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The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), a long-standing partner of WMO in capacity building, is now applying its numerical weather prediction expertise to help assess operational capabilities in WMO Member States and Territories. In March, Anna Ghelli, ECMWF’s international liaison officer, joined the WMO on a visit to Saudi Arabia’s national meteorological service as part of a numerical weather prediction expert team.

The Saudi Arabia General Authority of...

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The Met Office has announced plans to publish its gridded climate monitoring products under an “open” license on 31 July. The United Kingdom believes that there is high value in making this move, which will enable national meteorological services and governments to use the gridded data for any purpose. For example, the data may be useful in producing climate adaptation and resilience strategy for sectors that are essential to society...

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Since 1992, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) has been operating to ensure that information needed to address climate-related questions are obtained and made available to all potential users. Now, this is more important than ever and GCOS is adapting in order to fulfil the growing demand for robust climate observations.

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WMO, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the Met Office (UK) took part in a joint side-event on 9 May during the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body For Scientific And Technological Advice (SSBSTA) in Bonn, Germany. The side-event highlighted changes to the WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate (annual Statement) and in global observing requirements. It also offered an overview...

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Significant progress has been made over the past decade to improve our understanding of droughts and their impacts. However, several questions remain, including the real costs to a country’s economy, and whether the price of preparing for droughts is worth the cost. A new study released by the WMO/Global Water Partnership (GWP) Integrated Drought Management Programme seeks to answer these questions. The working paper  – part of efforts...

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Low-cost air pollution sensors are an exciting opportunity for atmospheric chemistry research and are a potentially disruptive technology for air pollution monitoring. Mid June, the Scientific Advisory Group on Reactive Gases of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme issued an advisory note aimed at users considering adopting sensor approaches for air pollution measurements. It identifies some of the basic technologies, key operational factors and possible deployment scenarios.

The benefits of...

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In June, the WMO Education and Training Office completed its 4th Online Course for Trainers, this time for Regional Association II (Asia) and Regional Association IV (Pacific). The course, which has been offered in English, French, Russian and Spanish, has now been delivered in all WMO regions. So far, over 150 participants have completed the online training thanks to the contributions of some 20 volunteer facilitators from 15 WMO Members.

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From October 2016 to March 2017, a SIGMET coordination pilot project was conducted by WMO in Southeast Asia in response to a Regional Forum on Meteorological Services for Aviation Safety held in 2015. The NMHSs of three target countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) responsibilities for the Jakarta, Ujung Pandang, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Singapore flight information regions – actively participated in the pilot project.  Web-based tools were made available by the Hong Kong Observatory, China and Japan Meteorological Agency to assist MWOs to undertake their analyses and coordination in real-time, making optimal use of the latest Himawari-8 satellite imagery and other resources.

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The installation of Chatty Beetles and Barret High Frequency radio network in Tuvalu in July has secured the communication of weather, climate and other warning messages between its scattered islands. The new equipment, provided by the Early Warning System (EWS) network project and supported under the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA 2), will serve as a communications backup in the disaster-prone region in case of failure of the primary telecommunications and Internet services.

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As countries work towards implementing National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), National Meteorological and Hydrological Services can take advantage of climate services and their potential to support sustainable development benefits. Once equipped with improved weather, water and climate information, countries can make better, informed decisions in sectors sensitive to climate and thus give rise to both substantial economic benefits and sustainable development (WMO, World Bank, USAID, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, 2015). This can not only save lives and preserve assets, but also enhance safety, agricultural productivity and water security. The effective development and use of climate services can serve as a valuable aid to decision-making in many economic and social sectors.