Climate related disasters in the Philippines are becoming increasingly devastating for the agricultural sector. Between 2006 and 2013, a total of 78 natural hazards, in the form of extreme weather, damaged over six million hectares of crops, valued at USD 3.8 billion. The vulnerability of the agricultural sector means the country’s food and economic security is facing growing risks as climate change impacts accelerate. It is therefore essential to harness new innovations and technologies to build resilience to these impacts.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been working with the Government of the Philippines to strengthen the country’s resilience to natural hazards through initiatives on climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. One of these initiatives is the Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP–Ag) programme, co-led by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and FAO, which aims to integrate climate adaptation measures taken in the agriculture sectors into relevant national planning and budgeting processes. The programme works in 11 countries and in the case of Philippines, the activities focus on developing a National Adaptation Plans (NAP), and updating the National Climate Change Action Plan(NCCAP).
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the World Bank and its Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) have committed to intensify joint action in order to improve country capacities that build resilience to extreme weather events, climate and disaster impacts.
An Action Plan for scaling up World Bank/GFDRR/WMO Collaboration was signed during a meeting between World Bank interim President Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Vice President Laura Tuck and WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on 1 April.
The discussions at World Bank headquarters in Washington came during a series of top-level meetings during Mr Taalas' visit to the United States of America. Mr Taalas provided a briefing on the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018, launched with UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the United Nations in New York. The report highlights the physical and socio-economic impacts of weather and climate events and long-term climate change.
The new action plan sets principles and 2019 priorities for action, including for the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems Initiative (CREWS). It marks yet another important milestone in the evolving partnership between WMO and the World Bank, which aims at scaling-up support to the countries’ efforts to generate and use weather, climate and hydrological information for evidence-based action. The aim is to facilitate easy access to WMO’s expertise by the World Bank and countries implementing projects with World Bank funding.
According to the World Economic Forum 2019 Global Risk Report, the top global risks the world is facing are weather, climate, and water related. Thus, the scaled-up collaboration between the World Bank, and WMO is of major importance and a respective corporate priority.
The WMO 2020-2023 Strategic Plan is guided by its long-term goal to close the capacity gap between developed and developing country Members, including through establishing effective partnerships.
The World Bank investments in hydromet and early warning systems are about USD 900 million and growing. Through the World Bank Group Action Plan on Adaptation and Resilience, the World Bank has committed to substantially increase financing for quality forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services in at least 30 additional countries.
The collaboration maximizes complementarity, coherence and the respective comparative advantages between the partners. To improve delivery of hydromet services in developing countries, WMO will increase the provision of quality-assured technical expertise from its institutional network. The World Bank will contribute by emphasizing in its country engagements the socioeconomic benefits of hydromet investments, providing its operational experience in strengthening hydromet services and mobilizing financing for sustainable investments.
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, OCTOBER 22, 2018 – EEC and our in-country partner Infratech Ltd. are excited to announce the expansion of the Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) weather radar network with a new EEC Defender S850 system! EEC once again beat out the competition in providing the most sound economic and technical solution.
This new system will join two existing EEC Defender S850 systems, which have been in operational use by the TMA since 2014. “This new contract will further strengthen the already solid relationship between EEC and the TMA,” notes Mr. Kurt Kleess, EEC’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales. “The new unit marks a significant advancement to their ever-growing weather radar network,” he continued.
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World Meteorological Organization’s new office for Asia and the South-West Pacific has started operations in Singapore. It will seek to improve coordination on hazards including extreme weather and air pollution and to strengthen meteorological services for rapidly evolving economic sectors such as air and marine transport.
WMO Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Chung Kyu Park, relocated from WMO headquarters in Geneva to head the new office hosted by the Meteorological Service Singapore with effect from 1 September.
The move is part of a wider WMO strategy to strengthen its regional presence, to improve services to its Members and deepen relationships with development partners. The WMO Regional office for Africa will be moved to Addis Ababa in early 2019 to bolster activities on the African continent.
“The relocation of the Regional Offices will reinforce regional cooperation and coordination and underpin WMO’s capacity-development initiatives in support of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” said Mary Power, WMO Director of Development and Regional Activities.
Many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are already feeling the impact of climate change, including more frequent heat-waves, more intense tropical storms, and coastal inundation resulting from sea level rise, threatening food, health and water security. They also are vulnerable to naturally occurring El Niño and La Niña events. Air pollution and trans-boundary haze, environmental degradation and water stress add to the challenges.
“Asia and the South-West Pacific is one of the world’s most dynamic economic regions and a booming transport hub, fostering an ever-increasing demand for reliable weather and climate services. The new office in Singapore will fine-tune WMO activities to the needs of stakeholders in the region,” said Mr Park.
Singapore was selected because of its central position relative to WMO Asia and Pacific Member states, flight connectivity and modern IT infrastructure. The existing WMO Offices for West Asia based in Bahrain and for the South-West Pacific in Samoa, will report to the team in Singapore as well as to WMO headquarters.
One of the immediate priorities of the office will be to prepare for the quadrennial session of the WMO Regional Association for Asia and the South-West Pacific taking place in Tonga in October.
Further details available here
Selex ES GmbH, a Leonardo company, has been awarded a turnkey software integration project for the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG).
The supply consists of a national centric multi radar data processing center based on Selex’s proprietary application software Rainbow 5. The complete system will be used as a sustainable, scalable, and harmonized radar data processing framework incorporating 21 radars in the first stage, and – at a later stage- more than 60 national radars of different suppliers.
The combination/data fusion of weather radars of different suppliers with heterogeneous weather radar hardware and software (dual polarization, bandwidths, data formats) always poses a challenge. The inherent radar system diversity can be mitigated using a centralized radar data processing solution, which uses the radar raw data (lowest common denominator) for a seamless and harmonized data processing. The Rainbow 5 based composite solution offers semantic interoperability, standardized data formats, consolidated product processing and WEB based display using the Selex ES SmartWx software environment.
The Selex ES solution will be used to generate nationwide meteorological products such as rainfall observations, forecasts, thunderstorms, and tailored alerts on significant weather. In addition, Selex ES will deliver an interactive scientific software tool, which allows for the manual and automatic quality control of overlapping weather radars. Data converters to community standards such as ODIM_H5, netCDF or UF guarantee the flexible exchange of radar data on national and international level.
Selex ES is proud to have received this contract following an international public tender process in competition against a pool of international providers. Based on our longstanding experience in meteorological software design and development, the Rainbow 5 system (operational in more than 50 countries worldwide) fulfils all technological needs for a versatile system right across the fields of radar management, weather monitoring/nowcasting, hydrology, aviation and research.
Ethiopia National Meteorology Agency (NMA) has been serving as the nation's authoritative source of providing weather forecasts for the public, marine, and aviation and the like. When conditions warrant, it also issues warnings.
But, some have doubt about the reliability of its meteorological information. So how credible is the agency's weather forecasting?
Read the full article at The Ethopian Herald.
A new Malaysian lightning detection network brings benefits for public weather forecasting, worker safety and commercial operations impacted by lightning events. Lightning is one of the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazards In Malaysia. It takes lives, causes severe injuries, damages vital infrastructure and disrupts operations.
Professor Ir Dr Mohd Zainal Abidin Ab Kadir, a Director of the Centre for Electromagnetic and Lightning Protection Research at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, says that many Malaysians are not aware their country has the ‘third-highest lightning activity’ in the world.
The US National Lightning Safety Institute says Malaysia experiences an average of 180 to 260 thunderstorm days each year, while the Centre for Electromagnetic & Lightning Protection (CELP) says lightning killed 112 and injured 156 people in Malaysia between 2008 and early 2017.
Every year lightning presents risks to workers and public safety, as well as disrupting the operations of:
Lightning strikes are also a major cause of fallen power lines and trees, wildfires and tyre explosions on earth-moving machinery. Prompt access to real-time lightning and thunderstorm data is intrinsic to improving both meteorological forecasting and prompt safety alerting. The aim is to minimise loss of lives and livelihoods and mitigate other disruption from electrical storms.
Malaysia is estimated to lose about RM250 million each year in infrastructure damages & business disruptions due to electrical outages from lightning strikes.
The Malaysian high-resolution lightning detection network
MetraWeather Asia and TOA Systems, Inc, with the support of Malaysian partner Riajati Sdn Bhd, are currently installing a new high-resolution lightning detection network. The network will integrate more than 19 state-of-the-art TOA lighting detection sensors to provide extensive coverage across both East and West Malaysia.
Bryan Lim, Sales Delivery Manager-Asia for MetraWeather says cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning strikes are extremely dangerous to the safety of collocated teams working outdoors, workers on airport aprons and people congregating for events in places such as public parks and university campuses.
“Detection of the more common but much lower energy intra-cloud (IC) and/or cloud-to-cloud (CC) lightning is also crucial in providing advanced alerting about potential risks.”
“Real-time detection of IC/CC lightning, when combined with other sources of meteorological data such as satellite imagery, rain radar and numerical modelling, can help forecasters to better understand and accurately categorize events,” says Mr Lim.
“TOA and MetraWeather have extensive experience all around the world in both lightning detection and weather safety. We believe that the high level of detection efficiency and location accuracy enabled by this new network, plus the amount of highly accurate data available for each lightning event, will bring substantial benefits to Malaysian public forecasting, worker safety and commercial operations impacted by lightning events.”
With new funds provided by the Government of Canada, WMO and its partners are stepping up efforts to support disaster risk reduction in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Southeast Asia.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has allocated CAD 10 million (US$ 7.5 million) to the project entitled “Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro-meteorological Events through Strengthening Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in SIDS and South East Asia. The grant represents Canada`s institutional support to the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative.
The first meeting of the Project Steering Committee for the Southeast Asia component took place at the National Hydro-Meteorological Service (NHMS) of Viet Nam in Ha Noi on 23 November 2017.
The Indian Meteorological Department Director General of Meteorology, K.J. Ramesh, proposed a Research Consortium involving all the institutions of Andhra Pradesh focusing on science and technology. He stressed on this while addressing the gathering at the three-day National Seminar, on 'Impact of Climate Change on Extreme Weather Events' and 'the Indian Ocean' that began at AU TLN Saba Hall, in November 2017.
An Australian spring wouldn’t be complete without thunderstorms and a visit to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s weather radar website. But a new type of radar technology is aiming to make weather radar even more useful, by helping to identify those storms that are packing hailstones.
Most storms just bring rain, lightning and thunder. But others can produce hazards including destructive flash flooding, winds, large hail, and even the occasional tornado. For these potentially dangerous storms, the Bureau issues severe thunderstorm warnings.
For metropolitan regions, warnings identify severe storm cells and their likely path and hazards. They provide a predictive “nowcast”, such as forecasts up to three hours before impact for suburbs that are in harm’s way.
A dedicated source for news on the activities of NMHSs - National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.