WMO Projects Newsletter 02

Bringing advanced weather advisories to farmers in Burkina Faso


WMO is now bringing advanced weather advisories to small-scale rural farmers across the northern region of Burkina Faso through the CREWS Burkina Faso project. The weather advisories are being disseminated daily, as part of regular local radio broadcast available throughout the region.  

The initiative started with an assessment of the capacities of early warning systems and services in Burkina Faso. Technical support was then provided to improve forecasting, while resources were allocated to the national meteorological and hydrological services to enhance delivery of weather advisory services.  

These early warning weather advisory services were then customized for three pilot areas. On the ground training was provided to more than 1 100 farmers so that they could understand weather and climate advisories and how to adjust their farming practices to optimize their field cropping calendars. In turn, local radio operators were given training designed specifically around presenting the advisories in a manner that will permit community members to access, process and respond to the information and warnings.  

Read the full story here 


Innovation Call for WMO HydroHub

The WMO HydroHub will soon launch its second Innovation Call for existing innovative approaches / technologies that will help to build the capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and address known operational hydrometry challenges. The WMO HydroHub, with financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), aims to provide technical guidance, enhance capacities and support the sustainable operation of water monitoring systems around the world using a multi-sectoral stakeholder approach.

 The WMO HydroHub Phase 1, from 2017 to 2021, is helping to expand a reliable and sustainable base of hydrometeorological data and information services in support of informed decision- and policy-making in water management. It has done so by implementing WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS) in the La Plata Basin, by partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank, and through a first Innovation Call.

This second Innovation Call aims to bridge Phase I of the project with Phase II, which is currently in design. Its focus will be on technologies and approaches that have already been proven through past research and development, but which are not yet widely used in the operational community. The NMHSs should be able to sustain these after the project has ended. 


Numerical Weather Prediction cooperation amongst South-East European Countries 

The second phase of the South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System (SEE-MHEWS-A) project will see the implementation of a pilot hydrological modelling system, embedded in a numerical weather prediction (NWP) system to form the basis of an operational regional advisory system.

NWP teams from the Slovenian Environment Agency, Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service, Hellenic National Meteorological Service, Israel Meteorological Service and University of Belgrade are jointly working to set up a modelling system with four high-resolution, quasi-operational models that will cover an extended area around South-East Europe including parts of the Middle East. The models will be run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and outputs will be available for all 17 partner countries of the project.This work will significantly improve the availability of meteorological forecasting products to support forecast and warning provisions with shorter lead-times in the region. Hydrological models and nowcasting systems that will be set up for a pilot river catchment during phase II of the project will also benefit from the outputs of the NWP models.

Technical assistance to the SEE-MHEWS-A project is provided with financial support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union, the latter under the EU-WB/GFDRR Western Balkans DRM Program managed by the World Bank and GFDRR.

                                  Figure: ALADIN model domain for SEE-MHEWS-A

Climate information for farmers in East Africa

In the 2019 agricultural season, over 10 thousand farmers in Malawi and Tanzania were trained on participatory planning tools. These tools help them make informed decisions on livestock management, reducing crop losses in times of irregular rainfall and climate variability. 

Under the Global Framework for Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa, the World Food Programme is providing farmers in Malawi and Tanzania with climate and weather information through mobile phones, radio programs, and agricultural extension services. The project also supported strengthened capacities of radio stations, to produce and broadcast quality climate and agriculture programmes. 


Coastal Inundation Forecasting in Fiji


The Coastal Inundation Forecasting Demonstration Project (CIFDP) for Fiji, currently funded by the Korean Meteorological Administration is implementing an integrated approach to storm surge, wave and riverine flood forecasting to improve operational forecasts and warnings capability for coastal communities. It supports the National Meteorological and Disaster Management Services in developing and implementing reliable forecasting and warning services, and in using forecast products operationally to inform national decision-making for coastal inundation management.  

All components of the Fiji CIFDP are now in full operational mode at the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS), however, incremental improvements are being made. When Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold threaten in April, for the first time ever during a cyclone, the FMS could issue wave and storm surge warnings – enabled by its new, unique, coastal inundation forecasting system. A new WMO video is raising community awareness of the value of this critical ocean infrastructure for their safety and livelihoods. 

Mr. Misaeli Funaki, Director of FMS, stated, “The new coastal inundation forecasting system enabled the accurate recording of wave and storm surge magnitude, and sound numerical model guidance for storm surge and waves led to timely forecasts and formed the basis of successful evacuation warnings to vulnerable communities during Tropical Cyclone Harold, which minimized fatalities from such a devastating and life threatening storm.” 

The Honorable Jone Usamate, Fiji Minister for Infrastructure, Disaster Management, Land and Mineral Resources and Meteorological Services said, “The innovative work in Fiji Meteorological Service, had enabled better planning and sound decisions prior to and during the advent of Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold.” 


Flood and drought management in West Africa

This month, the first version of a transboundary VOLTALARM Early Warning System (EWS) Platform will roll out to stakeholders in the Volta River Basin region. Its high exposure to water-related disasters and climate variability coupled with its low adaptive capacity makes the Volta Basin one of the most vulnerable regions to disaster risks in West Africa, thus, this system promises to yield substantial benefits for the region. VOLTALARM is one of the first deliverable of a WMO project funded by the Adaptation Fund. 

The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs)  of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali and Togo identified the implementation of integrated water resources management strategies and the development of risk maps and Early Warning Systems (EWS) as priorities to increase resilience and ensure sustainable development in the region. 

WMO, in partnership with the Volta Basin Authority and the Global Water Partnerships (GWP)-West Africa, with the support of the NMHSs of the six riparian countries developed and submitted a regional climate adaptation project proposal covering these aspects to the Adaptation Fund. The proposal, for US$ 7.92 million, was endorsed by the Adaptation Fund Board for implementation over a four-year period beginning in October 2018. 
At the project's inception, national consultation meetings were held with stakeholders in the six countries to understand current capabilities and needs for the End-to-End Early Warning System for floods and drought. This led to the development of an action plan to establish a transboundary VOLTALARM EWS platform – fully integrated with existing information and products for floods and drought management. 

Thank you to our implementing partners