New weather observation system for African small islands

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 29 Feb 2016 (ClimDev-Africa) – A newly launched Operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and Early Warning System (EWS) to manage weather and climate related-disasters for the African SIDS is expected to revolutionize extreme weather forecasting and early warning in the African Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  
Participants at a just-ended workshop on climate-related disasters in the Indian Ocean SIDS held in the Seychelles are upbeat about the potential of the operational extreme weather forecasting system whose installation was supported by the ClimDev-Africa Programme, an initiative of the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
“The system with a very high resolution of 1 km enables better forecasting, early warning and responses. Older systems, still in use, provide resolutions of 50 - 100km and are unable to capture very fine scale features of extreme weather and climate”, explained Joseph Instiful, Senior Climate Science Expert of the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the ECA.
Mauritius has successfully tested the system before full deployment with promising results whereby more detailed spatio-temporal features of the observed extreme weather were captured. An added benefit is that the cost of the system is one-tenth of traditional systems and the running cost is about one-fifteenth of traditional observing systems.
The International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), a partner of ClimDev-Africa in deploying wireless information and communication technologies for the delivery of climate information services in the SIDS presented a very innovative technology on the “Internet of Things” that will revolutionize observing networks and weather forecasting in Africa. 
The ACPC, Secretariat to the ClimDev-Africa Programme, organised a consultative workshop in Addis Ababa to discuss the means for support for African SIDS to address some of the key recommendations of the SAMOA Pathway. The SAMOA Pathway is the outcome document from the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that calls for sustained and sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth with decent work for all.
Thereafter, ClimDev-Africa has been supporting African SIDS and the continent as a whole in acquiring and deploying operational NWP systems. The Seychelles workshop held from February 22 - 26 February, 2016 is a follow up to the African SIDS Operational NWP and EWS Workshop held in Cabo Verde, in September 2015.   
The workshop brought together participants from African SIDS, Regional Climate Centres (RCCs), international agencies and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Regional Offices in Africa. 
The hands-on training workshop focused on numerical weather prediction, seasonal forecasting, forecast verification and generation of weather/climate products and application to priority sectors. The workshop also mapped out new strategies for further collaboration in supporting the African SIDS.