Impact-based forecasting informs anticipatory action
As the economic and human impacts of extreme weather and climate change increase, forecasts not just of what the weather will BE, but of what the weather will DO are vital to save lives and livelihoods.
As a result, there is a paradigm shift towards impact-based forecasting, driven by the international meteorological and humanitarian community and facilitated by leaps in science and technology.
“Over the last 50 years there has been a five-fold increase in recorded weather, climate and water-related hazards, with long-lasting socio-economic consequences. The number of deaths has decreased thanks to increased availability of accurate and timely warnings. But it is still unnecessarily high, as a result of lack of understanding of potential impacts,” says Cyrille Honoré, Director, Disaster Risk Reduction and Public Services Branch at the World Meteorological Organization.
“This needs to change,” he says.
WMO has consequently expanded its Guidelines on Multi-hazard Impact-based Forecast and Warning Services, first produced in 2015 as a standard reference text.
The guidance provides practical information and case studies on how to move from weather forecasts and warnings issued by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the provision of impact-based forecast and warning services of multiple cascading hazards (for instance a tropical cyclone, which triggers flooding, storm surge, wind damage, impacts on infrastructure, transport and energy and on health systems).
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