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WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP)

The Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) is successfully strengthening capacity in National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in developing and least developed countries including Small Island Developoing States (SIDSs) to deliver improved forecasts and warnings of severe weather to save lives, livelihoods and property.

The project has improved the lead-time and reliability for alerts about high-impact events such as heavy precipitation, severe winds and high waves. It has strengthened interaction with disaster management and civil protection agencies, local communities and media.  SWFDP is making a major contribution to disaster risk reduction and is supporting the Millennium Development Goals on sustainable development, as well as climate change adaptation. It is benefiting socio-economic sectors, including agriculture, fisheries, aviation, and marine transportation.


Countries participating in the project are able to benefit from advances in the science of weather forecasting, especially the dramatic development in numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems, including ensemble prediction systems (EPS) which give guidance to weather forecasters in advance of potential hazardous weather conditions.

The SWFDP uses a “Cascading Forecasting Process” (global to regional, to national).


Global NWP centres provide available NWP and EPS products, including in the form of probabilities for a specific time frame;

Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) interpret information received from global centres, prepare daily guidance products (1-5 day) for distribution to National Meteorological Centres (NMCs) and maintain the regional centre Web site;

National Meteorological Centres (NMCs) issue alerts, advisories, severe weather warnings to public via the media and other dissemination channels; liaise with disaster management, and certain economic sectors, and contribute feedback and evaluation of the project.

The SWFDP is primarily built on the Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS) programme, in collaboration with Public Weather Services (PWS) programme, and the Agricultural Meteorology (AgM) programme of WMO. It also engages other WMO programmes that concern the real-time prediction of hydro-meteorological hazards.


The SWFDP was started in Southern Africa in 2006 and now its has now been rolled out in Eastern Africa, South Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, Bay of Bengal (South Asia) and Central Asia. The SWFDP activities are mainly financed through extra-budgetory resources. In future, depending upon the availability of funds, the project will be expanded to cover more areas in different regions of the world including West Afrcia, the Caribbean and Southeast Europe.

SWFDP Regional Subprojects



Related items

Publication on SWFDP

Overall Plan




Upcoming event


Past events


SWFDP Regional Subprojects

Southern Africa


South Pacific


Eastern Africa


Southeast Asia


Bay of Bengal


Central Asia






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