Across the fortnight 21 July-2 August 2019, GCRF African SWIFT held its first International Summer School designed specifically to train the next generation of scientists in tropical meteorology and forecasting techniques. Hosted by SWIFT partner, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, the African SWIFT Summer School was organised in collaboration with the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS). During the two weeks, 45 students from countries across tropical Africa and Europe were taught by experts in the field of tropical meteorology from both academia and operational centres around the world. The programme focused on providing a hands-on learning experience designed to build students’ technical forecasting skills, and included daily lectures, practical sessions and weather forecast discussions covering all aspects of African meteorology, from satellite-based nowcasting to sub-seasonal to seasonal predictions, to forecast evaluation. Students also participated in a Discussion Forum with weather forecast user groups from across Kumasi and the Ashanti Region. The conversations explored ways that forecast information might be improved and linked more closely to the needs of climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, disaster management and urban planning. As well as important learning outcomes such as improving students’ understanding of weather phenomena and forecasting techniques, the Summer School has also provided a unique opportunity for students to interact with experts and learn alongside peers.
African SWIFT congratulates the students of its first International Summer School and thanks them for all their energy, enthusiasm and hard work. SWIFT also thanks the experts and organisers for their many and valued contributions that led to the Summer School’s resounding success. Particular thanks are extended to SWIFT partner KNUST for all their help in organising and delivering the series of SWIFT events held across the two weeks, and for being such welcoming and accommodating hosts.