Volume 57 (4) — October 2008

Feature articles

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pizza man

 

Service delivery and public weather services—an overview

by Gerald Fleming

Over the past couple of years, the concept of “service delivery” has moved centre-stage within WMO. But what is service delivery? What does it encompass and what does it imply? How do National Meteorological and Hydrological Services need to change and develop in order to properly address this challenge and attain good Service Delivery?

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Innovations and new technology for improved weather services

by John L. Guiney

New communication networks and forecast system innovations and technology have emerged which provide the opportunity to improve public weather services. These innovations allow National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services to provide hydrometeorological forecasts and warnings in a variety of formats beyond traditional text products.

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Economic valuation and application of services

by Jeffrey K. Lazo, Nathaniel F. Bushek, Emily K. Laidlaw, Robert S. Raucher, Thomas J. Teisberg, Carolyn J. Wagner and Rodney F. Weiher

Measuring the economic impact of hydrometeorological services and information typically involves assessing the impact of hydrometeorological events or forecasts of events on specific economic sectors such as trans­portation, energy or agriculture. Changes in measures of output, employment, revenue or taxes are presented as the economic impacts of these events or forecasts.

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Political, economic, technological and cultural influences that will shape service delivery in the next decade

by David Grimes

There are several key influences presenting significant challenges and opportunities when considering the evolution of national public weather services programmes today. A diagnosis of these factors should provide insights into effective planning and development of relevant, user-defined products and services of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the future.

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  Partnership between private and public sectors in service delivery

by Neil Gordon

A number of factors have led to many National Meteorological Services becoming involved in the provision of value-added services, in addition to their core government-funded role. These include trends since the 1980s and 1990s for government bodies to take a more “business-like” approach, financial pressures on NMSs causing them to seek additional revenue sources, and an increasing ability for NMSs to add value to the core publicly funded services they already produce.

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weather presenter

 

Communicating forecast uncertainty for service providers

by Jon Gill

Uncertainty is an inherent ingredient in the hydrometeorological forecasting process. Forecasters are familiar with the question of uncertainty and predictability and must deal with it every time a forecast is prepared. Sometimes, the available computer models or other guidance are consistent in their predictions and the forecaster is confident of the outcome. At other times, the models may differ greatly or the weather parameter may be intrinsically difficult to forecast. Nevertheless, a forecast must be made, even when confidence is low.

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New challenges for weather services in changing urban environments

by Xu Tang

Urbanization is growing rapidly worldwide. At present, 3.2 billion people live in cities, accounting for about 50 per cent of the total population. It is estimated that the number of people living in cities will increase to 5 billion in 2030, which will be about 61 per cent of the total population.

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Taking action through pilot projects: “learning through doing”

by M.C. Wong and Hilda Lam

An eminent psychologist, Carl Roger (as cited in Kraft, 1978), asserted: “The only learning which significantly influences behaviour is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning”. Learning cannot be imposed. It can only be acquired through participation.

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  Public health and weather services–climate information for the health sector

by T.A. Ghebreyesus, Z. Tadese, D. Jima, E. Bekele, A. Mihretie, Y.Y. Yihdego, T. Dinku, S.J. Connor and D.P. Rogers

Climate is a key variable in managing the overall burden of disease, particularly in developing countries where the ability to control climate-sensitive diseases constrains the prospects of achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. To mitigate their adverse effects, the health sector needs to understand and quantify the specific effects of climate variability and change both on the overall disease burden and on opportunities and effectiveness in the public health response.

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