Public Weather Services Programme DOCUMENT For

Public Weather Services Programme DOCUMENT For


public weather services Programme DOCUMENT for




(Submitted by the WMO Secretariat)

Summary and purpose of document

This document provides background information for the ET meeting.

Action Proposed

The meeting is invited to note the decisions of Cg-XVI relevant to the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the ET/COPE.

World Meteorological Organization / Cg-XVI/PINK4.1
SIXTEENTH CONGRESS / Submitted by: / Chair, Committee A
Date: / 31.V.2011
gENEVA, 2011 / Original Language: / English
Agenda item: / 4.1

public weather services Programme

Report to Plenary on item 4.1

Cg-XVI/Doc. 4.1
A.Draft text for inclusion in the general summary on item 4.1
B.Draft Resolution 4.1/1 – Public Weather Services Programme
It is recommended that the draft text given in Appendix A be included in the general summary of the work of the session and that the draft resolution in Appendix B be adopted.



4.1public weather services (pws) programme(agenda item 4.1)

4.1.1Congress commended the successful implementation of the Public Weather Services Programme (PWSP) during the fifteenth financial period according to the WMO Strategic Plan.Congress emphasized that services provided to the public through the national PWS programmes represented the most visible part of the work of NMHSs, and as such had a significant contribution to their credibility. The PWS Programme contributed to the achievement of the WMO Expected Result (ER)7, by concentrating on the importance of user-focus, quality management and building capacities in NMHSsfor the continual improvement of quality in the delivery of weather, and related environmental servicesto user communities, and in particular,to the public.Congress recognized that the strength of the PWS Programme lay in developing a multi-agency approach whereby the strengths of the meteorological community were complemented by other skills through partnerships. Congress requested that the PWSProgramme be strengthened to enable full realization of potential benefits of national PWS programmes, particularly in the developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The full description of the PWS Programme can be found in the Annex to this paragraph.

WMO Strategy for Service Delivery

4.1.2Congress supported the action taken by the Secretary-General to develop the “WMO Strategy for Service Delivery”[1] for adoption by Congress,to evaluate and guide the development of service delivery practices by Members. The Strategy is based on “WMO Guiding Principles for Service Delivery” which had been endorsed by EC-LXII (Geneva, June 2010).The Strategy is WMO-wide and applicable to all activities and programmes that have a role in service delivery, although the PWSP had been tasked by the Executive Council Working Group on Disaster Risk Reduction and Service Delivery (EC-WG DRRSD) under whose direction the Strategy was drafted, to take the lead in coordinating the development of the Strategy. Congress particularly noted that inputs from regional associations and technical commissionsand their subsidiary bodies, the EC subsidiary bodiesand the WMO Programmes had been sought in developing the Strategy.Congress expressed its appreciation to all those who had contributed to the development of the Strategy. In approving this Strategy for Service Delivery, Congress emphasized its synergy with the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and requested that an implementation plan be developed to guide Members’ efforts at national level.

4.1.3Noting that while much had been done by WMO Members to build infrastructure and improve modeling capabilities to enhance products, developments in service delivery had not always matched the improvement in technical capabilities.Congress fully acknowledged service delivery as one of the Strategic Thrusts of the Organization in the Strategic Plan 2012-2015.It stressed that implementation of the Strategy should be used by NMHSs toimprove their relationships with users, thus increasing the relevance of NMHSs products and services to decision-making processes and ultimately demonstrating the role and position of NMHSs in the national socio-economic development processes of Members.

4.1.4Expressing its strong support for this initiative, Congress adopted the “WMO Strategy for Service Delivery” as presented in the Annex to this paragraph. It requested that the regional associations make full use of the Strategy in developing specific plans appropriate to their own Regions, and engaging in regional partnerships. Congress further urged Members to seek every opportunity to transfer knowledge through advanced capacity-building approaches and in documenting best practices.Congress requested the Secretary-General to take the steps necessary forthe implementation of the Strategy.

Members’ priority areas for PWS delivery

4.1.5In the context of the PWSP, Congress emphasized that well-run and credible national PWS programmes provided a criticalinterface between NMHSs and users and were the major conduit for the delivery of the benefits of meteorological and hydrological services to the entire community.As such, they were critical in assisting NMHSs secure the long-term trust of user communities.This long-term trust was best established through the provision of high quality daily forecast services delivered through media partners and strengthening the confidence of the public in NMHSs.This, in turn, was crucial to the effectiveness of warnings of much less frequent severe weather events.

4.1.6Congress stressed that Members were strong proponents of multi-hazard, multi-scale early warning systems. To be efficient, these systems need to be embedded within an operational end-to-end-to-end service delivery framework. Congress agreed that the meteorological community needed to embrace this approach as it would help enable NMHSs to demonstrate their commitment to continual improvement, a cornerstone of a QMS.

4.1.7Congress endorsed the strategic objectives recommended by the International Symposium on PWS: A Key to Service Delivery (Geneva, December 2007), to guide the implementation of the PWSP aimed at enabling NMHSs improve their service delivery, as follows:

(a)Improving early warning services and products and their dissemination as an integral part of PWS;

(b)Engaging in capacity-building and outreach activities;

(c)Improving the reach of NMHSs products and services;

(d)Promoting the application of the science of meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related technology to improve products and services;

(e)Engaging in demonstration projects and collaborative activities as appropriate;

(f)Establishing and promoting best PWS practices;

(g)Researching and providing information on social and economic aspects of weather services;

(h)Engaging in surveys and assessments to better understand user requirements;

(i)Promulgating the results of the work of PWS expert teams and groups.

4.1.8Congress endorsed the areas of principal focus of the PWSP. These areas,which follow the PWS strategic objectives, are in accordance with the WMO Strategic Plan, and are based on the prioritiesindicated by Members through the Executive Council, technical commissions, in particular the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS), and regional associationsas indicated below:

(a)End-to-End-to-EndService Delivery – Working with users,understanding user needs, total quality management, continuous improvement;

(b)Enhancing the economic and social well-being – Contributing to national sustainable development efforts by collaborating with and supporting weather-sensitive sectors;

(c)Education and Training – Building the required competencies and skills amongst the NMHSs staff on all aspects of PWS delivery to user communities, and, in particular, tothe public;

(d)Dissemination and two-way communication of effectively formulatedmulti-hazard warnings as the essential first step for an effective Early Warning System (EWS)– Building effective and timely dissemination and communicationsystem for forecasts and warnings and user feedback;

(e)Strong communications and media skills – Developing skills in effective communication of weather and climate information and tailoring of language to specific media and user requirements, as well as the use of all media, including emerging media, and buildingkey partnerships with media organizations as an important element in successful service delivery;

(f)Public education and awareness – Promoting awareness among the public to improve their response to NMHSs warnings and forecasts, and the taking of appropriate actions.

4.1.9Based on the above, Congress endorsed the approach adopted by the PWSP in carrying out its mandate in response to Members’ priorities and requested that it should be continued through:

(a)Knowledge transfer through the work of experts;

(b)Capacity-building through training and production of guidance materials;

(c)Implementation of Learning-Through-Doing (LTD) Demonstration Projects.

PWSP implementation in response to Members’ priorities

Knowledge transfer

4.1.10Congress acknowledged that the work of experts in all areas of PWS activities was a crucial component of the PWSP and a major contributor to its success. It expressed its appreciation to all Members who had made their experts available for participation in PWS expert teams and forums and requested that this very effective approach for progressing with the strategic objectives of the PWSP should continue in the sixteenth financial period.


Publications and guidance materials

4.1.11Congress acknowledged the publication of seven guidelinesand five summary guidesduring the intersessional period,addressing key aspects of PWS, all of which were freely accessible on the worldwide web (). Congress encouraged Members to make maximum use of the publications and requested that PWSP continue to prepare such guidance materials.


4.1.12In stressing the need for specific competencies within NMHSs and the associated education and training requirements for the service delivery tasks in PWS, Congress expressed satisfaction that these competencyrequirements were being developed through the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS)in close liaison with the Executive Council Panel of Experts on Education and Training.In notingthat26 training workshops and seminars had been conducted for NMHSs from all WMO Regions by PWSP during the intersessional period, a number of which had been in collaboration with the Tropical Cyclone Programme(TCP) and the DataProcessing and Forecasting System(DPFS) Programme, Congress requested that priority continue to be given to training activities in Public Weather Services in a complementary manner to other capacity-building efforts in other Programmes and initiatives, including the GFCS.Congress expressed appreciation to Members who had hosted these training events and made available their experts as trainers and urged developed countries to continue to provide assistance in training of staff from less developed NMHSs. Furthermore, in view of the importance of the Strategy for Service Delivery, Congress stressed that training in service delivery was a crucial element in ensuring the successful implementation of the Strategy and requested the Secretary-General to arrange for training in this area especially in developing and least developed countries.

Network of Focal Points

4.1.13Congress noted the value of the network of national Focal Points in supporting the implementation of PWS among Members, and requested all Members who had not already done so to nominate national PWS Focal Points and to equip them with adequate skills and resources to carry out PWS tasks.

Demonstration Projects

Learning-Through-Doing (LTD) Projects

4.1.14Congress endorsed the PWS Learning-Through-Doing (LTD) Demonstration Projects,focusing on assisting NMHSs to increase the quality and range of their products and services through creating partnerships with various socio-economic sectors.It agreed that this approach responded directly to the Madrid Action Plan 2007 (MAP) and the Strategic Thrust of WMO on Service Delivery.It welcomed the fact that a number of Projects had been implemented during the fifteenthfinancial periodin East Africa, West Africa, and Central and Latin America. TheseProjects, which had targeted the health, agriculture, fisheries and transport sectors, had produced far reaching impacts with relatively modest resources. Congress expressed appreciation to the National Meteorological Service of Spain (AEMET) for its generous and consistent support to the countries participating in the LTD projects in West Africa and Central and Latin America.

4.1.15Through the Projects, the participating NMHSs had understood the needs of the user sectors involved and had designed, produced and provided new or improved products to meet those specific needs. In turn, the user sectors had properly articulated their needs, had been helped by NMHSs to master the methods of analysis and interpretation of relevant data provided by NMHSs, and applied the information to their specific sector.Outcomes of these Projects had also included: creation of multi-disciplinary teams with ability to interact effectively with users; extensive collaborative efforts with stakeholders; skills in socio-economic assessment for the quantification of the benefits of the meteorological services; cross-training of the relevant staff and officials; and improved timeliness of delivery of services. Congress endorsed this cost effective approach to capacity-building and requested the Secretary-General to provide the necessary support towards the implementation of further LTD Demonstration Projects.

Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Projects (SWFDP)

4.1.16Congress endorsed the thrust of PWSP as one of the two components in various SWFDP, (including the SWFDDP in the South Pacific) which had helped enhance the capabilities of the participating NMHSs to deliver improved severe weather warnings and forecasts to the disaster management agencies, the media and the public along the lines of the LTD approach. Congress requested the continuation of this collaborative approach between the PWS and DPFS Programmesin all future SWFDP Projectsand believed that this set a good model for integration among the various WMO Programmes with inter-related goals including the DRR Programme.

Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems Projects

4.1.17Congress welcomed the role ofthe PWSP in coordinating the World EXPO 2010 Nowcast Services (WENS) Demonstration Project in the framework of the Shanghai Multi-Hazard Early Warning Services (MHEWS). The objectives of the Project were to demonstrate enhancement of short-range forecasts of high-impact weather through nowcasting applications; and to promote the understanding and enhance the capability, as appropriate, of WMO Members in nowcasting services. ThisProject was successfully implemented over the six (6) months of the EXPO. The experience gained in the Project will be shared in the form of guidelines on the provision of nowcasting services and a capacity-building workshop for Members with a view to transferring the nowcasting skills and technologies, as demonstrated by a number of currently available systems, into operational use by Members in need.

4.1.18Congress welcomed the collaboration between the PWS and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Programmes in the implementation of the WMO Caribbean Regional Programme on MHEWS. The focus of the PWSP is to assist the NMHSs of the Caribbean Region to enhance their capacities for delivering services to the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) agencies, the media, social and economic sectors and the public. It will contribute to the implementation of the activity by leading the training of the DRM agencies, NMHSs and the media in communication protocolsand website development and management.

International exchange of public forecasts and warnings

4.1.19Significant accomplishments had been made to further strengthen the recognition of NMHSs as official authoritative sources of warnings and public weather forecasts and to improve access by the public and other users to official information sources.Congress agreed that, with 12million page visits per month, the World Weather Information Services (WWIS) Website () had evolved from a project to a mainstream activity of Members that communicated official forecasts for over 1340 cities. It noted that WWIS had upgraded graphics for easier use, and that it was hosted in nine languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Russian and Spanish). Congress commended all the Web hosts and especially HongKong, China, for coordinating and leading the activity. It urged all Members to continue to contribute to the WWIS.

4.1.20Congress noted with appreciation a presentation by Hong Kong, China, on the challenges and opportunities for WWIS, highlighting the need for:

(a)Official forecasts for more cities where available;

(b)Longer forecast duration where available;

(c)Inclusion of more forecast elements, e.g., relative humidity, wind, where available;

(d)Higher temporal resolution in the forecast;

(e)Mobile telephone version.

4.1.21Congress agreed that the above enhancements to the WWIS, especially the development of the mobile version of WWIS, would bring even better access by the public and the media to the authoritative weather information as issued by NMHSs, and would further increase the visibility of WMO and its Members, and that they should be actively pursued by the PWS Programme.

4.1.22Congress noted that the Secretary-General,with the concurrence of the Executive Council,had approved access to WWIS data to various organizations to develop other media products.

4.1.23Congress noted the creation of a partnership between WMO, a private-sector partner and Hong Kong, China, to promote access to official tropical cyclone warnings by the public and the mediathrough the Severe Weather Information Centre (SWIC) Website (). Congress agreed that this effort greatly enhanced the status of SWIC as the portal to official tropical cyclone warnings from Members. Congress also recalled its discussions on the DRR Programme during this Session (Agenda 11.5) and supported that standardization of severe weather information, especially tropical cyclone advisories and warnings, should be pursued so as to improve the accessibility and understanding of the information by the public and the media through the Internet.