthening disaster resilience in the future.

The mission, tentatively scheduled for April 2014, was endorsed by the recent session of Typhoon Committee – a joint body of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and WMO.

The Typhoon Committee meeting, held in Bangkok, Thailand, 10-13 February, discussed the impact of Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines). The typhoon, which struck the Philippines in November 2013 was one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record. More than 7,000 people were killed, mainly as a result of tsunami-like storm surges. >> More

 

WMO/ESCAP typhoon experts to assess damage in the Philippines and Vietnam
Posted 21 February 2014

The 46th Session of the WMO/ESCAP Typhoon Committee, hosted in Bangkok from 10-13 February 2014 by the Kingdom of Thailand and the Thai Meteorological Department, has confirmed that the 2013 typhoon season saw a well-above average number of storms. The Western North Pacific Ocean basin experienced 31 named tropical storms, compared to the long-term average of 25.6 (1981-2010). Thirteen reached typhoon intensity, most notably Typhoon Haiyan, which last November devastated large portions of the Philippines and brought heavy damage to areas of China and Vietnam.

The Committee considered the WMO Emergency Response to Typhoon Haiyan and follow-up actions. It was invited to contribute to the development of these actions, including the WMO expert mission to the Philippines and Vietnam. It decided to send several experts from Typhoon Committee Members as part of the expert mission.

The meeting was attended by 72 participants from 10 of the Committee’s 14 members and from WMO and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); invited guests and observers also participated. Succeeding Mr Shun Chi-ming, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, as Committee Chair, Mr. Worapat Tiewthanom, Director-General of Thai Meteorological Department, presided over the session.

The Dr Roman L. Kintanar Award was awarded to the Shanghai Typhoon Institute in recognition of its dedicated efforts to mitigate the impacts and risks resulting from tropical cyclones. In particular, the Institute was recognized for publishing “Tropical Cyclone Research and Review” and an assessment of the impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones in the Western North Pacific Ocean basin.

The mission of the UNESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee is to reduce the loss of lives and to minimize social, economic and environmental impacts caused by typhoon-related disasters through integrated and enhanced regional collaboration. More information about the UNESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee and associated activities can be found online at www.typhooncommittee.org.

For further information, please contact Mr Olavo Rasquinho, Secretary of the Typhoon Committee.

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina joins MeteoAlarm
Posted 20 February 2014

Bosnia and Herzegovina has become the 34th member of MeteoAlarm, which provides comprehensive and coherent weather warnings across Europe through the www.meteoalarm.eu site. The platform will offer an opportunity for improving weather alerts in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as contributing to the overview of severe weather events across Europe.

The move was facilitated by the IPA (Instrument for Preaccession Assistance) project “Building resilience to disasters in Western Balkans and Turkey”, funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Enlargement, which provided the necessary budget and collaborative mechanism. This project is being implemented jointly by WMO and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, and is supported by European meteorological organizations, including EUMETNET and its European Multi-services Meteorological Awareness (EMMA) Programme. >> More

 

Extreme Weather in parts of the world (Updated 14 February 2014)
Posted 14 February 2014

Parts of the world have witnessed a series of extreme weather conditions in the first six weeks of 2014, continuing a pattern that was set in December 2013.

Much of the United States of America has experienced cold waves and major winter storms, whilst California remains gripped by drought.The United Kingdom has seen its wettest December-January period on record, with severe, widespread and prolonged flooding. A combination of strong winds, storms and high tides caused damage and flooding in other coastal areas of Europe. There has been unusually heavy snowfall in the southern Alps.
Monthly mean temperatures were extremely high from eastern Mongolia to eastern China. In the Southern hemisphere, Australia, Argentina and Brazil experienced extended heatwaves.

Throughout this period, national meteorological and hydrological services provided forecasts and regularly-updated warnings. >> More

 

Climate Services Action Kicks off in Africa
Posted 13 February 2014

“Kick-off” meetings have taken place in the United Republic of Tanzania and Malawi to launch the Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa, which aims to build resilience in disaster risk management, food security, nutrition and health.


The programme, funded by a grant of US$ 9 750 000 (NOK 60 000 000) from the Government of Norway, is the first multi-agency initiative to be implemented under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). It represents a unique approach that includes natural and social scientists as well as large development and humanitarian agencies working on the ground in a bid to ensure that climate services are tailored to the practical needs of the user community.

“Climate variability and climate change present great challenges to many countries in Africa, Tanzania inclusive,” said Tanzanian Minister for Transport Hon. Dr Harrison Mwakyembe in a statement at the opening session in Dar Es Salaam 5 February.

He said that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected an increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather and climate events and reduction of rainfall in some parts and increase on others. “These will significantly impact all socio-economic sectors and livelihood of communities across the country,” said Dr Mwakyembe, citing recent flooding as an example. He said the government of Tanzania was working to improve early warning systems and build disaster-resilient communities. “Therefore, this initiative on climate services adaptation programme has come at the right time for Tanzania,” he said. The speech was presented by Director of Transport Infrastructure Eng Edwin Muhjwahuzi. >> More

 

World Weather Open Science Conference
Posted 31 January 2014

“The Weather: What’s the Outlook,” is the theme of the World Weather Open Science Conference (WWOSC2014) which will bring together the entire weather science and user communities for the first time.

The conference, to be held in Montreal, Canada, 16 - 21 August 2014, will will examine the frontiers of knowledge, define new scientific goals and challenges, and explore improved ways of applying our understanding for the betterment of society. The World Meteorological Organization, international Council for Science, Environment Canada, and the National Research Council, Canada, are co-organizers.

“There has never been a more important time for weather science, which is poised for great breakthroughs. Society is extremely vulnerable to weather-related impacts and desperately need that science,” said International Organizing Committee co-chairs Alan Thorpe (European Centre for Medium Range Forecasting) and Michel Béland (former President of WMO Commission for Atmospheric Sciences).

There will be special sessions on high-impact weather such as the recent heatwaves, droughts, cold snaps and flooding events in different parts of the world.

The overarching theme is ‘Seamless Prediction of the Earth System: from minutes to months’. The Conference has two programs, joined through combined plenary and special sessions:

• The Science Program will cover basic weather research that extends our knowledge of processes and systems as well as the applied research needed to put prediction systems together – including most recently in polar regions - and assess the impacts of weather and climate events.

• The User, Application & Social Science Program will consider the challenges and opportunities associated with communicating and utilizing weather information, science, and services for social and economic benefit.

With more than 50 interactive paper, panel, and poster sessions, WWOSC2014 will provide valuable networking opportunities with scientific experts, young scientists, practitioners, and service-providers from more than 50 countries.

The deadline for submission of is 24 February. Applications for travel support, which will be offered to a limited number of qualified candidates must also be received by that date.

Conference website

Conference brochure


Roshydromet support for Winter Olympic Games “Sochi-2014”
30 January 2014

The XXII Olympic / XI Paralympic Games «Sochi-2014» will be held in Sochi, Russia, on February 8-23 and/ March 7-16, 2014, respectively. Roshydromet (the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring) is responsible for providing hydrological and meteorological support and services to ensure the safety of the guests and participants and the smooth running of the Games.

The city of Sochi is located at approximately 44°N, 40°E on the Black sea coast. Sochi Olympic venues are separated between two clusters: a coastal cluster for ice sport competitions and a mountain cluster for snow sport events. >> More

 

El Niño/ La Niña Update
30 January 2014

The tropical Pacific continues to be ENSO-neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña). Model forecasts and expert opinion suggest that neutral conditions are likely to continue into the second quarter of 2014. Current model outlooks further suggest an enhanced possibility of the development of a weak El Niño around the middle of 2014, with approximately equal chances for neutral or weak El Niño. However, models tend to have reduced skill when forecasting through the March-May period. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other agencies will continue to monitor the conditions over the Pacific and assess the most likely state of the climate through the first half of 2014. >> More

 

Initiatives to increase coastal resilience
22 January 2014

The World Meteorological Organization is part of two multi-disciplinary consortia for research projects to increase coastal resilience: Preparing for Extreme And Rare events in coastal regions (PEARL), and Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts – toolKIT (RISK-KIT).

The European Union launched the two research projects in the framework of the 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7), aiming to develop risk management strategies and tools for weather and water-related extreme events and increase the resilience of coastal communities.

Coastal floods are one of the most dangerous and harmful of all natural disasters – as was demonstrated by the deadly tsunami-like storm surge from Typhoon Haiyan in the Pilippines in November 2013. Rapid urbanisation in coastal areas combined with climate change and inadequate flood management policies has increased the risk. >> More

 

New WMO Youth Corner launched
16 January 2014

WMO has revamped its Youth Corner in a more dynamic and user-friendly format to reflect the theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day: Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth.

WMO For Youth describes the function of WMO in simple-to-understand language and explains key issues relating to weather, climate and water.

WMO For Youth provides answers to questions such as:

• What causes climate change?
• What makes water so valuable?
• How can we predict the weather?

It also contains sections For Fun and Your Stories. It is currently available only in English. There are plans to translate it into other languages during the course of 2014.

The site is easily accessible from computers, tablets and mobile phones, in recognition of the growing trend towards mobile devices. WMO for Youth is meant to be interactive. The Secretariat welcomes suggestions and input to enhance its dialogue with young people and to reach out to a new generation of potential meteorologists, hydrologists and climate scientists.

World Meteorological Day is 23 March. However, WMO plans year-long activities, especially through social media channels, to engage youth in theconversation on burning issues like climate change. “The youth of the world can do much to advance climate action. This is not just about CO2 emissions; it is about people, about the values we share and what we are ready to do to realize them,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a message to a student Model United Nations on climate change 8 January 2014.

“The impacts of climate change are being felt, and will continue to be so, more directly by the youth of developing countries, particularly where communities depend for their jobs and livelihoods on agriculture, forestry, fisheries. However, climate change can also generate new opportunities, like the opening of green jobs across sectors like energy supply, recycling and transportation,” said Mr. Jarraud. WMO will be organizing a second Students United Nations in May as part of the 2014 activities.

Visit the WMO Youth Corner.

 

Extreme Weather in parts of the world
10 January 2014

The United States was gripped by a cold wave 7-8 January, whilst much of Europe has seen unusually mild weather, and Australia was gripped by a heatwave. The conditions were accurately predicted in advance (in some cases, by more than one week) by meteorological services. >> More

 

 

 

WMO in Student Model United Nations
8 January 2014

WMO participated in a Model UN conference: Engaging Youth on Climate Issues, organized by the Ferney Lycée International (France), the International Telecommunications Union and hosted by the United Nations in Geneva on 8 January. 

Model UN is a global UN programme for senior high school students that gives young people the chance to organize and participate in a simulated UN conference. Students choose a theme, research the topic, elect senior conference officials from among their number, organize their 3-day work programme, and agree on key resolutions. The title of the event reflects the theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day: “Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth.”

“This theme could not be more appropriate and timely,” said a statement from WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud delivered to 600 students from schools across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. >> More

Group on Earth Observations Summit
8 January 2014

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Plenary and the Geneva Ministerial Summit will take place 12-17 January 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland. WMO, which is a member of GEO and hosts the GEO Secretariat, will participate in the event, which includes more than forums and panel discussions.

On 13 January, there will be open forums on mitigating disaster risks, observing greenhouse gases from space, and our planet’s “cold regions.” Topics on 14 January include food security, crop monitoring and a new approach to making markets more stable, a cholera early warning system. Forums also will focus on water strategies, biodiversity and ecosystems, and the links between air quality and health. On 15 January, the spotlight will be on citizen observatories and the recent, exciting accomplishments of China’s Earth observation technology.

On 16 January, the fast-accelerating and serious environmental and economic issue of ocean acidification (“osteoporosis of the sea,”) will be explored. There is urgency to addressing this “silent storm,” which is literally causing a sea change and affecting the fundamental chemical balance of ocean and coastal waters from pole to pole.

GEO is bringing us an outstanding and unique opportunity to see a much fuller, more integrated picture of our planet With membership from 89 nations and the European Commission, and GEO has a mandate to provide a full, integrated picture of Earth. The GEO co-
chairs are China, the European Commission, the Republic of South Africa and the United States.

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