The WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) was launched in 2006 in 5 countries in south-eastern Africa. Today, over 75 countries around the world are benefiting from the project. A recent West Africa SWFDP project workshop in Togo attracted over 90 participants from 15 NMHSs – Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. While a Regional Subproject Management Team (RSMT) in Sri Lanka did a first review of progress in the Bay of Bengal SWFDP, updating the Subproject Implementation Plan and defining a timeline for further advancement.
SWFDP has improved the lead-time and reliability for alerts and warnings about high-impact events such as heavy precipitation, strong winds and high waves. It has strengthened engagement of NMHSs with users including media, disaster management and civil protection agencies and local communities for improved disaster risk reduction (DRR) and decision-making process by users. The project is benefiting various socio-economic sectors as well, including agriculture, fisheries, aviation, and marine transportation.
SWFDP receives support from global and regional centres and funding from WMO donors and partners. The Bay of Bengal project with nine participating South Asia countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand – is funded through UN ESCAP and WMO-RIMES. The West Africa project was initiated in 2015 with seed funding from the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA). Since 2018, its activities have mainly been funded by CREWS-West Africa, a regional component of CREWS investment in West Africa, and in collaboration with the Africa-SWIFT programme funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).