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April 2011


South Asian Climate Outlook Forum Statement on Southwest Monsoon
(posted on 18 April)

The South Asian Climate Outlook Forum has issued a consensus outlook for the 2011 southwest monsoon rainfall through an expert assessment of the available indications at a meeting 13-15 April in Pune, India.

The outlook, based on the various prevailing global climate conditions and forecasts from different empirical and dynamical climate models, indicates large uncertainty partly because La Nia conditions are expected to weaken to a neutral state over the course of the coming monsoon season. However, the large-scale summer monsoon rainfall over South Asia, for the season as a whole, would most likely be within the normal range.

The outlook indicates slightly enhanced likelihood for below normal rainfall conditions over the northwestern parts and some northeastern parts of South Asia. There is slightly enhanced likelihood of above normal rainfall over the southern parts of South Asia including the islands. Rainfall conditions close to the normal are more likely over the remaining parts of South Asia.

Asia is a large continent with large differences in the climatological settings on a subregional scale. Therefore WMO's Regional Association for Asia recommended sub-regional climate outlook forums devoted to countries having similar climatic characteristics. The South Asian Climate Outlook Forum was established in 2010 is a step in that direction with specific focus on the climate information needs of nations affected by the Asian summer monsoon climate.

Full statement


WMO hosts IPCC Bureau Meeting
(posted on 18 April)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will continue to make vital contributions in response to the needs of an increasingly vulnerable developing world, according to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in an opening address to the IPCC’s Bureau meeting in Geneva.

“Your key meeting takes place in an encouraging context, since a number of controversies have been overcome and, as a result of the InterAcademy Council (IAC) independent review of IPCC policies and procedures conducted last year, which WMO supported from the beginning, your Panel is emerging stronger, both structurally and in terms of its global credibility,” Jarraud told the Bureau.

Jarraud said that at the sixteenth World Meteorological Congress 16 May 3 June, he would advocate for WMO to continue supporting the IPCC. WMO hosts the IPCC Secretariat and is a co-sponsor of the Panel, along with the United Nations Environment Programme.

“I am also confident that the IPCC will continue to make vital contributions in response to the needs of an increasingly vulnerable developing world,” he said. He singled out the release late in 2011 of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, as well as the IPCC Scholarship Programme which promotes the involvement of scientists from developing countries.



Record stratospheric ozone loss in the Arctic in Spring of 2011
(posted on 5 April)


Depletion of the ozone layer - the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays - has reached an unprecedented level over the Arctic this spring because of the continuing presence of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere and a very cold winter in the stratosphere. The stratosphere is the second major layer of the Earths atmosphere, just above the troposphere.
The record loss is despite an international agreement which has been very successful in cutting production and consumption of ozone destroying chemicals. Because of the long atmospheric lifetimes of these compounds it will take several decades before their concentrations are back down to pre-1980 levels, the target agreed in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Press release


Current Radiation Levels in Japan and Travel Advice
(posted on 1 April)

Radioactive material from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is gradually spreading outside Japan into the global atmosphere but at extremely low concentrations that do not present health or transportation safety hazards, according to the United Nations organizations closely monitoring the situation.

Japanese authorities confirm that all airports in the country, with the exception of Sendai which was affected by the tsunami of 11 March, continue to operate normally for both international and domestic operations. Continuous monitoring around these airports confirms that radiation levels are well within safe limits from a health perspective.
The UN agencies involved in the monitoring process are the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Tourism Organization.

ICAO news release


Weather information for Japan
(updated on 1 April)

A cold front and low pressure will pass over the area early Saturday, with diminishing westerly winds and little chance of precipitation.

More at
Japan Meteorological Agency
China Meteorological Administration
Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring
Other National Meteorological and Hydrological Services






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