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Sand and dust storms are common meteorological hazards in arid and semi-arid regions. They are usually caused by thunderstorms – or strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones – which increase wind speed over a wide area. These strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere, transporting them hundreds to thousands of kilometres away. Some 40% of aerosols in the troposphere (the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere) are dust particles from wind erosion.
Heat risks remain a silent disaster. The First Global Forum on Heat and Health, held in Hong Kong, China, from 17 to 20 December 2018, addressed that challenge and launched the Global Heat Health Information Network (the Network). Over the four-day event, 120 interdisciplinary practitioners and researchers from 33 countries provided fresh, real-world perspectives on heat health risk management across diverse fields, such as medical science, urban planning, meteorology, and economics.
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...