Improved seasonal forecast for Eastern Africa: potential to improve community resilience in the region.

The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) through the support of GCRF African-SWIFTW2SIP and ForPAc projects produced the first objective consolidated forecast for the June-September 2019 rainfall season.

With objective forecasts, more comprehensive evaluations can be conducted and hence the potential to improve the forecasts over the region. Improved seasonal forecast methods make the climate outlook more reliable and effective for enhancing resilience to climate related risks over Eastern Africa.

For the last 20 years a semi-subjective forecast method was applied to evaluate the forecast in the region. These type of forecasts have several limitations. First, they are not available in digital/numerical form and thus cannot be objectively verified and their skill assessed. Second, the forecasts cannot be used in application models. Third, the forecasts cannot be identically reproduced or replicated by a different forecast group due to the subjective nature of arriving at the final climate outlook.

However, since May 2019, with the introduction of objective forecasts, a new era in seasonal forecast services has started, when the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF), National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS), climate experts, researchers and international climate experts meet at ICPAC to develop the objective seasonal outlook.

ICPAC (with additional support from the UK government’s WISER-W2SIP, ForPAc-SHEAR and GCRF African-SWIFT projects and a new high power computing cluster) was able to be one of the first Regional Climate Centres to adopt the objective approach, based primarily on climate models.

To produce the objective consolidated forecast, predictions from 7 global dynamical models have been used. The 7 models participating in multi-model ensemble are CMC1-CanCM3, CMC2-CanCM4, CFSv2, CCSM4, GFDL-FLOR-AO2, ECMWF and GloSea5.

The models utilised were initialised in May and statistically downscaled using 2 distinct techniques:  (1) Ensemble linear regression technique and (2) Canonical Correlation Analysis as implemented in the Climate Predictability Tool (Mason and Tippett, 2017).

The forecasts produced using the two techniques were then combined to form an objective forecast for the first time over the region.

For more information please visit: http://bit.ly/2DlyDuv

Dr Benjamin Lamptey Public Lecture “From Extreme Weather to Climate Change in Africa” now available online.

On 22nd October 2019, the African SWIFT Cheney Fellow Dr Benjamin Lamptey, gave a Public Lecture at the University of Leeds. The academic talked on extreme weather and climate change in Africa, with consideration of the contribution of human activity on the continent and implications for the environment, society and the economy.

After the lecture Dr Rosalind West, DFID Climate Science Lead, Prof Andy Dougill, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environment, Dr Elijah Adefisan, SWIFT Programme Science Director and Dr John Marsham, Water@Leeds Research Fellow, joined Dr Lamptey for an insightful and interesting Q&A session and panel discussion. 

For those who could not attend the lecture, the presentation of Dr Lamptey can now be downloaded here and the recordings can be watched here

 

The African-SWIFT project launches the sub-seasonal testbed with a kick-off event in Ngong, Kenya

Next week, 18th to 22nd November 2019, Scientists and Forecasters from SWIFT partner Universities, and National and Regional Meteorological Services will gather in Ngong, Kenya for the start of the sub-seasonal testbed. During the week Scientists and Forecasters from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and the UK, together with the Forecast Users from Cameron, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, will discuss the potential for co-producing new weather forecast products with Users to aid their sub-seasonal decision-making.

Part of Strand 2, the African-SWIFT project’s sub-seasonal testbed is a two-year process lead by NCAS and ICPAC, to co-produce more useful weather forecasts for 1-4 weeks into the future. The aim of the testbed is for the African-SWIFT Scientists to work directly with their Users before starting to make the products, so that the forecasts are providing tailored information to the Users. This process is particularly unique as the African-SWIFT Scientists and the Users of forecast information will work in close collaboration, throughout the next two years, to co-create useful products for decision-making processes with the potential to be used across tropical Africa.

The co-production approach has six main building blocks starting with the i) identification of key actors and building partnerships followed by a process of ii) building common ground understanding, reaching to the stages of iii) co-explore needs, iv) co-develop solutions and v) co-deliver those solutions to Users, ending with the vi) evaluation phase. This is an iterative process which will be started at the kick-off meeting and continue through the 2-year testbed

 

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#AfricanSWIFT scientists are currently working with weather forecast users to co-produce new and needed forecast pr… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

On Monday 22 October Ben Lamptey, #AfricanSWIFT Cheney Fellow gave a fascinating public lecture at @UniversityLeedstwitter.com/i/web/status/1…