The WMO (World Meteorological Organization) has stated that climate change impacts are affecting water availability and exacerbating the damages floods and drought cause worldwide. It feels climate-related water action is a key to bringing countries back on track to deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, to ensure access to water and sanitation for all and to sustain a healthy environment.
To further this goal, the WMO hosted a virtual diplomatic briefing in early July on plans for a Water and Climate Coalition, aimed at building momentum on water and climate action through implementing concrete activities at the national, regional and global levels.
One of the core competencies of meteorology, mathematical modeling, has been in the limelight in recent months, with epidemiological modelers producing a wildly varying array of model-based predictions on the potential spread of Covid-19. Across the board, governments have been heavily reliant on these to inform their responses to the disease. Now, modeling methods normally used to forecast weather have been borrowed to predict how rapidly Covid-19 could spread in different countries as lockdown is eased, as well as assess the effectiveness of measures put in place.
Meteorologists from the University of Reading and National Centre for Earth Observations in the UK were part of an international team that applied data assimilation – a technique that combines multiple sources of information to estimate how a situation will develop over time – to the pandemic.
Following the arrival of a new research team in June, study of the Arctic MOSAiC ice floe is continuing apace and the team behind the project has now published a paper on its findings to date in scientific journal The Cryosphere.
Among the findings is the observation that the New Siberian Islands were the birthplace of the MOSAiC floe: the sea ice in which the research vessel Polarstern is now drifting through the Arctic was formed off the coast of the archipelago, which separates the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea to the north of Siberia, in December 2018.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced an investment of nearly A$$1m (US$690,000) in a gridded renewable energy nowcasting demonstration project, with Sydney-based company Solcast.
Solcast said its aim is to enhance existing weather forecast services by developing a proof-of-concept demonstration of a forecasting tool that will track and predict renewable output in real time. The goal is to predict up to six hours ahead in five-minute increments, distributed into 1-2km grids across South Australia (SA).
The company stated that the 12-month project will deliver more frequently updated, high-resolution weather forecasts specifically designed for the Australian energy industry.
The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. In order to obtain data from the surface from the Red Planet, NASA has selected partners to provide measurement instruments for installation on the Mars Perseverance rover. One of these is a Spanish-led European consortium that supplies the rover with its Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) – a set of sensors that record measurements of temperature, windspeed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and the amount and size of dust particles.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), part of the consortium, has supplied instrumentation based on Finnish specialist Vaisala’s sensors, to MEDA for the measurement of humidity and pressure.
Belgrade, capital of Serbia, is due to have its flood warning systems overhauled and modernized. In May 2014, the city suffered substantial flood damage, which spurred authorities, in conjunction with the United Nations Development Program (UNPD), to increase its resilience to natural disaster. Part of the plan to achieve this is the implementation of a flood monitoring and warning system.
Italian firm CAE, in consortium with a Serbian organization, won the tender to supply instrumentation for the project. This will include 34 standalone rain gauge stations (seven of which will be equipped with heated gauges), 22 hydrometric stations and 3 UHF repeaters.
The World Meteorological Organization has developed a set of e-learning resources to support the dissemination of extreme weather warnings.
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a data format for exchanging public warnings of hazards such as floods, landslides, tropical cyclones, strong winds, drought and heat waves. It enables automated transmission of warnings over most communication platforms in order to better reach all parties in need of such information.
The CAP standard is also an important component of the WMO Global Multi-hazard Alert System (GMAS), a platform that the organization is developing for collecting and displaying all warnings issued by authorized sources, on a real-time basis.
A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) committee of experts has established two new world records for the longest reported distance and the longest reported duration for a single lightning flash in, respectively, Brazil and Argentina.
The new records for ‘megaflashes’, which have been verified with new satellite lightning imagery technology, more than double the previous values measured in the USA and France. The findings were published by the American Geophysical Union’s Geophysical Research Letters.
WMO’s Committee on Weather and Climate Extremes, which maintains official records of global, hemispheric and regional extremes found that: