Reports on Meetings and Events of Interest to Members in 2013
The fourth session of ICTSW was held in Geneva from 25 to 28 November 2013. Among its main outcomes the session:
– Reviewed the draft ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices (SARP) for space weather information support to international air navigation and the related CONOPS;
– Approved the ROB (Belgium) Sunspot product for inclusion into the Product Portal;
– Recommended the evolution of the Product Portal to a new “Product Access Guide”;
– Agreed on guidelines for harmonizing severe space weather warnings;
– Noted and supported the development of the GTEX format for GNSS slant TEC data;
– Noted and welcomed the planned CMA format for FY-3C GNOS radio-occultation data;
– Recommended NICT (Japan) to become a WIS DCPC for space weather information;
– Noted and encouraged the WIS demonstration actions involving four products;
– Noted the inventory and categorization of space-based space weather observing capabilities in OSCAR and took action to review the measurements-instruments links;
– Exchanged views on the current plans and strategic goals of members for space weather, discussed the global need for coordination of operational space weather activities and agreed that a proposal for a “Space Weather Watch” should be prepared in response to the request from the 16th WMO Congress;
– Stressed the need to advocate the long term continuation and expansion of essential space weather observation infrastructure and to seek support from WMO Members to the space weather coordination activities undertaken within WMO.
Using the recent typhoon Haiyan as an example, that in order to minimise the impact on life and property, an ability to understand and predict such extreme events is paramount. In this context, satellites are an important tool for deriving real-time information about such events, highlighting the importance of the SCOPE-Nowcasting initiative.
The initiative must be firmly based on user requirements, and that it considers the need to bridge the “last mile” – the delivery, uptake and visualisation of the data. A cross-section of users was represented at the workshop through NMSs (BoM, CMA, IMD, JMA, KMA), SWFDP and the WWRP Nowcasting Working Group. Satellite operators were also represented through CMA, ESA, EUMETSAT, JMA, KMA and NOAA. To view the full report click here
Following a brief report from the Chair of the TT-ICA, Dr Steve Cohn and a presentation by presentation by the Chair of the ICG-WIGOS Task Team on WIGOS Regulatory Material, to set the context within which revision of the International Cloud Atlas, Volume I of which comprises Annex 1 of the WMO Technical Regulations, was being considered by CIMO, each task leader then provided a summary of the work performed under their assigned task. They discussed the conclusions reached by the sub-group that had addressed that task, and the implications for the proposal that the Task Team would submit to the CIMO Management Group (CIMO-MG) in regard to revision of the ICA.
Following the welcome speeches and presentations by the WMO Secretariat and the Chair of RA I, the participants of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia made presentations on the status of the observing networks, and the telecommunication and data transmissions systems as well as their preparation for the implementation of the WMO Information Systems (WIS) in their respective countries. They highlighted the main problems of their NMHSs in particular in human resources and financial constraints.
The situation in Libya was described as special due to the 2011 political unrest in this country. Six (6) synoptic stations were destroyed including telecommunication and data transmissions systems. There is an urgent need to replace the missing instruments of these stations as well as the equipment of the Central Calibration & Maintenance Workshop, and to re-establish the communications networks between the National Meteorological Center of Libya and the regional and international centers.
Following the keynote presentation of Dr Lamine Bah, President of RA I on the “RA I Requirements on Observation and Information Systems meeting the needs of Weather, Climate, Water and Environmental Services: Status, Challenges and the Way Forward” there were presentations on WIGOS and WIS.
These presentations helped the participants understand the overall concept of WIGOS, and WIS, the management requirements for the Sub-region and the key activities areas for their implementation.
All the 16 countries in West Africa were represented: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cap Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and, Togo. The participants made presentations on the status of the observations network in their respective countries including existing observation networks in the country not belonging to the National Weather Service. They highlighted the main problems their NMHSs encounter.
The meeting reported on the current status concerning deliverables of its terms of reference
Application of regional ocean observations for increasing society’s understanding and forecasting of typhoons.
The previous week TT-AvXML had released final draft of version 1.0 of the XML standard for representing meteorological information to support civil aviation that allowed the information content of METAR, TAF, SPECI and SIGMET to be exchanged in XML. The meeting agreed the work needed to steer the draft through the approvals procedures, proposed governance arrangements for the standard, and decided on technical approaches to support the use of the XML standard.
The standard will be known as IWXXM-XML, and consists of sub-packages METCE-XML, OPM-XML and SAF-XML. These are based on “logical data models” of the same name (without the –XML suffix). TT-AvXML recommended that WMO publishes and maintains METCE and OPM, but that although SAF and IWXXM would need to be published and maintained by WMO in the short term, they should be published and managed by ICAO in the longer term, but that the creation of the XML schemas associated with them should be generated by WMO.
The meeting reviewed the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and IOC user requirements for the collection of meteorological data from remote areas (including buoys, ship-based observing systems, seal level observing stations, Automatic Weather Stations, Polar Observations, profiling floats, and animal tracking). It reviewed the capabilities and the tariff schemes of the satellite data telecommunication systems that are mostly being used for the collection of environmental data from remote areas, and discussed the role that they could play in the future Forum. The meeting noted that the future Forum is meant to provide guidance to the WMO and IOC users on the use of Satcom systems, including guiding them on how to make the best arrangements for the purchase of airtime. The Forum will provide detailed information on satellite systems capabilities so that users will be able to make informed decisions on which system to use.
During the technical and scientific workshop organized during the first day of the session, 21 presentations were delivered on a wide range of topics of concern to the DBCP. Developments in the technologies of Drifting Buoys, including technical issues concerned with the longevity of the buoys were reported. Approximately 70 participants from 19 countries attended the meetings. The Panel concurred with the five recommendations made by the workshop and adopted them.
Reports were provided by the DBCP Task Teams, the Action Groups and the Pilot Projects, and decisions were taken according to their recommendations.
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The workshop recalled the importance of ocean observations to achieve socioeconomic benefits at the global, regional, national and local levels by addressing the requirements of WMO and IOC Applications, including the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and working in the multi-disciplinary frameworks of WMO-IOC-UNEP-ICSU Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the WMO Integrated Observing System (WIGOS).
The meeting addressed several key areas relating to practices and procedures and to improving the user experience of WIS. These included: the need to progress WIS monitoring; identification of a set of WIS competencies and associated education and capacity development strategy and guidance; inclusion of all GISCs on the WIS core network and the migration to the RMDCN Next Generation (NG-RMDCN); identification and review of suitable WIS solutions or contributing applications, including the need agree on interoperability with respect to user management and authorisation; and the benefits of partnership with industry under commercial collaboration.
The two objectives of the meeting were to provide guidance on writing WIS Discovery Metadata records that could be used to create supporting and to make sure that it was possible to provide from metadata records the information needed to fulfil the use cases for WMO No. 9 Volume C1.
The meeting noted the increasing importance and need for marine meteorological and oceanographic services, particularly in relation to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).
In 2013, the number of ASAP reports received at ECMWF were comparable to 2012 levels despite a decrease from 31 to 26 in the number of reporting platform identifiers. A drop in numbers later in November-December was due to problems in our data processing system affecting only ASAP reports. The problem has been fixed early in 2014. Unrelated to this issue the percentage of ascents reaching the 100 hPa level was as low as around 70% in the first months of 2013.
To read the report click here