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15 April 2013



WMO sponsors workshop in South Africa on Climate Watch systems

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.

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.

Several regions of the world – including the Greater Horn of Africa – already have Climate Watch systems. The workshop in Pretoria aims to extend the system to Eastern and Southern Africa. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development Climate Prediction and Applications Center issued regular Climate Watches during the drought in the Greater Horn of Africa in 2010 and 2011.

In nurturing Climate Watch systems, WMO aims to promote best practices in delivery, provision and evaluation of climate watches, and to strengthen the interaction between regional institutions, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and end users.

A dedicated session on analyzing annual and decadal climate data will be used to help countries provide their input to the WMO climate system monitoring.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

• Address the need for climate watches in the region,

• Review the status of climate monitoring and long range forecasting capabilities at regional and national level,

• Review and discuss climate watch showcases from the region and from abroad,

• Work on tailoring the WMO guidelines on climate watches to the region needs,

• Provide guidance and hands-on practical session for contributing the WMO Climate System Monitoring (annual and decadal scale)

• Recommend best practices for the region in issuing climate watches,

• Recommend best strategies towards users of climate watches,

• Develop an action plan to implement climate watches at national and regional level,

• Recommend a follow-up mechanism on the implementation of climate watches.

WMO has held similar workshops in Asia, South America and Europe as part of efforts to build capacity of NMHSs and regional climate institutions and so strengthen their contribution to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)

Details about Climate Watch systems









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