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Australian Contributions

An Australian HIWeather community was established at the annual Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (AMOS) meeting. The goal is to foster collaboration within Australia of physical and social scientists, forecasters, and users of forecasts of high impact weather. Anyone who is interested can contact HIWeather@bom.gov.au to join this community.

The Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia are conducting a small project on impact prediction, currently looking at impacts of wind on infrastructure. Partners include forecasters and State Emergency Services. High resolution ensemble NWP is coupled to a wind damage function to derive probabilistic spatial maps of damage severity, using East Coast Lows as demonstration events.

Future Warning Services (FWS) framework: In February 2018 the Australian Fire and Emergency Services Authority Council (AFAC) Warning Group commissioned social research to build a sound evidence base for a national three-level warning framework for all hazards. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has embarked on a three-year Public Services Transformation to improve the impact and value of our services. The includes new and enhanced impact-based warning services that provides warnings that are clear, accurate, location specific, relevant and contextual. We are developing a framework to guide the preparation of a product roadmap that systematically priorities the future development of services. People can get a copy of the PST business case by emailing public-services@bom.gov.au.

The 'Reducing Illness and Lives Lost from Heatwaves' (RILLH) is a multi-agency collaboration between the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Department of Health (DOH), and Geoscience Australia (GA). The RILLH is a data-integration partnership project and asks three questions; 'who is most at risk?', 'where are they?', and 'how can services to vulnerable groups be improved through heat-health warnings and targeted interventions?'. This project seeks to answer these questions by mapping vulnerability against Excess Heat Factor (EHF), the scale used to define heatwave intensity by the Bureau of Meteorology and many Australian States and Territories. Through the utilisation and analysis of health and health service data, weather observations, neighbourhood community and environmental characteristics, the project is building a national 'map' of heat health vulnerability which will be underpinned by a Heat Vulnerability Index. It is anticipated that the core methodology of multi-agency collaboration and integration of data used in this project can be applied to other natural hazards as well. The results will support emergency response and planning in the immediate term and will inform and shape spatially target intervention strategies including impact forecast warning systems, social registries and community outreach, social media targeting, and urban planning. For more information contact Shannon Panchuk (shannon.panchuk@bom.gov.au)

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