South-East Europe region is experiencing an increasing number of severe meteorological and hydrological hazardous events, leading to substantial loss of life, livelihoods, and damages to infrastructure and key sectors. WMO together with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Ukraine) and ECMWF, as well as other key partners, are tackling this challenge with development of the ‘South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System (SEE-MHEWS-A)’.
The system aims to provide NMHS operational forecasters with effective, efficient, and easy to apply tools for improved and more accurate forecasting of hazardous events and early warnings and to ensure that national authorities have the best possible information to carry out early actions and make the decision that can mitigate potential impacts of hazardous situations.
The development of the system and resulting empowerment of NMHSs to fulfill their core functions is one of the recognized soft measures of adaptation to climate change. This will support the NMHSs to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
The demonstration phase of the SEE-MHEWS-A project, which commenced in 2018 concentrates on 1) establishment of regional data exchange mechanism for improved data availability for project purposes such as data assimilation, 2) setting-up numerical weather prediction system including several limited area models covering the whole region, 3) development of hydrological forecasting and nowcasting systems for a pilot river catchment, and 4) developing visualization and distribution mechanism for data and products created as part of the project activities.
The progress made in the implementation of the demonstration phase will be presented. In addition, the data policy under this SEE-MHEWS activity will be highlighted as a milestone of the project that provides hundreds of additional observations to improve the work of the global, regional, and national forecasting operations and enables improved data assimilation and nowcasting capabilities in the region.
Technical Assistance to the current phase of the SEE-MHEWS-A project is provided with financial support from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the European Union, the latter under the EU-WB/GFDRR Western Balkans DRM Program managed by the World Bank and GFDRR. The initial phase of the project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
How to cite: Taalas, P., Rabier, F., Pappenberger, F., Modigliani, U., Wetterhall, F., Dacić, M., Lappi, S., and Kull, D.: South-East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System , EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-305, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-305, 2021.