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Programmes > DRA > Regional office for Europe > Newsletter 1, Mar2012

RA VI Newsletter No.1
March 2012

The Regional Office for Europe initiates a regular RA VI Newsletter, which will be issued twice a year. The objective is to raise the awareness of RA VI Members of the numerous activities taking place in the Region. The Newsletter will provide information about the work of the RA VI subsidiary bodies - working groups and task teams, regional events in hydrometeorology, as well as, interesting activities conducted by Members and other partners. We would like to encourage all RA VI Members to send us information about important developments, projects, weather extremes and other interesting stories from the daily life of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. You may submit such materials (including photos) to: divanov[at]

To download a pdf (print/offline) version of the Newsletter click here.
RA VI Regional Conference on Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Services

As a follow-up of the XV-RA VI recommendation, WMO organized, in collaboration with MeteoSwiss, a WMO RA VI Conference on Social and Economic Benefits of Weather, Climate and Water Services, which was held in Lucerne, Switzerland, from 3 to 4 October 2011.

All NMHSs need to demonstrate the benefits they bring to the society and economy of their countries, however, conducting a socio-economic benefit (SEB) analysis is not an easy task. Therefore, the main objective of the conference was to share results and good practices (including the MeteoSwiss study on transport sector), raise awareness of available methods and assess the needs and requirements of the Members. The proceedings of the Conference (to be published soon) will provide useful material for all NMHSs that plan to initiate SEB studies in the near future.

The presentations and other materials of the Conference can be accessed here .


RA VI Workshop on the Implementation of WIS

Noting the directives given by the 16th Congress, the RA VI Management Group assigned a highest priority to the implementation of the WMO Information System (WIS) in Region VI (Europe). To foster the WIS implementation by RA VI Members, WMO organized a Workshop on the Implementation of WIS in RA VI, which was hosted by the Bulgarian National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) in Sofia from 1 to 3 November 2011.

The workshop addressed:

  • the regional WIS structure – designation and operations of the Global Information System Centres (GISC), Data Collection and Production Centres (DCPC) and National Centres (NC);
  • functional and technical capabilities to be developed by Members in accordance with their role in the WIS infrastructure;
  • benefits for the NMHSs from the WIS functionalities;
  • capacity building needs for the implementation of WIS at sub-regional and national level.

More information and workshop documents can be accessed here

RA VI Working Groups

After the XV Session of RA VI, the Management Group adopted a new working mechanism aimed at achieving the planned results and deliverables and assuring continuity in the work of the subsidiary bodies. Thus, the practice of having only one meeting of each working group during the intersession period, has been replaced by more frequent and focused annual meetings in order to plan and monitor the actions of the respective work programmes. This has been done without raising the overall cost for conducting the regional activities, due to the fact that the number of working groups has been reduced and their size is also kept to a minimum (6 to 10 experts each). The main objective of each working group is to address a set of important regional issues in the specific area of activities: technology development (all issues related to WWW, including WIS and WIGOS); climate and hydrology; and service delivery.

This new method of operation of the RA VI subsidiary bodies proved to be successful in 2010 and 2011.

2nd meeting of the WG on Service Delivery and Partnership (WG-SDP)


The second meeting of the WG-SDP was held from 3 to 5 November 2011 at ZAMG, Vienna, Austria. The meeting reviewed the progress with the implementation of its work programme. Among the main achievements of the WG was the organization of the SEB Conference in Lucerne and the development of related guidance material on SEB analysis and studies. WG-SEB has established six task teams (TT) working on concrete tasks related to: service applications improvement; media and communication; warnings; socio-economic benefits; DRR and regional cooperation; and partnership with the European institutions.
The documents and report of the second meting of WG-SDP can be accessed here.
2nd meeting of the WG on Climate and Hydrology (WG-CH)

The second meeting of the WG-CH was hosted from 14 to 16 November 2011 by Armstatehydromet in Yerevan, Armenia. The meeting reviewed the progress with the implementation of its work programme. Among the main achievements are the establishment and pilot operations of the RA VI Network of Regional Climate Centres (RA VI RCC Network); the continuation and expansion of Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF); etc.


There are ten main tasks for WG-CH each one addressed by a special task team. The tasks are related to: RCC, RCOF, drought management, data rescue, agrometeorology, hydrometry, water scarcity, extreme floods, flash flood warnings and hydrometeorological early warning systems.

The documents and report of the second WG-CH meeting can be accessed here.

2nd meeting of the WG on Technology Development and Implementation (WG-TDI)

The Second Meeting of the WG-TDI was held at the new headquarters of Meteo France in Paris, France from 15 to 16 December 2011. WG-TDI has organized its work programme in a set of regional projects covering: WIS Implementation, migration to TDCF, RMDCN development, Regional Instrument Centres (RIC), and WIGOS demonstration project on the redesign of the Regional Basic Observing Network (RBON). WG-TDI organized the WIS Implementation Workshop in November 2011 in Sofia and is currently preparing a RA VI WIS Implementation Plan to assist Members in a harmonized and streamlined development of the national, regional and global components of the WIS.

The WG-TDI/2 documents and report can be accessed here.

Sixth South-East European Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF/6)

The South-East European Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF) was initiated in 2008 and has established itself as a main sub-regional form of cooperation between 18 RA VI Members in preparing seasonal forecasts. During the last two years, SEECOF has been driven by the South-East European Virtual Climate Change Centre (SEEVCCC) hosted by Serbia. The SEECOF sessions are held twice a year, one of the sessions as a e-Forum through on-line collaboration.

The sixth SEECOF was held on 28-30 November 2011 and was kindly hosted by the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia in Belgrade.


The session documents and the consensus statement prepared by SEECOF/6 can be found at the SEEVCCC website.

Disaster Risk Reduction in South East Europe Project (DRRSEE)
The DRRSEE Project, which has been implemented by WMO in coordination with UNDP from 2009 to 2011, funded by the European Commission Directorate General Enlargement (EC DG Enlargement) under the IPA 2008 programme, was finished in October 2011. Since then the focus has been on final reporting, evaluation and preparations for the upcoming second phase of the project. Project Final Report is close to completion with the project evaluation currently underway. Relevant documents for the second phase of the project, which is planned for joint implementation by the UNISDR and WMO from 2011 to 2013, have been submitted to the EC DG Enlargement for final approval.
Extreme weather in Europe

cold_smAfter unusually mild weather in December 2011 and early January 2012 almost all over Europe, the weather situation changed abruptly in the second half of January. An incursion of cold polar air, coming from northern Russia at the south flank of an extensive high pressure area brought a sudden cooling to almost the whole Eurasian continent). During that cold spell, also some considerable snowfall occurred over various parts of the continent. In the first half of February, the cold wave started weakening first in Asia and in mid-February also in Europe.

DWD in its role as the RA VI Pilot RCC node on Climate Monitoring (RCC-CM) in collaboration with the RA II RCC (Tokyo Climate Centre) analyzed the February 2012 cold spell and provided a detailed description here.

New Permanent Representatives in RA VI
  • Gen. Vincenzo CUNDARI has been appointed as the Permanent Representative of Italy with the WMO
  • Brig. Gen. Nikolaos CHAIDAROGLOU has been appointed as the Permanent Representative of Greece with the WMO
New Members of RA VI Management Group
  • Dr Alexander Frolov, PR of the Russian Federation replaced Mrs Maria Germenchuk (Belarus) on the Management Group
  • Mrs Vida Auguliene, PR of Lithuania with WMO, became a Member of the Management Group in her new capacity of Vice-President of RA VI. She replaced Prof Ostojski, the PR of Poland with WMO, who was elected by Congress-16 as second Vice-President of WMO.
Coming events in RA VI
  • 6th meeting of RA VI Management Group - 19-20 April, DWD, Offenbach, Germany
  • RA VI Hydrology Forum - 8-10 May, Koblenz, Germany
  • RMDCN Workshop - 14-15 May, WMO Geneva (followed by RA6 TT-RMDCN meeting)
  • Sub-regional Workshop on WIS/WIGOS Marine Meteorological Centre for Adriatic Sea - Zagreb, Croatia, 17-18 May
  • RA6 TT-WIS Meeting - Moscow, Russian Federation, 5-6 June




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