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20 February 2014

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina joins MeteoAlarm

 

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.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are two Hydrometeorological Services: The Federal Hydrometeorological Service Sarajevo and the Republic Hydrometeorological Service Banja Luka. Each is responsible for its own entity. Both services envisage close cooperation and a balanced communication within the MeteoAlarm project.

“MeteoAlarm is a unique product and a unique example of cooperation between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. While the responsibility for issuing warnings is a national responsibility, MeteoAlarm is an internet platform for exchange of warning information between the NMHSs that allows displaying “at a glance” all areas in Europe affected by meteorological hazards,” said WMO Secretary-General in a statement. “Thus, MeteoAlarm is an awareness tool serving European citizens, allowing them to know and prepare for adverse weather conditions. The product is tailored to the mobility of Europe, where national borders have been virtually removed and hundreds of millions of people travel across. “The simple color coding of the warning information helps its quick assimilation and makes it understandable for the general public.”

The website www.meteoalarm.eu has been operational since March 2007 and has counted more than 4 billion hits from users come in all parts of Europe as well as other parts of the world. It provides coherent weather warnings for more than 850 regions and 12 different warning parameters (wind flood etc)  by the responsible NMHS.

“The integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European MeteoAlarm platform is only one of the activities conducted through the IPA project on building resilience in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The main objective of the project …… was to build the capacity at both regional and national levels to cope with meteorological and hydrological extremes that are getting more and more frequent due to changing climate,” said Mr Jarraud.

“Five years ago, when the first phase of the IPA disaster resilience project started, Western Balkans were a white area on the MeteoAlarm map. Today, with Bosnia and Herzegovina joining MeteoAlarm and starting regular provision of warning information to European citizens, this gap is almost filled. This was done through an exemplary cooperation between a number of national and international partners and stakeholders. I also wish you and all people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, when looking at MeteoAlarm, to see mostly the green color of good weather; however, when the color changes to orange or red, people should know that there are institutions that monitor, warn and plan to minimize the risk of natural hazards to their livelihood and economy,” said Mr Jarraud.

MeteoAlarm press release

 

 

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