The World Meteorological Congress has approved the establishment of a Global Basic Observing Network (GBON), paving the way for a radical overhaul of the international exchange of observational data which underpin all weather, climate and water services and products.
Local weather forecasts depend on access to 24/7 global observations. But there are big geographical gaps – in some parts of the world observations are either not made or not exchanged internationally, and in other parts they are not made or exchanged frequently enough. This limits our collective ability to understand and predict the atmosphere at all time-scales.
“Our planet is experiencing extreme weather and climate conditions that are having a direct impact on our lives. Billions of dollars’ worth of destruction and substantial loss of life can be attributed to weather, climate and water-related extreme events,” said Celeste Saulo, WMO’s First Vice President and director of Argentina’s national meteorological service (SMN).
“Reliable, real-time access to observational data is critical to the quality of forecasts and climate analyses. Global numerical weather prediction (NWP) is the basis on which all weather and climate services are built. Like an engine needs fuel, NWP requires a constant supply of observations from around the world to ensure accurate forecasts and climate products,” according to Michael Staudinger, President of WMO’s Regional Association VI (Europe) and Director of Austria’s national meteorological and hydrological service (ZAMG).
“The improvement in global numerical weather prediction enabled by GBON will directly impact our lives and our economies – saving lives and minimizing the billion dollar annual cost of infrastructure damages due to extreme events,” he said.
GBON represents a new approach in which the basic surface-based observing network is designed, defined and monitored at the global level.
Once implemented, GBON will improve the availability of the most essential surface-based data. This includes hourly surface observations at high resolution and twice daily radiosonde observations at a set maximum horizontal spacing wherever geography allows. This will have a direct positive impact on the quality of weather forecasts, so helping improve the safety and well-being of citizens throughout the world.
“WMO is the only organization with the mandate and the reach to coordinate the necessary exchange of observations, and our organization is committed to the free and unrestricted sharing of real-time data on a worldwide basis,” says Daouda Konate, President of WMO Regional Association I (Africa) and director of the national meteorological service of Cote d’Ivoire.
The path forward will not be without challenges, but the future benefits for the entire WMO community will be enormous.
GBON can be implemented relatively quickly over the territory of most WMO Members in the developed world. In many developing countries additional investment and capacity development will be needed, and WMO will be working closely with the international development and climate finance communities to facilitate this.
The landmark agreement on GBON was passed as part of package of resolutions which will usher in the initial operational phase of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), one of WMO’s top priorities.
Congress said that “WIGOS has reached a sufficient level of maturity for the system to be considered operational effective 1 January 2020.
“WIGOS shall continue as a core WMO activity and that it shall be considered a basic WMO infrastructure element supporting all WMO programmes and application areas, with the continued involvement of all regions and technical and scientific discipline areas,” it said.
An animation explaining the Global Basic Observing Network is here.
Additional details are here.
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.
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.
Click here for full release.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.