A pathway to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of investments in weather, climate and hydrological services has been adopted at a conference convened by the World Meteorological Organization, the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). The central theme of the conference on 21-22 March was “Beyond business as usual – closing the capacity gap.” It brought together 100 representatives from national meteorological and hydrological services, multilateral development banks and financing and technical institutions.
The first of the four Special Observing Periods during the Year of Polar Prediction has been successfully completed on March 31. Station staff from 16 different meteorological stations in the Arctic launched more than 1,900 additional weather balloons from 1 February to 31 March 2018, amounting to up to four extra radiosonde launches per day.
March 2018 was the third warmest on record, according to the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting Copernicus Climate Change service. Although not as exceptional as the values for March 2016 and March 2017, it was in line with the upward trend of 0.18°C per decade seen in global temperature data from 1979 onwards, according to the monthly report.
The WMO Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) is holding a special technical conference to brainstorm on future directions on data, infrastructure and service issues. This guidance is necessary because technology and science is advancing quickly, and WMO and its Members need to respond rapidly to changes in order to continue to improve weather, climate and water operations and services.