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WMO. World Meteorological Organization Working together in weather, climate and water. Strengthening Regional Cooperation in Early Warning Systems: Meteorological, Hydrological, Marine/Ocean Related Hazards Dr. Michel Rosengaus M. On behalf of WMO

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World Meteorological OrganizationWorking together in weather, climate and water

Strengthening Regional Cooperation in Early Warning Systems:

Meteorological, Hydrological, Marine/Ocean Related Hazards

Dr. Michel Rosengaus M.

On behalf of WMO

II Session Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas

Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico, March 15-17, 2011

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  • What is the WMO?

  • The World Meteorological Organization is a technical, specialized organism of the United Nations, in charge of Meteorology, Water and Climate. It has 188 members (states and territories), which are usually represented by their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services

  • Why should de DRR community be interested in the WMO and its members (the NMHS’s)?

  • Besides the obvious reasons (hydromet hazards tracking, analysis and forecasting), because, at the global and regional levels, it provides an operational framework on which sustainable EWS’s can be built; many of its members have longer than 100 years of non-stop operation.

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  • In some sense, the WMO as a whole, has the architecture of a Global EWS, and its 6 Regional Associations, of Regional EWS:

  • Example 1: Global Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) availability to everyone is organized by WMO

  • Example 2: (Almost) Global Satellite Image coverage and availability to everyone is organized by WMO

  • Example 3: Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (as is the National Hurricane Center in Miami) in it’s international duties are coordinated by the WMO

  • Example 4: IPCC main office is inside the WMO building in Geneve, Switzerland

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Early Warning Systems Require Coordination Across Many Levels and Agencies





National to local disaster risk reduction plans, legislation and coordination mechanisms

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Complex interactions required


The response box

The hazard monitoring box



















(Civil Defense/Protection

and probably others)

(may be different agencies)

Two boxes usually belong to different Ministries

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Complex interactions required

(the original world)


The response box

The hazard box












Hydromet, Marine, Climate

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Complex interactions happening

(the new world)


The response box

The hazard box












Hydromet, Marine, Climate

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Specific example interactions


Analysis and








Number of lives at risk

  • $ at risk

  • Destruction of buildings and infrastructure

  • Reduction in crop yields

  • Business interruption

  • Impacts:

  • population density

  • agricultural land

  • urban grid

  • Infrastructure

  • Businesses

Heavy Precipitation

and flood mapping

Need for historical and real time data

Statistical analysis tools climate forecasts and trend analysis

Need for Socio-economic impacts data and analysis tools

Need for risk assessment tools combining hazard,

asset and exposure information

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10 Basic principles for effective Early Warning Systems

  • Political recognition of the benefits of EWS along with effective planning,legislation and budgeting

  • Effective EWS are built upon four components:

    (i)) hazard detection, monitoring and forecasting;

    (ii) analyzing risks and incorporation of risk information in emergency planning and warnings;

    (iii) disseminating timely and “authoritative” warnings with clarity on the responsibilities and mandate for issuance of warnings;

    (iv) community emergency planning and preparedness and the ability to activate emergency plans to prepare and respond

  • Roles and responsibilities of all EWS stakeholders and their collaboration mechanisms clearly defined and documented

  • Capacities aligned with resources across national to local levels (sustainability)

  • Hazard, exposure and vulnerability information are used to carry-out riskassessments at different levels

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10 Basic principles for effective Early Warning System (Continued)

  • Clear, consistent and actionable hazard warnings, with risk information and issued from a single recognized authoritative source

  • Timely, reliable, redundant and sustainable warning dissemination mechanisms

  • Emergency response planstargeted to the individual needs of the vulnerable communities, authorities and emergency responders

  • Regulartraining and education programmes in risk awareness and emergency response actions

  • Effective feedback mechanisms throughout levels of the EWS for system improvement over time

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Initiatives and pilot projects in:Central America and MexicoThe Caribbean

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Early Warning Systems with Multi-Hazard Approach Pilot Project – Central America

  • Pilot Countries:

    • Costa Rica (World Bank Funded)

    • El Salvador (NOAA – USAID funded)

    • Mexico (Government and NOAA – USAID funded)

  • National multi-agency cooperation (Met/Hydro/DRM)

  • Multi-level (Regional, National, Local)

  • Focus: Flash Flood-Riverine Flood Warning Systems

  • Partners: WMO, NOAA-NWS, UNDP, World Bank

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The Caribbean

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Strengthening meteorological, hydrological and climate services at national and regional levels to support risk assessment and Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems

Focus sectors: DRM, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resource Management, Planning and Development Sectors

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Where ?

Strengthened coordination and cooperation across British, French, Dutch and Spanish Speaking countries and territories

Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermudas, the British Caribbean Territories, the Caribbean Netherlands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, the French West Indies, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint-Marteen, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago also including Beliz and Surinam

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Key Stakeholders in the region have been engaged

  • National:

    • Beneficiaries:

      • National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Agencies and other key ministries of the beneficiary countries.

      • Other ministries, specifically, finance and planning, agriculture, water resource management and coastal zone management

    • Contributing Countries: USA, Finland, France, Canada, Spain, others (TBD)

  • Regional:

    • Regional centers and agencies of CARICOM: CDEMA, CMO and its CIMH;

    • WMO RA IV and its DRR and Hydrology Task Teams, WMO RA IV Hurricane Committee, the WMO RSMC – Miami Hurricane Center

    • Regional agencies and platforms: ACS, OAS, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)

  • International and donors:

    • UN and International Agencies: WMO, UNDP, UNESCO-IOC, etc.

    • Bi-lat donors and development banks: IADB, World Bank, USAID/OFDA, Canada (CIDA), Finland (MFA), Spain (ACE), Japan (JICA), others (TBD) etc.

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Long-term Capacity Development (8 years) with phased project management (2-yr cycle)

  • 2010-2011: Development of programmatic and technical aspects Long-term capacity development and phase-I project priorities

  • 2011:

    • Phase-I (multi-component) project implementation plan and project governance

    • Institutional mapping and partnerships for implementation(national and regional)

    • Resource mobilisation strategy and coordination with the donors

    • Regional mechanisms for multi-stakeholder coordination, sharing progress, experiences, monitoring and evaluation

  • 2012: Phase-I Project (multi-component) to be Launched

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Warning Communication/CAP

PWS workshop -


March/April 2011

Official Regional Meeting

to endorse Phase I project proposal

MH Forecasting meeting

Hurricane Committee -

Cayman Islands

7 March 2011

MHEWS Technical Cooperation Workshop


November 2010

MHEWS Training Workshop –

Costa Rica

March 2010

Consultants’ missions in the region and assessment of all assessment and projects

June – September 2010


Cayman Is.

November 2010

Roadmap for the project design to strengthen Caribbean Risk Assessment and MHEWS capacities

Consultations, Major Milestones and Timeline




Develop overall plan, phase I project proposals, implementation plan, resource mobilizations and identification of forums for on-going regional dialogue with Members, development partners and donors



December 2010

Phase I Project Launch

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Outcomes to Date:Reference document produced for programme and project development …

  • National Roster: Directors and experts from Met and Hydro services, DRM, Planning, Agriculture and food security and water resource management sector

    • Hydro network needs to be mapped in more details )

    • Agriculture, water resource management sectors need to be mapped further

  • Regional Roster: Regional agencies supporting DRM

  • Mapping of assessments and projects: in the region and opportunities for leveraging

  • Relationship of Met/Hydro/DRM agencies countries/territories mapped

  • Identification of capacities, remaining gaps and needs not addressed through existing projects

  • Priorities for long-term capacity development (national and regional)

  • Priorities for phase-I project (multi-component)

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Priority Hazards

  • Overall priority hazards for both subregions: Tropical Cyclones, Storm Surge, High Waves, Flash and Riverine Flooding, Heavy Precipitation, Drought, Land/Mud Slides and Volcanic Eruption

  • Specific hazard priories vary by country/territory based on geography, orography, seasonal patters, etc.

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Areas requiring long-term development as identified from extensive consultations

1) Establishment of policies, legislation and institutional arrangements with clarification of role of national meteorological and hydrological services within different arrangements - Partnerships

2) Provision of Meteorological, Hydrological and Marine and Coastal hazard databases (statistical and real-time), metadata and hazard analysis to support risk assessment

3) Service Delivery approach within the NMHS to support DRM and economic sectors

  • QMS and SOPs developed between NMHS and other DRM and sectoral stakeholders (institutionalizations)

  • Application of WMO service delivery framework

    4) Strengthened operational meteorological, hydrological, marine/coastal and climate forecast products and training to support target serctors (national and regional components)

    5) Coordinated Multi-Hazards early warning systems in the region

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Phase-I Project Components

  • Component 1: Policy, legislative and clarification of role and mandates of the NMHS in support of DRM

  • Component 2: Strengthening of forecasting capacities for other priority hazards (nowcasting to longer-term)

    • Strengthening of regional operational products and services

    • Training

  • Component 3: Warning dissemination, communication, and development of CAP

  • Component 4: Initiation of QMS and SOPs of NMS and DRM agencies – with a service delivery approach

  • Component 5: Pilot on (data rescue, data management) observational interoperability, data exchange and hazard analysis within the PPCR Regional Programme

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Thank You

For more information, please contact WMO:

Maryam Golnaraghi, Ph.D.

Chief of Disaster Risk Reduction Programme

World Meteorological Organization

Tel. 41.22.730.8006

Fax. 41.22.730.8023

Email. [email protected]


Michel Rosengaus, Sc.D.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Tel. 52.55.2636.4600 x3410

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