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Lessons from the Southern African Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) Eugene Poolman South African Weather Service Pretoria, South.

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Presentation on theme: "Lessons from the Southern African Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) Eugene Poolman South African Weather Service Pretoria, South."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lessons from the Southern African Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) Eugene Poolman South African Weather Service Pretoria, South Africa Peter Chen Chief, Data Processing and Forecasting Division World Meteorological Organization Geneva, Switzerland 3rd THORPEX International Science Symposium Monterey, California 14 – 18 September 2009

2 Concepts of SWFDP 2

3 The Challenge: mitigating the growing technological gap in weather forecasting Dramatic developments in weather forecasting science over the past two decades – advances in monitoring and NWP and Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS), leading to improved alerting of weather hazards, at increased lead-times of warnings Developing countries, LDCs, saw little progress due to limited budgets, failing infrastructure, inadequate guidance and expertise, increasing gap in application of advanced technology (NWP, EPS) in early warnings WMO SWFDP attempts to close this gap by increasing availability, and developing capacity to use existing NWP and EPS in countries where it is not effectively used 3

4 WMO Project: SWFDP WMO developed the SWFDP to improve severe weather forecasting and warning services in NMHSs where sophisticated NWP/EPS outputs are not currently used First SWFDP regional project in Southern Africa, Nov 2006 to Nov 2007 Principal focus: heavy rain and strong winds RSMC Pretoria SWF Daily Guidance Product (7 Jan. 2007)

5 SWFDP MAIN GOALS CBS-XIII (2005) To improve ability of NMHSs to forecast severe weather events To improve lead-time of alerting of these events To improve interaction of NMHSs with DMCPAs before and during events To identify gaps and areas for improvement To improve the skill of products from GDPFS Centres through feedback from NMHSs DMCPA – disaster management and civil protection authority GDPFS – Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (WMO)

6 First SWFDP project The NMHSs of: Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe The regional centres: RSMC Pretoria, RSMC La Réunion Global products centres: ECMWF, Met Office UK, and NCEP USA Regional project management structure: – Regional subproject management team, with PRs/Directors designated members and Terms of Reference – WMO support (CBS and Secretariat) – Regional interest: SADC and MASA preparatory and annual training workshops conducted for forecasters

7 SWFDP Cascading Forecasting Process Cascading Process throughout Southern Africa: – Global NWP centres to provide available NWP and EPS products, including in the form of probabilities; – Regional centres to interpret information received from global NWP centres, prepare daily guidance products (out to day-5) for NMCs, run limited-area model to refine products, maintain RSMC Web site, liaise with the participating NMCs; – NMCs to issue alerts, advisories, severe weather warnings; to liaise with Disaster Management, and to contribute feedback and evaluation of the project; – NMCs have access to all products, and maintained responsibility and authority over national warnings and services. 7 Global Centers Disaster Management Centres NMCsRSMC Pretoria

8 SWFDP flows Global: NOAA, ECMWF, Met Office - NWP products - EPS products - 5-day guidance daily - 12-km UM LAM (SA12) - Additional MSG products SWFDP Web Portal National: NMCs of all Southern African countries - Improved forecasting - 5 day lead-time on warnings when needed - Improved coordination with disaster management - Feedback on NWP, EPS, RSMC guidance Regional: RSMC Pretoria

9 Examples of EPS products from global centres 9

10 Testing the Impact: Tropical Cyclone Favio 10 Public Benefits of SWFDP in south-eastern Africa, E. Poolman, H. Chickoore, F.Lucio, WMO MeteoWorld, Dec. 2008) http://www.wmo.int/pages/publications/meteoworld/archive/dec08/swfdp_en.html

11 Forecasting Tropical Cyclone Favio TC Favio caused widespread damage over Mozambique and Zimbabwe from 20-24 Feb 2007 It provided the opportunity to test the SWFDP cascading process It contributed to the lessons learned in the demonstration period

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13 Impact of TC Favio The model guidance correctly indicated landfall 5 days in advance: location, and movement towards Zimbabwe Both Mozambique and Zimbabwes NMCs issued warnings 5 days in advance to disaster management departments Mozambique: – Provinces were put on alert levels 2 to 3 days in advance – The public responded well and major loss of life was prevented – 9 deaths Zimbabwe: – Public received early warnings by radio, TV and newspapers 5 days in advance – BUT… the public did not react until the first heavy downpours

14 Lessons from SWFDP 14

15 Usefulness of NWP and EPS NWP generally useful, higher resolution UM SA12 proved to be very useful For all five NMHSs this was their first time working with EPS products operationally EPS products were very useful and aided to: – Extend the lead-time of forecasts and warnings – Increased forecaster confidence on all forecasts Challenges in the tropical regions particularly – NWP struggle to predict localized, sudden on-set severe convection and strong winds – NWP and EPS are not giving good guidance on organized convection in the tropical areas a few days in advance Question: which are the best parameters in EPS products to identify possible organized severe tropical convection?

16 Results from Demonstration Phase Overall: the five NMHSs confirmed that the new approach is demonstrating significant benefits and improved early warnings SWFDP was a successful demonstration how developing countries can be assisted to reduce the technology gap in weather forecasting to support operational severe weather forecasting and warning services Southern African countries at WMO Congress (2007) highlighted: – Successful recipe demonstrating real benefit to developing countries – High impact, low cost, with visible operational results – Appreciation for contributing centres of the GDPFS SWFDP provides a practical and beneficial operational platform for preparation and dissemination of early warnings in Southern Africa

17 Challenges () and Opportunities ( ) Forecasting tools better used, but a gap in nowcasting tools evident: No radars, thus must be MSG satellite based There were data communication challenges Need to use satellite-broadcast platforms, for example EUMETCAST Interaction between NMHSs, disaster management authorities, media; reaction of public to warnings is still not optimal Develop enhanced products and services to disaster management Develop ongoing coordination between forecasters and disaster managers and the media Carry out public awareness raising campaigns

18 SWFDP - General Lessons 18 Accelerated implementation of outputs from advanced NWP/EPS in developing countries Continuous learning by forecasters Tight cycle of demonstration, adapting to regional needs, evaluation, and implementation Contributing to learning practical probabilistic forecasting methods Increased visibility, credibility, and value of meteorological services New role for WMO regional centres (RSMC) in severe weather forecasting for the region

19 SWFDP – Southern Africa Way Forward – underway Expand SWFDP to include all 16 countries in southern Africa region (implementation plan to 2011) – All season, multi-hazards – Emphasize warnings (exchange, verification, public feedback) and services 2-week training of forecasters and disaster managers of 16 countries (Nov 2008, Oct 2009, Q4/2010) Incorporate flood forecasting (regional flash flood guidance) marine/ocean, aviation forecasting aspects GIFS/TIGGE FDP (TC prediction, heavy precipitation, week-2) Other regional projects (e.g. South Pacific Islands) 19

20 SUMMARY SWFDP was a successful demonstration how developing countries can be assisted to reduce the technology gap in weather forecasting to support operational severe weather forecasting It is essential to extend the SWFDP to the other countries in Southern Africa, with increasing focus on warning services There are a number of areas that need urgent attention, particularly nowcasting technology, and improved partnerships with disaster management authorities It is also now time to plan towards the next level of warning services, i.e. a comprehensive multi-hazard EWS for the region

21 21 Thank You! pchen@wmo.int eugene.poolman@weathersa.co.za


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