Full version of HIWeather News Letter in February 2021:
I hope that most of you managed to join at least part of the HIWeather Workshop at the end of last year, which was absolutely brilliant! The five online seminars gave excellent introductions to the key issues in the areas covered by the task teams, while the three 19-hour workshops enabled broad participation in the three HIWeather highlight activities: citizen science, the warnings value chain, and the HIWeather book. Over 400 people registered and each webinar recorded an attendance of over 100. I should like to thank all of those who contributed to this success, but especial thanks must go to Martin Wegmann who presided over the technical arrangements throughout and who went above and beyond the call of duty on the three days of the workshop – Thank You Martin!
There have been some important changes of structure and personnel in the past few months. Paolo Ruti has been Head of the Weather Research Division at WMO since HIWeather started and his guidance and support have been invaluable to us. He has now moved on to join EUMETSAT. Estelle de Coning has stepped up to fill his place in an acting capacity. Estelle is familiar to many of us and we are delighted to be working more closely with her. Martin Wegmann came to the end of his appointment in December and his place has been taken by David Hoffman, working remotely from Australia. David has particular responsibility for the warning value chain project. Michael Riemer is currently taking parental leave and will take up the reins of the Processes and Predictability Task Team again in March. No doubt he is by now looking forward to that! Michael Reeder stepped down from our Advisory Group last year. The Advisory Group provides useful advice on people and activities that we should make contact with, as well as casting a critical eye over our work. We thank Michael for his contribution since HIWeather started. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt lives around the world, I would also like to recognise that everyone involved is having to struggle with changes in their working and home lives and to thank you all for continuing to make time and effort to contribute to HIWeather.
Within WMO there have also been some substantial changes in structure in the last year, which have mostly had little direct impact on HIWeather, but which will be increasingly important going forward. The old plethora of Commissions has been replaced by three bodies: an Infrastructure Commission, a Services Commission and a Research Board – the latter being our “parent”. This change brings an increased clarity which I hope will enable HIWeather to work more effectively with these other parts of WMO. Recent engagement with the Expert Team on Impact-Based Forecasting augurs well for our future relationship with the Infrastructure Commission, while I have hopes of building a closer relationship with the DRR group in the Services Commission ahead of the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Looking ahead is difficult in current circumstances but is important if HIWeather is to make a lasting difference. You are an important part of that legacy – through your advocacy for an end-to-end multi-disciplinary view of the warnings chain that starts from consideration of the user’s need and is validated by assessment of its value. Many of you have initiated research projects that respond to these issues, and which in themselves will also leave legacies – and we are especially grateful to those of you who have signed up as endorsed projects, listed on our website and in this newsletter. The first half of the HIWeather project has also produced several publications: reviews, special issues etc which will be of lasting value. These will culminate in the HIWeather book: “Towards the Perfect Warning” which we hope will take the results of this research into the practice of professionals in emergency management throughout the world. It is really helpful for the connections between these outputs to be recognisable, so if you are writing a HIWeather-relevant paper or giving a related presentation, please include HIWeather in your acknowledgements and, if possible, use the logo and add “WMO/WWRP” as your second affiliation.
I invite everyone reading this to look closely at the Citizen Science and Value Chain projects and to make contact if you have something to offer.