WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project expands to West Africa

The WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) has been extended to West Africa to help improve related services in the region. Initiated in 2015 with seed funding from the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA), the new subproject held its first meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 4 to 8 September.

Present were experts from global and regional centres – Météo-France, Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) Dakar, the African Center of Meteorological Application for Development  (ACMAD) Niamey and the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN) Morocco – as well as representatives from NMHSs of Benin, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal and Togo. They discussed the subproject modalities and developed a draft implementation plan. RSMC Dakar accepted responsibility for the analyses of available products and information as well as for the development and issuance of daily Severe Weather Forecast Guidance products for use by participating NMHSs to issue alerts, advisories and weather warnings for high impact weather.

Capacity development of NMHSs through specialized SWFDP training workshops will be one of the most important features of the subproject. Its aim will be to enhance the skills of forecasters in interpreting and using Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) products and to improve their severe weather forecasting. Later workshops will strengthen the engagement of NMHSs with users and socioeconomic sectors toward improving the delivery of warning services. Both ACMAD and DMN-Morocco will serve as regional support centres for technical training and for the provision of some additional products.

By making best use of the latest available weather prediction products and satellite-based information and radar products, countries in West Africa will be able to better cope and respond to climate variability and change. SWFDP has already shown great results in other regions, including Southern and Eastern Africa, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.

For more information on the SWFDP, visit: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/swfdp/index_en.html

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