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Last updated: 26 February 2010

 

High-level Taskforce begins work on Global Framework for Climate Services
(posted on 26 February)

A High-level Taskforce of independent advisers, mandated by World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) to elaborate the Global Framework for Climate Services, held its first meeting at WMO (25-26 February 2010). Jan Egeland of Norway and Mahmoud Abu-Zeid of Egypt will serve as Co-chairs of the expert group that is to submit its final report by February 2011.  Among its other members are: Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique), Ricardo Lagos (Chile), Angus Friday (Grenada), Eugenia Kalnay (Argentina/USA), Julia Marton-Lefevre (Hungary/France/USA), Khotso Mokhele (South Africa), Chiaki Mukai (Japan), Cristina Narbona Ruiz (Spain), Rajendra Singh Paroda (India), Qin Dahe (China), Emil Salim (Indonesia) and Fiame Naomi Mata’afa (Samoa).

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Addressing social needs in adapting to climate risks
(posted on 25 February)

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the WMO Commission for Climatology (CCl) have adopted a plan to use climate information for emerging social needs relating to adaptation and risk management. At their meeting in Antalya, Turkey (15-19 February 2010), they agreed on a statement that elaborates the implementation plan. The issues being addressed are in line with establishing the Global Framework for Climate Services, decided at World Climate Conference-3. WCRP and CCI have also agreed to establish a joint collaborative mechanism and will seek further partnership with other WMO bodies.

 

Predicting winter weather for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games
(posted on 24 February)

An international team of scientists from nine countries assembled by WMO and Environment Canada is conducting a weather research and development project called the Science and Nowcasting of Olympic Weather for Vancouver 2010 (SNOW-V10). Prediction of winter weather in the mountains is always a challenge for meteorologists, as conditions can change rapidly with time and with altitude. The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are especially demanding with some events requiring minute-by-minute monitoring and prediction of a wide variety of weather variables. Nowcasting enables forecasting weather conditions up to six hours in advance.

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Impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones
(posted on 24 February)

If twenty-first century warming occurs as projected, the maximum wind speed of tropical cyclones will likely, on average worldwide, increase 2 to 11 per cent, while rainfall rates will  increase approximately 20 per cent within 100 kilometres of a storm centre, according to the WMO Expert Team on Climate Change Impacts on Tropical Cyclones. Publishing the projections in Nature Geoscience in March 2010, the experts concluded that the total number of tropical cyclones worldwide will likely either decrease or remain unchanged. However, a likely increase in tropical cyclone intensity means that the frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones will more likely than not increase under the projected warming scenarios.

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Commission for Climatology elects new officers
(posted on 22 February)

From 19 to 24 February 2010, some 150 experts from around the world are participating in the Fifteenth Session of the Commission for Climatology of WMO in Antalya, Turkey. The Commission for Climatology has unanimously elected Thomas Peterson, Chief Scientist at the National Climatic Data Center/NOAA (USA), and Serhat Sensoy, Chief of the Climatology Division at the Turkish State Meteorological Service, as its President and Vice-President, respectively, for the next four years.

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Tropical cyclone Rene in South Pacific
(posted on 15 February)

Tropical cyclone Rene has developed in the South Pacific and is located over the island Tongatapu, Tonga, as of 6:00 UTC today. It is forecast to move south-west at 19 kilometres per hour. It is currently equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to remain at this intensity during the next 12 hours, and then weaken slowly within 48 hours. Rene could severely damage the islands of Tonga. The sea state in the surrounding area will be extremely rough at least in the next 48 hours. Ships passing by these areas are advised to take urgent measures to avoid risks.

Further information is available at:
National Meteorological Service of the countries concerned
WMO RSMC Nadi-Tropical Cyclone Centre
WMO Severe Weather Information Centre
Q&A on tropical cyclones


Climate scientists to meet to discuss applied research
(posted on 11 February)

From 15 to 19 February 2010, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) will hold a Joint Scientific Committee meeting in Antalya, Turkey. A key topic of discussion will be the role of WCRP research in the Global Framework for Climate Services, including how to develop the next generation of applied climate research. During the meeting, the WMO Commission for Climatology is organizing a Technical Conference on Changing Climate and Demands for Climate Services for Sustainable Development from 16 to 18 February.

 

Preparing for the rainy and hurricane seasons in Haiti
(posted on 9 February)

Operational meteorological services are essential to preventing further disasters in Haiti. The country now faces the approaching rainy season in early April, which poses flood risk, as well as the hurricane season beginning in early June. Weather forecasts and early warnings from the Haiti National Meteorological Center are essential for emergency contingency planning and recovery. WMO Members have been providing weather information for Haiti since domestic meteorological facilities were rendered unusable by the recent earthquake. In the medium- to long-term, WMO is coordinating with government officials, technical agencies and development partners to reconstruct such meteorological and hydrological capacities.

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Rapid climate change in the Arctic
(posted on 9 February)

Climate change is accelerating the disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic, according to early findings of a large-scale study that is part of the International Polar Year (IPY), a project organized by WMO and the International Council for Science. The study was the largest yet of the Canadian Arctic, involving more than 370 scientists from 27 countries researching aboard a vessel above the Arctic Circle.

More information
IPY Website
International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference, 8–12 June 2010

 

Tropical cyclone Oli in South Pacific
(posted on 4 February)

Tropical cyclone Oli developed at 06:00 UTC today in the South Pacific, about 350 kilometers west of Tahiti, French Polynesia. Oli is moving south-east at 15 kilometres per hour. It is currently equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane (maximum sustained wind speeds of 178 to 209 kilometres per hour). It is expected to intensify further within the next 12 hours, and weaken slowly afterwards. The sea state in the surrounding area will be extremely rough at least in the next 48 hours. Ships passing by these areas are advised to take urgent measures to avoid risks.

Further information is available at:
National Meteorological Service of the countries concerned
WMO RSMC Nadi-Tropical Cyclone Centre
Q&A on tropical cyclones

 

WMO Commission to enhance meteorological services for aviation
(posted on 3 February)

Three-quarters of significant air traffic delays in regions with high-traffic density are related to weather, and nearly half of aircraft accidents occur during operations in adverse weather. From 3 to 10 February 2010, some 150 representatives from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, including aeronautical meteorologists and representatives from aviation organizations, will meet in Hong Kong, China, to discuss planning and operations for air transport based on global standards and accurate weather forecasts and warning.

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