GCRF African SWIFT launched in 2017 as a £9 million programme led by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), and was funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund. The programme ran until March 2022, and included partners from universities and national meteorological services in Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and the UK.
In Africa, weather extremes such as storms, droughts and floods have severe impacts on communities. Every year, high-intensity weather events result in devastating losses of life and damages to land, property and infrastructure.
Improving the accuracy of weather forecasting is critical for people’s safety, and for key economic sectors including aviation, agriculture, energy, water and emergency response.
GCRF African SWIFT delivered a step change in African weather forecasting capability and communication, from hourly to seasonal timescales, to protect the lives and livelihoods of African people while improving the economies of their countries.
FASTA Nowcasting App
Although the intensive research programme carried out by GCRF African SWIFT has now ended, its legacy thrives through a new weather forecasting app called FASTA (Forecasting African STorms Application).
The FASTA app brings real-time weather information to East Africa and translates our research into practical solutions. It allows users in Africa to see current storm activity and provides early warning of approaching severe weather.
By building on the infrastructure put in place by GCRF African SWIFT, the FASTA team uses satellite observations to provide highly accurate short-term weather forecasts, known as nowcasting.
The app provides a reliable platform to enhance weather forecasts, help populations prepare for severe weather, and inform government and business decision-making
Policy briefs and White Paper
- The future of African nowcasting
- The future of African weather forecasting
- Exploiting Sub-seasonal forecast predictability in Africa: a key to sustainable development
- Development of skills during African SWIFT
- Flying over Lake Victoria: first aircraft observations of the lake–land breeze circulation
- BAMS Publishes Paper on SWIFT Recommendations for African Forecasting Development
- Summary of the SWIFT Final Science Meeting: Regional Hubs
- GCRF African SWIFT Legacy Seminars
- White Paper published on the Potential of Operational Weather Prediction to Save Lives and Improve Livelihoods and Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa