Work Packages

GCRF African SWIFT was divided into three strands consisting of several work packages (WPs), which were managed by two co-leads (Africa/UK):

  • Strand 1: Users and evaluation was responsible for the interdisciplinary engagement needed to link forecast users requirements with the provision of quantitative measures of forecast accuracy.
  • Strand 2: Science coordination coordinated the scientific research required to deliver quality-controlled weather predictions.
  • Strand 3: Cross-cutting activities delivered cross-cutting activities needed to increase research capability and provide a legacy to the project outcomes.

Strand 1: Users & Evaluation

Co-leads: Oumar Konte (ANACIM) and Andrew Dougill (University of Leeds)

Work Package 1: Users

Co-leads: Philip Antwi-Agyei (KNUST) and Andrea Taylor (University of Leeds)

The Users WP aimed to provide a stakeholder analysis (providers and users) in each partner country; identify who the users of meteorological information in each country are, and which weather events have the greatest impact on decision-making and activity; identify examples of best practice, evaluate their economic benefits and assess the potential impact of improved forecast information; and identify communication pathways and early warning systems in operation between users and forecasters.

In 2018/19 the SWIFT Users team held Users’ workshops in all four Africa partner countries:

  • Stakeholder Workshop in Ghana, November 2018: Hosted by the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), more information.
  • Stakeholder Workshop in Senegal, March 2019: Hosted by SWIFT partner, Agence Nationale de l’Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie (ANACIM), organised by ANACIM and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), more information.
  • Stakeholder Workshop in Nigeria, March 2019: Hosted by SWIFT partner, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, National Weather and Climate Research Centre (NiMet), more information.
  • Forecast Users’ Forum, Nairobi, Kenya, 30 April – 3 May 2019: Hosted by SWIFT partner, the Kenya Meteorological Agency (KMD), more information.
  • Users’ Engagement Workshop, Kumasi, Ghana, July 2019: Hosted by SWIFT partners, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and GMet, in collaboration with FoRPAC, more information.
  • Users’ Workshop, Tamale, Ghana, August 2019: Organised in collaboration with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and GMet.

Work Package 2: Evaluation

Co-leads: Elijah Adesanya Adefisan (FUTA) and Thorwald Stein (University of Reading)

The Evaluation WP sought to determine the best forecast evaluation metrics for data-sparse regions in the tropics; improve capability in forecast evaluation for operational services in Africa; and develop a seamless evaluation methodology to assess forecast uncertainty at all time scales (per weather regime).

Strand 2: Science Coordination

Co-leads: Benjamin Lamptey (University of Leeds) and Steve Woolnough (NCAS-Climate)

Work Package 3: Remote Sensing (Satellite)

Co-leads: Leonard Amekudzi (KNUST), Alan Blyth (NCAS) and John Marsham (University of Leeds/NCAS-AP)

The Remote Sensing (Satellite) WP increased the capacity of applied satellite capability and research by identifying gaps in satellite knowledge; facilitated the installation of Nowcasting Satellite Application Facility (NWC SAF) products and provided relevant training; and developed a better understanding of tropical convection over Africa using satellite data.

Work Package 4: Nowcasting

Co-leads: Abdou Lahat Diop (ANACIM) and John Marsham (University of Leeds/NCAS-AP)

The Nowcasting WP aimed to provide new knowledge of controls on storm initiation, movement, growth and decay needed to develop effective Nowcasting tools for West & East Africa. Additionally, WP4 provided an evaluated automated product combining satellite observations with NWP model data for nowcasting convection, and trained African scientists in its use and development.

Work Package 5: Synoptic Methods

Co-leads: Joseph Mutemi (University of Nairobi) and Juliane Schwendike (University of Leeds)

Synoptic meteorology is the key forecast timescale used for responding to HIW events (e.g. storms, floods). WP5 planned to develop a synoptic model for East Africa, evaluate existing synoptic conceptual models over West Africa in NWP models, quantify forecasting ability of synoptic systems in tropical North Africa, and deliver training material for forecasters and scientists on the relationship between synoptic systems and convection.

Work Package 6: Seasonal to Sub-seasonal Weather Prediction (S2S WP)

Co-leads: Cheikh Dione (ACMAD), Linda Hirons (NCAS-Climate) and Steve Woolnough (NCAS-Climate)

S2S WP aimed to identify sources of predictability for African rainfall on sub-seasonal timescales and assess the skill of operational S2S prediction systems. Additionally, the S2S WP aimed to build research capability in the UK and Africa to inform the development of operational forecast products on the sub-seasonal timescale for decision making across a range of sectors.

Work Package 7: Convection Permitting (CP) Ensembles

Co-leads: Cathryn Birch (University of Leeds) and Beth Woodhams (University of Leeds)

The Convection Permitting (CP) Ensembles WP planned to facilitate basic model verifications (linking with the WP2 Evaluation) and further investigate the conditions which increase storm predictability (linking with WP5 Synoptic Methods).

Strand 3: Cross-cutting Activities

Co-leads: Bernard Chanzu (KMD) and Douglas Parker (University of Leeds)

Work Package C1: Training

Leader: Benjamin Lamptey (University of Leeds)

Operational training and university programmes: SWIFT aimed to embed research results into operational practice in Africa within the 4-year lifetime of the project. Three training events were held to bring the collected and consensus knowledge held in the “Forecasters’ Handbook” (WP-M2) to the forecasting communities.

  • International Summer School: Tropical Meteorology of West and East Africa

African SWIFT held its first international summer school over the two weeks, 21 July – 3 August 2019. The summer school was organised in collaboration with the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS) and was hosted by SWIFT consortium partner, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.

Work Package C2: Testbeds

Leader: Benjamin Lamptey (University of Leeds)

As a vehicle to generate sound interaction between academics and operational specialists, this WP supported three “forecasting testbeds”: intensive, live, real-time forecasting exercises at which weather forecasters from different institutions came together with researchers for a limited period of time to perform operational forecasting. Testbeds are recognised as a key tool to improve weather predictions worldwide, in particular to pull-through research to operations; to critically evaluate NWP and other tools; and to stimulate new research directions. This WP had a crossover with other WPs, particularly WP1 (Users) and WP2 (Evaluation).

African SWIFT lead three main testbed events:

1. Nowcasting-Synoptic

2. Subseasonal to seasonal (S2S)

3. Nowcasting-Synoptic with User Engagement