World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) hosts Southwest Indian Ocean Region Early Warning System for Floods (SWIO EWS-F) and Flash Flood Guidance System (SWIOFFGS) Workshop in Seychelles.

04 Jul, 2024 Article

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WMO, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA), the National Weather Service (NWS) of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) and the Seychelles Meteorological Authority (SMA) is hosting the Southwest Indian Ocean Early Warning System for Flood (SWIO EWS-F) and Flash Flood Guidance System (SWIOFFGS) workshop at Savoy Hotel, Beau Vallon, Seychelles from 2nd to 3rd and 4th to 5th July 2024 respectively.

Participants of the workshop come from the Southwest Indian Ocean region, namely Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Each country has representatives from the National Meteorology and Hydrology Services (NMHS), the Disaster Risk Management section and the Water Resources section

In attendance are representatives of the two RSMCs in the region, RSMC-Reunion for Tropical Cyclone Monitoring and Forecasting and RSMC-Pretoria for Severe Weather Forecasting

The main objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Initiate the implementation of the EWS-F and FFGS projects for participating countries (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles),
  • Achieve consensus on the workplan of the EWS-F project for participating countries through discussion of priorities, alignment, and expectations. This will involve identifying initial steps for implementation
  • Initiate the FFGS data discovery process.

To address the issues associated with flash floods, especially the lack of capacity to develop effective flash flood warnings, the Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) was designed and developed for interactive use by meteorological and hydrological forecasters throughout the world. In support of the FFGS programme, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the WMO, the U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service (NOAA) and the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) to work together under a cooperative initiative to implement the FFGS worldwide.

The SWIOFFGS project will span over three years and will comprise of extensive training to operational hydrometeorological forecasters to generate flash flood early warning products by using state-of-the-art hydrometeorological forecasting models.

This project will enhance the capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to issue effective flash flood warnings and alerts.

This project will be very beneficial to Seychelles as it will help us address the issues of flood forecasting especially flash floods which is a major problem over the coastal areas and is becoming more frequent and intense.

In line with the Early Warning for all Initiative, effective flash floods warnings and alerts will help save lives and properties and mitigate the impacts of the disaster.