The Met Office headquarters in Exeter, United Kingdom (UK), hosted the HIWeather Project’s kick-off workshop from 25 to 27 April. The event attracted 84 scientists from 21 countries around the world. Professor Virginia Murray of Public Health England and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) launched the meeting with an inspirational presentation on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Reduction and the critical role that HIWeather will play in developing the science required for improved early warning systems that will reduce the toll in lives, livelihoods, health and wealth. She illustrated her talk with examples of research and warnings developed by Public Health England with the Met Office.
Professor Brian Golding of the Met Office, one of the project co-chairs, introduced HIWeather, focusing on the science gaps that it will address and on the knowledge and predictive tools it will develop to enable the detailing of weather conditions to the neighbourhood level, provide early warnings a month ahead, and forecast weather-related impacts such as flooding and energy consumption. These are the main expected outcomes of the next ten years of research in weather science. A better understanding of small-scale processes and their inherent predictability should go together with a better comprehension of how weather-related information influences decision-making and better strategies for communicating this information.