International Impact-based Forecasting and Warning Services

Location: Republic of South Africa, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia
Sponsors: U.S. National Weather Service, International Affairs Office
Collaborators: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research


HRC is the lead technical organization supporting the U.S. National Weather Service International Affairs Office with a program for the development and implementation of hydrometeorological hazard impact-based forecast and warning services in the Republic of South Africa, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Indonesia.  Projects will soon be starting in Croatia and Sri Lanka.  This program  is patterned after similar developments as the Weather Ready Nation program in the U.S., the Impact-based Decision Support Services in Europe and the United Kingdom and World Meteorological Organization Publication No. 1150.

The concept for this program, known as WRNs, is to develop capacity at National Meteorological and Hydrologic Services (NMHS) to enhance their current forecast and warning messaging protocols for high-impact hydrometeorological events (e.g., heavy rainfall, severe thunderstorms, high winds) in order to improve their usefulness for hazard risk decision-making.   This enhanced messaging capability will provide users with a more clear forecast and warning message of the What, Where, When, and Precautionary/Preparedness Actions for the specific hazard.  For the WRNs program to be successful close operational cooperation with the NMHSs, NDMAs and other sectors with access to, and ownership of, data on infrastructure systems and services (e.g. agriculture, energy, transportation, health, water resources) is necessary and is a high priority focus during project implementation. This requires a high-level commitment from the agencies to work closely together to share data, information, expertise and responsibility. Once implemented, the NMHS, in collaboration with the NDMA, will effectively communicate expected impacts such that communities may assess risk and make decisions in time to take appropriate actions that minimize loss of life and property.