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Eugene Poolman Chief Forecasting: Disaster Risk Reduction RSMC Pretoria South African Weather Service SWFDP Regional Frameworks and their Impact on Developing.

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Presentation on theme: "Eugene Poolman Chief Forecasting: Disaster Risk Reduction RSMC Pretoria South African Weather Service SWFDP Regional Frameworks and their Impact on Developing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eugene Poolman Chief Forecasting: Disaster Risk Reduction RSMC Pretoria South African Weather Service SWFDP Regional Frameworks and their Impact on Developing and Least Developing Countries FCAST-PRES

2 Overview of Presentation 1.Development of Regional Early Warning Systems 2.Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project Regional Framework 3.Impact on Developing Countries and LDCs 4.Looking Forward FCAST-PRES


4 In Southern Africa 95% of all Natural Disasters were Weather related FCAST-PRES The expected increase in severe weather due to climate change and social factors highlights the need for the development of Regional EWS covering all timescales

5 RCOF: Consolidated seasonal climate forecasts in September on the likelihood of above / below normal rain for the coming summer season over region SWFDP: Enhancing capacity in NMSs to issue severe weather warnings for the next 5 days FFGS: Developing technology for flash flood warnings Late 1990’s Mid-2000 and on Mid 2000 and on Days 6 months Few Hours Timescale of the Development of Regional EWS FCAST-PRES Sub-seasonal ???


7 Principle Aim of SWFDP SWFDP aims to address the challenges of short- to medium- range EWS Specifically designed to aid developing and LDCs to address the technology and services gap between major weather centers and weather centers of developing and least developing countries Main mechanism of SWFDP is the “Cascading forecasting process” from global center to regional center to NMSs SWFDP is essentially a framework for collaboration specifically focused on the regions The basic SWFDP system has to be contained within a manageable mandate, focussing on 2-3 hazards, to enable progress monitoring FCAST-PRES

8 SWFDP Sub-Projects Current status of SWFDPs around the world – 3 active, 2 under development 1.Southern Africa Southern Africa (5 countries involved) Southern Africa expansion (16 countries involved) RMSC Pretoria, South Africa 2. South Pacific islands Pilot project Full demonstration 2011 RSMC Wellington 3. Eastern Africa Pilot Phase RSMC Nairobi 4. Under development – Southeastern Asia and Bay of Bengal FCAST-PRES

9 Regional Frameworks Focus is on developing regions that share broadly the same hazards and impacts, and the same regional economic body In many cases NMSs are within LDCs and SIDS that have minimal resources, sometimes only 3 or 4 forecasters, and small budgets These few forecasters are responsible for all forecasting activities, including aviation, marine, severe weather – including basic public forecasting that is automated in large centres In many countries disaster management structures are not functioning properly or even non-existing National issues and differences, including cultural differences, must be taken into account But, they are dedicated that try their best with what they have FCAST-PRES

10 Regional frameworks (continued) A regional centre (RSMC) is an essential component to the success of SWFDP activities A Regional Project Implementation Plan is developed at a regional workshop involving all countries and centres, and tuned to the local conditions and needs Annual training is essential, building on both NWP and EPS skills, as well as skills on disaster management coordination and media relations. Methodology depends on what is practical – In SWFDP-SA and SWFDP-EA this has been based on 2-week training sessions annually – In SWFDP-SP roving training were done where trainers visit individual countries Ideal would be a combination of both, plus web-based training FCAST-PRES

11 Inter-programme Coordination and Collaboration Collaboration between WMO programmes is essential from Phase 1, particularly GDPFS, PWS, TCP, Satellite programme, WWRP with TIGGE In later phases when the project matured, synergy with other relevant activities within WMO becomes crucial, such as the FFGS and Agromet activities to utilize the coordination framework for other activities This differs between regions, based on the needs of the regions FCAST-PRES


13 Media Global NWP centres Regional centre 16 National Meteorological Centres SWFDP Concept of Cascading of Information Disaster Management Centres FCAST-PRES

14 Implementation and Website SWFDP-SA was the first project testing the concept with 5 countries (Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) Then followed a roll-out to all 16 countries, 8 are LDCs In the Regional Implementation Plan agreed on thresholds for 2 major hazards: heavy rain and strong winds The first activity in the Implementation Plan, is the development of a RSMC website in such a way that it takes the lowest bandwidth in the region into account - the main method of communication Early on it was realized that “forecasting techniques has improved, but nowcasting is lacking” (Zimbabwe) Hence the development of satellite nowcasting products in the absence of a sustainable regional radar network FCAST-PRES

15 Training Two-week training was done annually: – Week 1: Forecaster per country trained on using NWP and EPS products, as well as satellite nowcasting, verification etc in later years. – Week 2: Forecasters plus a disaster manager per country trained on early warning systems, collaboration, media relations, public surveys (template), and even a session on “conveying uncertainty to users” in later years Our experience: training needs to be repeated annually - in Nov 2012 we could see the development in forecasters when some of the older hands started to show new guys how to use the products on the webpage  A repeated effort is needed to continuously develop the different countries FCAST-PRES

16 Examples of Guidance Products from RSMC Pretoria

17 RSMC analyse forecast information Prepares guidance every day for the next 5 days RSMC also provide products of its own NWP – UM SA12, and satellite products Products from RSMC La Reunion (TC centre) 10 km model also provided All products and Guidance info made available through webpage to NMCs – no complex system implemented SWFDP Guidance Products from RSMCs FCAST-PRES

18 Warnings from National Meteorological Services Each NMS evaluate model products supported by RSMC guidance products Issue warnings if needed against their own in-country criteria for severe weather Provide disaster management with up to 5 days lead-time of expected major hazards Coordinate with media for end- user dissemination Nothing is imposed, all based on in-country thresholds and practices FCAST-PRES

19 Other Arrangements The process is monitored and controlled by a Regional Sub- project Management Team (RSMT) consisting of senior operational forecasters of each country and producing centres Countries provided quarterly progress reports that were synthesized into annual project reports by WMO In the final phase, management of SWFDP-SA was transferred to the region (MASA) – same will happen in other regions – RSMC Pretoria becoming by default the secretariat – MASA responsible for overall management, resource mobilization, etc – MASA provided a significant amount of funding for 2012 training and again for 2013 – but it needs to be topped up by outside resources – WMO found sponsor support for 2012 and 2013 FCAST-PRES


21 Example 1: Tropical Cyclone Favio Feb 2007 TC Favio caused widespread damage over Mozambique and Zimbabwe The consistency of model forecasts provided confidence to RSMC Pretoria to issue guidance to NMCs on potential landfall and movement 5 days in advance The model forecast proved to be quite accurate with landfall at Vilancoulos, moving to Eastern Zimbabwe FCAST-PRES

22 Impact of Tropical Cyclone Favio In both Mozambique and Zimbabwe the NMCs agreed with the guidance products and issued warnings 5 days in advance to disaster management departments In Mozambique: – Provinces were put on alert levels days in advance – The public responded well and major loss of live were prevented In Zimbabwe: – Public received early warnings by radio, TV and newspapers 5 days in advance FCAST-PRES

23 Example 2: Tropical Cyclone IRINA- 4 March 2012 Example of collaboration in SWFDP between RSMC Pretoria, NMSs of Swaziland and Mozambique FCAST-PRES Difficult system to predict due to large EPS uncertainty RSMC-Pretoria issued guidance forecasts for potential impact around north- eastern SA, Swaziland, southern Mozambique RSMC and NMSs of Swaziland and Mozambique were in regular contact via and telephone regarding the progress and uncertainty of the landfall Disaster Management centres of 3 countries kept up to date by their NMSs

24 Comments on the outcomes of SWFDP It proved that the technology gap can be effectively bridged through a practical, operational approach SWFDP was successful in building the forecasting capacity and improving warnings services in countries – Comment from a disaster manager (Zimbabwe) during the demonstration phase: “I can see the increase in confidence of the forecasters…” – Support also expressed by countries, regional bodies (MASA, EAC), etc It opened channels between weather forecasters and disaster managers in countries where they did not exist in the past SWFDP developed a framework for collaboration among NMSs and with their disaster management structures and media that can be used and built on by other activities FCAST-PRES

25 SWFDP strengths are: Its simplicity, few hazards, no complex equipment - NMSs only needed internet Highly operational focus – support NMSs exactly where they need it for improved services It took the autonomy of countries in Southern Africa into account – nothing was imposed, they issued warnings according to their own criteria It had direct benefit and participation of each role-player It built capacity that could be immediately used in an operational environment by all countries involved It provided direct benefit to the users – disaster management, media and public The focused aim on only a few hazards and few countries helped to establish the framework for the region that can be expanded on later FCAST-PRES Comments on the outcomes of SWFDP

26 Challenges – Reaching and getting appropriate reaction from the public is difficult, some times even more so on LDCs where cultural issues can occur – In-country success depends on the dedication of the NMS – Continuous annual training is essential – The heaviest load lies on the RSMC, which needs to keep constantly pace with developments – In some areas still significant effort needed to get all countries at a reasonable level It is unrealistic to expect complete success on all goals, and in all countries – there will be countries lagging behind that needs to be helped with specific interventions, which needs resources FCAST-PRES Comments on the outcomes of SWFDP

27 Societal and Economic Impact Cost of SWFDP framework – Direct cost is relatively small: training and management workshops – Indirect in-kind costs by Global Centres, RSMCs and NMSs are not known completely (around USD60k for RSMC Pretoria as it is now – future increase expected as new components added) What was the contribution of SWFDP to the saving of lives during TC Favio (2007) compared to TC Eline (2000) in Mozambique? – How do you attribute the cost of lives saved to the improved EWS? Definitive improvement in the capability of forecasters Improvement of warning lead-time and coordination with disaster management and the media FCAST-PRES


29 Current Development Initiatives Framework can be used to broaden to a multi-hazard EWS including existing initiatives on: – Flash flood warnings – River flood warnings – Storm surge warnings – Nowcasting methodology using satellite (It is the same forecasters doing these activities…) FCAST-PRES

30 WMO Initiative on Implementing Regional Flash Flood Guidance Systems Aim to improve flash flood warnings in sub-regions around the world The FFGS concept proved in Central America and Mekong River Basin SARFFG under development will cover basins in 7 SADC countries – Developed by US Hydrologic Research Center in San Diego – Funded by USAID FCAST-PRES

31 Flash Flood Guidance Process 2010/08/31 ops-ppt-CT Calculate from satellite & rain gauge info the averaged rainfall over small basins Hydrologic models determine likely soil moisture and rainfall runoff for small basins Determines potential for flash floods Warnings to Disaster Management and Public FCAST-PRES

32 Future needs Disaster management collaboration in various countries still need to be strengthened Application at local level to be improved: dissemination and end-user response Enhancement of communication bandwidth is essential Support of countries lagging behind is high priority Ensuring sustainability and continuous development FCAST-PRES

33 Future Needs To continue realize the benefits of SWFDP sub- programmes will require: – Continuing collaboration and dedication by the global centres, RSMCs and NMSs – Specialized products of global centers are crucial for the cascading forecast system to work – Links to R&D activities such as TIGGE, and the new WMO research projects replacing THORPEX – Financial resources (as elaborated by Alice), particularly for training activitie, technical team meetings, support with outreach activities FCAST-PRES

34 Thank you FCAST-PRES

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