A CENTRAL WMO WEBSITE PROVIDES LINKS TO UP-TO-DATE ADVISORIES ON ALL TROPICAL CYCLONES WORLDWIDE
WMO PRESS RELEASE - About 80 tropical cyclones form annually over warm tropical oceans. When they develop and attain an intensity with surface wind speed exceeding 118 km/h, they are called hurricanes in the Atlantic, typhoons in the western North Pacific region and severe tropical cyclones, tropical cyclones or similar names in the Indian Ocean and South-West Pacific regions.
No matter whether they are called tropical cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons, they are among the most devastating of all natural hazards. Their potential for wrecking havoc caused by the violent winds, torrential rainfall and associated storm surges, floods, tornadoes and landslide or mud slides is exacerbated by the extent of the areas they affect, their severity, the frequency of occurrence and the vulnerability of the impacted areas. Every year several tropical cyclones cause sudden-onset disasters of varying harshness, causing loss of life, human suffering, destruction of property, severe disruption of normal activities and set-back to social and economic advances.
However, a particularly important aspect of tropical cyclones, as distinct from most other natural hazards, is the availability now of operational systems for monitoring, forecasting and warning of tropical cyclones, in the concerned parts of the world, as a basis for preparedness action and, hence, disaster mitigation. A network of five centres designated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as Tropical Cyclone Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and located in La Réunion, Miami, Nadi (Fiji), New Delhi and Tokyo, and six specialized tropical cyclone warning centres with regional responsibility located in Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Wellington, Port Moresby and Honolulu, carry out these activities.
As a result of international cooperation and coordination, and with the aid of modern technology, such as satellites, weather radars and computers, tropical cyclones around the globe are now being monitored from their early stages of formation. The activities are coordinated at the global and regional levels by WMO through its World Weather Watch and Tropical Cyclone Programmes.
For convenience a specific website on the WMO homepage (Go to: tcp RSMCs ) is linked to the tropical cyclone RSMCs and their National Meteorological Services listed below:
RSMC La Réunion - Tropical Cyclone Centre (Météo-France)
RSMC Miami - Hurricane Center/NOAA/NWS National Hurricane Center, Miami (USA National Weather Service)
RMC Nadi - Tropical Cyclone Centre (Fiji Meteorological Service)
RSMC - tropical cyclones New Delhi (India Meteorological Department)
RSMC Tokyo - Typhoon Center (Japan Meteorological Agency)
The specialized functions of the tropical cyclone RSMCs include the detection, monitoring, tracking and intensity forecasting of all tropical cyclones in their respective regions. The centres provide, in real-time, advisory information and guidance to the National Meteorological Services. They also provide the first level basic meteorological information to the international community, including the international media and other international concerns such as aviation, marine interests and tourism. Each of the tropical cyclone RSMCs also serves as a national tropical cyclone warning centre for its country.
The functions of the specialized tropical cyclone warning centres are similar to those of RSMCs, but in addition they are responsible for providing local warnings to meet their national responsibilities.
However, timely official warnings for national territories are issued by the National Meteorological Services for dissemination to all those who are threatened.
For those concerned with safety of life and property in a specific area and protection from the destructive impact of tropical cyclones, the central WMO website (http://www.wmo.ch) is linked to several National Meteorological Services of WMO Members affected by tropical cyclones and equipped with Web Servers. These Services issue releases, bulletins and advisories which contain, where applicable, the official warnings of the impact of tropical cyclones and associated phenomena on their national territory and coastal waters, for wide dissemination locally and to all those who are threatened.
Up-to-date reliable information on current tropical cyclones, forecasts of their tracks and intensities, and warnings of the impact of these cyclones and associated phenomena, form the foundation of a disaster mitigation system. Combined with effective response by all concerned and the appropriate pre-arranged disaster prevention and preparedness measures, such as tested evacuation plans, they can and do save numerous lives and substantially reduce the devastation that could be caused by tropical cyclones around the globe every year.
The Secretary General of WMO, Professor G.O.P.Obasi, emphasized that the timely and widespread dissemination of these information and warnings form an integral part of the tropical cyclone disaster mitigation system. He noted that the media and particularly the electronic media play an important role in the process and assured that WMO will continue to contribute to the preparedness and prevention measures for the safety of life and property.
Geneva- Tuesday, 30 January 2001
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