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Newsletter in January 2019

Jun 24,2020

Full version: HIWeather_news_Jan_2019.pdf

January 2019

I start by extending a warm welcome to new members of HIWeather: Xudong Liang joins the Steering Group to represent the SURF project, Deanna Hence brings expertise on convective storms and their impacts to the Processes and Predictability task team and Masahiko Haraguchi brings expertise in measuring socio-economic impacts to the Evaluation task team.

Our workshop in Beijing last November was a huge success, for which thanks must go to Qinghong Zhang and Liye Li, who made all of the local arrangements, and Julia Keller who masterminded arrangements from Geneva. Thank you also to Qinghong for putting together the workshop report for publication in Science Bulletin. The workshop also marked the formal opening of the International Coordination Office (ICO) at CMA in Beijing, so congratulations to Qinghong and Liye for that achievement. Following that, this will be the first newsletter produced by the ICO.

The essence of the workshop was the connection of everything we do to the decision maker at the end of the warning chain. It was exhilerating to be in such a mixed group of scientists, from every discipline connected to warning production, and from every part of the globe, but all concerned with how their expertise can enable warnings to be more effective – in reducing death, distress, damage and disruption from weather related hazards. In the main sessions, we heard about the progress being made by each of the task teams, while the two panel discussions opened up potential new areas of work: landslides and health impacts. However, looking forward, the key outputs will be the new areas of work defined by the break-out groups. These build on our progress to date, taking us forward in crucial areas.

I spent early January at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in Phoenix, where HIWeather was well represented, both in the WWRP special symposium and in the Societal Applications and International sessions. Sadly, the lack of NOAA representation impacted on parts of the meeting. While there, I had some useful discussions with Michael Morgan on progress with the US inter-agency committee on the three post-THORPEX projects. An inventory of linked projects is in preparation and we discussed potential opportunities for targeted activity. In March, I shall be taking the HIWeather value chain to a panel discussion on the value of weather services at the AMS Washington Symposium.

The last few months have been a busy period preparing for the UNISDR Global Platform 2019 (GP2019) to be held in Geneva in May, preceded by the second WMO Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems (MHEWS) conference. Between us, David Johnston and I sit on three of the session organising committees, which were tasked with preparing concept notes, briefs and agendas for the Platform. I also submitted an unsuccessful proposal for a HIWeather side meeting. I took part in a meeting for the MHEWS conference recently, the structure of which will likely reflect the HIWeather value chain. I hope to see some of you in Geneva in May, though attendance at the MHEWS conference will be severely restricted.

Our linkage with Future Earth, IRDR and WCRP in the RISK-KAN (Knowledge Action Network) on complex and cascading risks continues to progress. I shall be involved with the Development Team for the KAN and with a bid for funding for a sub-Saharan Africa network to contribute to it. Complex risk is an area of increasing concern, particularly for urban areas, where the principal impacts of a disaster may be secondary ones arising from infrastructure failure of various kinds. A recent UK report provides a useful summary (NERC, 2018 – see list of relevant papers). This may be an area that our HIVR team might want to take an interest in once their initial survey is complete.

Finally, I am pleased to report that the Urban Disaster Risk Transitions hub, led by Edinburgh University and Kings College London, involving a large international team of scientists and practitioners, including from the focal cities of Kathmandu, Istanbul, Nairobi and Quito, and in which I am a co-I, has been funded. The five year project covers the whole range of responses to urban disaster risk from both geological and hydro-meteorological hazards, of which warnings will be a small but important component. HIWeather provided support to the bid and will be engaged in those aspects relating to warnings.


Wishing you all every success in your HIWeather activities.


Brian Golding

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