"Up Front" Newsletter: IABM The International Association of Broadcast Meteorology: Up Front Digital Newsletter

The Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology

The prize will be announced on 7 September 2021. See details at the link below.

Invitation to participate in UN Climate Change campaign to raise awareness for UN Climate Conference COP26

Dear TV Weather Presenters

UN Climate Change - the United Nations organization tasked with addressing the climate crisis - is inviting you to participate in a unique campaign to raise awareness for climate action and gather momentum for the climate conference COP26 in November in Glasgow.

Why a campaign this year?

2021 is a critical year for the global fight against climate change.

This year, countries are required - for the first time since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 - to submit new national climate plans. These plans will largely determine the level of global climate ambition for the next 5-10 years. There is crucial work to be wrapped up at COP26 so that the Paris Agreement can unfold its full potential. And, cities, regions, businesses, investors and all of society have a huge role to play in greening economies and building resilience to climate change – this is not just about national governments.

According to a new climate update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), there is about a 40% chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level in at least one of the next five years – and these odds are increasing with time.

Science tells us that unless we drastically reduce emissions during the 2020’s, the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C will slip out of reach.

This is what makes this year and COP26 so consequential for the world’s effort to address climate change: As the window for action is rapidly closing, we either kickstart a decade of transformative climate action or we risk to fail on the promise of the Paris Agreement & irreversibly destabilize the planet’s climate system, with severe consequences for life on Earth.

Concretely, the 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C suggests that we need to achieve a 45% emission reduction by 2030 to keep the 1.5C goal alive. It’s a historic challenge - but it’s still possible if we take action now.

How does the campaign work?

This campaign will feature a series of activities in the coming months in the lead up to COP 26. We are launching the project on June 21, #ShowYourStripes Day.

The stripes are a data visualization to portray long-term temperature trends in different locations around the world. As you can see from examples here, they are a powerful way to showcase the temperature increases over the past century.

For this year’s „#ShowYourStripes Day“ (June 21st) we are inviting weather presenters around the world to integrate the graphic into the weather segment.

Weather presenters as authoritative and powerful voices on climate change will shine a light on the temperature increases, we have already seen - and the urgent need for action to preserve the health of our planet.

What concretely do I need to do to participate?

Easy! 4 simple steps:

1. Go to showyourstripes.info and download the graphic for your respective country and region. For the United States specifically, you can find visualizations for states and cities here.

2. Include this graphic in the weather segment on June 21st, including a brief message. This message could include: 1) information on what exactly the graphic shows 2) information on why it’s shown today (ShowYourStripes Day + international campaign) 3) Information on the importance of the next decade, highlighting the fact, that it’s still possible to avert the worsening impacts of climate change

3. If available: Send the snippet of the segment to newsroom@unfccc.int via wetransfer. UN Climate Change will use these snippets to produce social media assets for the campaign.

4. Post a message on social media about the campaign, using the hashtags #ShowYourStripes and #COP26 & tagging UNFCCC, WMO & IPCC in your post. If available, include an image or video snippet from the TV moment. A draft message could be: „Happy to join weather presenters around the world today in calling for urgent climate action. If we act now, we can limit future warming and its impacts. The future is our choice. #ShowYourStripes #COP26

Any questions?

Anything unclear or unanswered? Please send an email to Michael Seckler at UN Climate Change (mseckler@unfccc.int) & Bernadette Woods Placky at Climate Central (bplacky@climatecentral.org). We’ll be happy to help you.

All the best,

Michael for UN Climate Change

FIM Media Workshop

The next MEDIA WORKSHOP "International Communication on Climate Change" is dedicated to #weatherPresenters and #Meteorologists will take place in online on June 17 & 18th 2021 co-organised with EUMETSAT, WMO, IPCC, ESA and the European centre ECMWF

Here are the pre-program in details:

The pre-registration is open, and we invite you to follow this link to be part of the event :

AfMS Announces Operationalizing Activities

The African Meteorological Society has announced the forming of councils and committees.

Interested parties can find more information at the following link.

Joint International Climate Communiqué by National Meteorological Societies and Associates

A global community of 43 national meteorological societies and organisations working on climate and sustainability have released a Joint International Climate Communiqué on World Meteorological Day 2021 (23 March). Together they reiterate the critical importance of addressing climate change.

The Communiqué acknowledges the overwhelming scientific evidence that the world continues to warm and extreme weather events and climate-related disasters are now more likely to occur, largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

The full Joint International Climate Communiqué can be viewed on the IABM website, here.

EMS annual meeting goes online

The European Meteorological Society has become the latest international conference to be moved to a virtual event due to Covid. The conference, which had been scheduled for September in Barcelona, will be held online instead. It is the second year in a row that the EMS has cancelled an in-person event.

Expressing regret about having to go online, the EMS Council said it took the action to provide clarity. The Council’s announcement stated,

We are determined to make the best out of it and look at this as an opportunity to explore new approaches to bring people together, and how to go forward with future meetings.”

Abstract submissions and applications for awards are being accepted at this time. The online conference is scheduled for September 3-10, 2021.

FIM Conference changed to virtual presentation

The continuing pandemic continues to impact in-person broadcast meteorology conferences. The International Forum on Weather and Climate (Forum International de la Météo et du Climat) was scheduled to be held in Darmstadt, Germany, in conjunction with European Space Agency, on June 17-18, 2021.

Due to Covid issues, the in-person symposium has been converted to a virtual event with numerous online presentations over the two days.

Information about the event is available at https://forumeteoclimat.com/en/program/media-workshop-en-2021/

AMS Broadcast 49 Postponed

The pandemic has also forced the postponement of the American Meteorological Society’s 49th conference on Broadcast Meteorology. The conference was planned for Milwaukee, Wisconsin in June. It was to be held jointly with the conference on weather warnings and communication. According to an AMS statement, a poll of prospective attendees revealed that:

“an overwhelming majority of you noted, at this time, you are not comfortable or would be unable to travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for in-person sessions.”

Rather than hold a virtual conference the AMS has delayed this conference to 14-17 June 2022, again in Milwaukee.

American Conference Continues as scheduled

The US National Weather Association is still scheduled to hold its 46th annual meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma August 21-26, 2021.

Last year, the conference was changed to an online meeting, though specifics about this year’s scheduled conference are still under consideration. Information about the conference is available at https://nwas.org/annual-meeting-events/annual-meeting/

“Sierra Storm” goes on as planned

Operation Sierra Storm Conference Location in South Lake Tahoe, California.

The first in-person national conference for broadcast meteorologists since Covid began in the United States was held January 24-27, 2021. The 24th annual “Operation Sierra Storm” conference took place at South Lake Tahoe, which is literally on the mountainous border between the US states of Nevada and California.

About 20 broadcast meteorologists from across the US attended the event, which featured a combination of in-person and video-streamed presenters

The presentations covered topics such as climate change information, impacts, and potential solutions; atmospheric rivers, hurricanes, and wildland fire issues. There was also a talk by famed US broadcaster Al Roker, who reflected on his distinguished career in TV weather.

Due to the Covid situation, social distancing and prudent masking rules were enforced during the conference - including at the conference hotels and restaurants. While most of the event took place on the Nevada side of the border, it was interesting to see different and stricter rules in place on the California side. For example, since the Heavenly Ski Resort’s ski slopes are located in California, it was required that those who skied wore masks even when outdoors gliding down the hill.

Ironically, a blizzard and winter storm hit the Tahoe area and Sierra mountains just as the conference was concluding.
Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore - who attended the conference - stayed to cover the massive storm due to a forecast of two meters of snow in some places.

With the completion of this year’s event, plans are already underway for the 25th annual OSS next January 2022.

New episode of The WeatherPod!

We are also delighted to announce the release of the latest episode of The WeatherPod podcast.

In Episode 6: Public and private weather services in Austria, hosts Alan Thorpe and David Rogers invite Michael Staudinger into the studio. Michael is the Director of the Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG), which is Austria’s national meteorological & hydrological service. He is also the Permanent Representative of Austria to the World Meteorological Organisation, and President of the WMO Regional Association VI (Europe).

The WeatherPod can be found on ACAST, on Apple Podcasts and on the GWE Forum website

Upcoming GWE Forum Webinar,

16 February 2021

We are pleased to announce that the Global Weather Enterprise Forum (GWE Forum) will host its third webinar on Tuesday 16 February, from 14.00 to 15.30 UTC.

Titled: ‘A collaborative future of the Weather Enterprise, a private sector perspective’, the presentation will be delivered by Peter Platzer, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Global. Peter will discuss the transformation of the global weather enterprise in the open, big data world and the audience will share perspectives and exchange thoughts through the Q&A session.

The webinar will be introduced by Maitreyi Bordia Das, who is Manager of the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice.

The webinar is free to attend and open to everybody.

For further information and to register, please visit: https://www.gweforum.org/gwe-forum-webinar-3/

GWE Forum - Online Forum

21 January 2021

Online Forum – Legislative Frameworks that Enable Public-Private Engagement

Date: Thursday, 21 January 2021 at 14.00 - 15.30 UTC

This upcoming Online Forum explores the national legal frameworks that define and establish the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder in the global weather enterprise in their respective territories. These frameworks stress the importance of all elements of the value chain in the weather, water and climate nexus.

For more information and to register, click here: https://www.gweforum.org/online-forum-legislative-frameworks-that-enable-public-private-engagement/

InterMET.digital Webinar

20 January 2021

Webinar – Autonomous vehicles: the importance of weather-related technology and data services

Date: 20 January 2021 at 15.00 - 16.30 GMT

GWE Forum member InterMET.digital has announced the latest in its series of webinars on the business opportunities of extreme weather & climate change and here the focus is on Autonomous Vehicles or AVs. In this webinar, experts from Ford UK, NCAR and L3Harris investigate the significance of AVs and the importance of weather data for their operation.

For more information and to register click here: https://www.intermet.digital/av/

Global Weather Enterprise Forum Webinar on Data Policy

Unlocking the Benefits of Open Weather Data

Wednesday, 28 October 2020, 13.00GMT

The Global Weather Enterprise Forum (GWE Forum) will host its second webinar on Wednesday 28 October. Scheduled to take place at 09.00 US Eastern Daylight Time, 13.00 GMT, it will feature an expert presentation titled ‘Unlocking the Benefits of Open Weather Data’.

The presentation will be delivered by Prof. Dr. Gerhard Adrian, President of the WMO and President of the German Weather Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD). It will be followed by an audience Q&A session.

The webinar will explore the issues surrounding open data in the context of weather and climate data and services. New government-level policies, such as the European Union Open Data Directive, are likely to have a significant impact on the delivery of meteorological and climate services. There is the potential for unlocking significant socio-economic benefits from the application of such policies.

In the presentation, Prof. Dr. Adrian will address the implications of open data policies from his perspective as the President of DWD.

The webinar will be introduced by Sameh Wahba, the Global Director for the World Bank’s Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice.

Following the presentation, webinar participants are encouraged to take part in the ensuing discussion that could consider topics such as the implications of open public data to:

developing countries, national meteorological and hydrological services,
the private sector including proprietary data, and the role of the World Meteorological Organisation at the international level.

This event will mark the second of an ongoing series of webinars and other media events organised by the GWE Forum which are likely to be of interest to a broad audience interested in learning more about innovations in accurate weather forecasting and the use of weather-related data to save lives, improve business efficiency, and build social and economic resilience.

For further information on the upcoming event, contact the GWE Forum coordination group at gwef@gweforum.org

The webinar is free to attend and open to everybody.

Coronavirus and Weather Observations

Inge Niedek, Vice-Chair, IABM

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) are studying the effect of emissions from air transport, road traffic and industry to the atmosphere. The mission called “Bluesky” has measured trace gases and pollutants over urban areas in Europe and the flight corridor to North America. The target is to find out more about the role of aerosols, amongst others a combustion product, in cloud formation, radiation balance and impact on climate change. Close attention is also given to whether emissions of bigger cities and their chemical reaction products on the boundary layer, the lower part of the atmosphere, have changed.

Image Credit (at left): DLR

Weather Prediction and Coronavirus

Inge Niedek, Vice-Chair, IABM

Weather Services use aircraft-data (inflight-measurements of ambient temperature, wind speed and direction) to improve the data-base for weather prediction and climate monitoring. Under normal non-Corona conditions, 680.000 weather-data (temperature and wind) from sensors in airplanes are being transmitted to earth. More than 3500 airplanes take part in this data-program of WMO (World Meteorological Organization).

Due to Corona-pandemic air traffic has been reduced by 50 to 70 percent worldwide, and has not yet reached levels considered normal before the pandemic. Ying Chen from Lancaster University has studied what effect this enormous reduction of air traffic might have on the quality of weather-prediction. He compared same time intervals (March until May) in 2017 to 2019 and 2020 (Geophysical Research Letters, 2020; doi: 10.1029GL088613)

There have even been very slight increases since, partly thanks to cargo flights,” says ECMWF scientist Bruce Ingleby. “However, it has become clear that recovery will be slow, taking many months rather than weeks."

His result: a remarkable drop of weather-predictions precision. The effect is mostly visible in medium range temperature predictions and severe weather-events. On average there can be deviations of about 1.5°C. The missing link are aircraft-data, which are still very much reduced worldwide. However, there are regional differences: the more data on the ground, for instance in Europe, it is less relevant compared to regions where not much data is available like more distant regions e.g. Greenland, Siberia, Sahara and Antarctica. But even in North-America, Australia or Southern China, where usually at lot of air traffic is present, quality is reduced.

Europe especially the central part of Europe has a very dense observing network so that fewer air traffic-data are not really a loss. Under worldwide aspects missing data in the worldwide network poses a risk for longer-term judgements of weather-patterns. In the long run prediction of extreme weather-events could be more complicated.

Although air traffic is picking up slightly, the pandemic is not over yet, with the consequence that this data stream will be reduced for a longer time-period.

The European Center for Medium Range Weather Prediction has published research data about the consequences of missing aircraft weather data with efforts to partially replace the missing link, amongst other means, with the use of wind information of Aeolus Satellite data which are not as precise as the aircraft data.

At right: Numbers of global aircraft reports received at ECMWF per day. The regular dips reflect reductions in the numbers at weekends. There is some thinning and a small proportion of rejections so that the number assimilated (green) is less than the number received (blue). Most reports are received as part of the WMO’s Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) programme. (Graph Credit: ECMWF)

They have compared data from 2019 with data during the pandemic. It shows a reduction in forecast quality mainly in the polar Jetstream altitude of 10-12 km, with errors of more than 10%. Errors in lower altitudes – depending on the forecast models – are approximately in the range of 4%. Everyone who is working in this business is aware that the quality of a forecast is determined to a certain extent by the weather-pattern, like stable high pressure or frequently changing low pressure. systems.

Twelve-hour Mode-S data coverage in a test system. Processing of ‘Maastricht Area’ Mode-S data covering the Netherlands and adjacent areas has been operational at KNMI for some time. The figure shows Mode-S aircraft-based 12-hour observation coverage from 21 UTC on 9 May 2020 over a much wider area in a test system. After ECMWF thinning, only about 5% of Mode-S reports are shown. Credit: ECMWF

This article from ECMWF describes the situation and the efforts to replace aircraft data in more detail:

Coronavirus Shutdown and Pollution

Inge Niedek, Vice-Chair, IABM

At left: Temporal progression of NO2 pollution over Lombardy from 1 January to 15 April as recorded by the GOME-2 instrument on the MetOP-A satellite. The tropospheric vertical column data shown in µmol/m² give the number of NO2 molecules per unit area. The blue curve shows the development in 2020, the red curve the mean value for the same time interval in the years 2007 to 2019. The bright red area is the variability (standard deviation) during that period. © DLR German Aerospace Center

Corona-Pandemic has stopped many activities. A respective number of weather-presenters have moved to their home-office to produce weather-reports from there. Bigger events like the European Conference on Weather which was planned to take place in Bratislava, has been cancelled, so as most other conferences.

Weather is still a reliable factor which continues steadily no matter whatever takes place on earth. As weather-presenters are using satellite-products regularly, it is amazing how technology in this segment is emerging with an enormous variety of new products. To mention here the Sentinel-5. German Aerospace Center (DLR), Remote Sensing Data Center, recently published a remarkable report, at first sight it had nothing to do with weather, but at second sight it truly does. Air-pollution duration and severity depends very much on the weather-situation, be it a high-pressure-pattern trapping bad air-quality or be it a strong northerly current with fresh air from Polar regions. The input to air-pollution has something to do with mankind’s activities.

Monitoring by Europe's Sentinel 5P satellite reveals a strong decrease in air pollution globally during Corona-pandemic. Especially nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels, which are a perfect indicator of air contamination caused by industrial production and road traffic has been significantly reduced in most parts of the world.

AMS forms Latinx group

The AMS is creating a committee intended to strengthen and unite the Latinx members of the weather, water, and climate enterprise. The AMS Latinx Committee is expected to strengthen bilingual weather communication and collaboration practices.

The committee is looking for bilingual meteorologists to serve as ambassadors, to help identify and propose solutions in the field. For example, while the AMS dictionary is considered a fundamental document in meteorology, there is no existing English to Spanish weather and climate dictionary. This is the type of collaborative project that the committee would hope to create. The top priority of the committee is to build a network within the Latinx weather, water, and climate enterprise.

If you are Latinx in the weather, water or climate enterprise, I encourage you the register and join today. -Joseph Enrique Trujillo, AMS Latinx Committee Head

To learn more and see a terms of reference, visit: tinyurl.com/latinxambassador

AMS Broadcast conference set for 2021

The 2021 AMS broadcast conference will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA on 15-18 June, 2021.

The conference typically includes presentations by broadcasters and other professionals on topics of interest to broadcast meteorologists.

The conference will be held jointly with the 6th conference on Weather Warnings and Communication, a conference that is planned and presented by the AMS Board on Societal Impacts and the Committee on Severe Local Storms. Attendees will be able to attend sessions of both conferences.

Milwaukee, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is in the north central part of the US. Among other things, the city is known for its famous breweries, and the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.

The previous broadcast conference was held as part of the AMS Centennial Celebration in Boston in January, 2020.

COVID affecting weather model ingredients

Weather models have benefitted from upper-air data supplied by instruments attached to aircraft for many years. But due to the COVID shutdown, the reduction in scheduled commercial aircraft flights has resulted in a sharp reduction in the amount of weather data supplied by those instruments. (Image: MADIS instrument aircraft data showing altitude, wind direction, wind speed, temperature, and dew point for flight descending into airport Chicago Midway, USA ncep.noaa.gov)

According to WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, airborne meteorological instrument readings – which are used to initialize weather models – have fallen by close to 90 percent over the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, measurements have been reduced by 75-80 percent. Satellite gathered data and data provided by ground-based observing networks are still able to provide inputs of upper-air data for initializing forecast models.

WMO: https://public.wmo.int/en/media/press-release/covid-19-impacts-observing-system

EMS 2020 in Bratislava Cancelled

The response to COVID has resulted in the cancellation of another weather meeting. The European Meteorological Society has cancelled its 2020 conference, which had been scheduled for Bratislava in September. A statement from the EMS says that,

“after carefully assessing the balance of pros and cons of all feasible options, it was decided that cancelling EMS2020 is the best option.”

The EMS is proceeding with plans for the EMS 2021 conference, to be held in Barcelona. EMS Media award entries will still be judged, and winners chosen, for 2020 awards. They will be presented to the winners in Barcelona next year.


IABM/IAEM Partnership Agreement

The IABM has signed a Memorandum of Partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers. The IAEM has more than 6,000 members worldwide, representing professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters. The memorandum was agreed to by IABM councilors because both organizations seek to achieve public preparedness and help educate the public about the impacts of severe weather threats, along with the timely delivery of information about upcoming weather conditions. This relationship is often spoken about by emergency managers.

The intent of the Memorandum is to symbolize our cooperation to enhance public safety and emergency management at all levels of government to include communications and coordination with organizations throughout the world.

FIM postponed

The media workshop of the 17th annual International Forum of Weather and Climate has been postponed one year due to the coronavirus. The conference had been scheduled for June. Organizer Christian Vannier announced that the media workshop has been rescheduled for June 17-19, 2021, at EUMETSAT headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

Virus forces broadcasters to broadcast from home

The pandemic forced many of the world’s broadcasters to socially distance themselves from their TV studios to work from home.

Thanks to the capabilities of the internet, broadcasters utilized the ability to stream video back to television stations for broadcast. Those broadcasters took advantage of virtual private networks (VPNs) or communication software to remotely access data and graphics machines back at their permanent locations to complete the weathercast.

In some cases, portable green chromakey screens turned homes and apartments into temporary studios. Despite disruptions caused by the pandemic, broadcast meteorologists were able to keep their viewers informed about the weather.

Nate Johnson, NBCUniversal

While the main news stories have been mostly grim, the weathercast has been the highlight of certain broadcasts with many viewers looking forward to hearing from a trusted and familiar source of information. Some meteorologists even added some personality to their weather reports, by broadcasting from their tropical backyards like in Miami (John Morales, video) or next to their fire pit during the chilly evenings in New Jersey (Dave Curren, photo).

News 12 Meteorologist Dave Curren prepares the "fire pit forecast" for the evening news

Broadcasters engaged in AMS annual meeting

The American Meteorological Society celebrated its 100th anniversary by hosting the 2020 AMS conference in its home city of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The AMS conference had an international presence as visitors from countries all over the world participated in the event as attendees, vendors, or presenters.

Over two hundred broadcast meteorologists took part in the event, as the annual AMS Broadcast Meteorology conference was moved from its usual summer meeting time in order to take place jointly with the 100th anniversary celebration.

About six thousand participants attended the AMS conference. Among them were about 800 students, and just over 100 early career professionals.

More than a hundred exhibitors were on display at the AMS meeting in Boston. Photo: Jay Trobec
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas speaks at a meeting of international weather officials during the AMS meeting. Photo: Jay Trobec
IABM Secretary Mike Favetta presented a poster with co-author Michele Powers of News 12 New Jersey on severe weather communication strategies preceding high impact weather events. View the poster here. Photo credit: Jill Peeters

With the conclusion of the Boston meeting, the AMS Broadcast Conference will return to its summertime schedule, with the next conference tentatively scheduled for June, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

New Logo Unveiled

One of the most recognized logos in world weather has been updated. In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the American Meteorological Society, the AMS has changed its logo to a modern, multi-colored look.

IABM to Hold AGM

The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the IABM will be held concurrently with the European Meteorological Society conference in Lyngby, about 10 km north of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The conference is convening at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on the Lyngby Campus. The IABM meeting is scheduled for the "Glass Hall" at 1800 on Wednesday, September 11th, directly after the conclusion of the Round Table on Accreditation. For anyone who is unable to attend, we will effort a Skype connection. Anyone interested should send their Skype handle to chairman@iabm.org . Information about the EMS conference, which will be held September 9-13, can be found at https://www.ems2019.eu/ .

16th International Weather Forum takes place in Paris

Two hundred participants from 30 countries gathered in Paris for the 2019 International Weather Forum (Le Forum International de la Météo et du Climat) in Paris.

The Forum has brought together TV weather presenters from across the world for many years. Christian Vannier is the long-time organizer of the Forum, which was originally created by the late François Fandeux in 1991. The Forum is closely associated with Météo et Climat, the French Meteorological Society.

The conference included a media workshop held at the CNES (French National Center for Space Studies), involving professionals discussing communication of climate change. It included talks about common strategies, and sharing of knowledge and expertise. Broadcasters also shared video airchecks of their television weather presentations with each other.

The main session of the conference included remarks from scientific and government leaders, including an address by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. There was also a weather and climate exhibition near the Hotel de Ville which the general public was invited to attend.

More information about this year’s media workshop can be found at:

Television weather presenters taking part in a round table discussion. From left: Paul Gross (USA), Evelyn Dheliat (France), Helga Van Leur (Netherlands), Martha Lunda (Malawi), and Deqiao Kong (China). FIM photo.

European Meteorological Society to meet in Denmark

The EMS Annual Meeting 2019 will be held from 9 to 13 September 2019 at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on the Lyngby Campus near Copenhagen, Denmark.

The media session will be held on Thursday, September 12. During that session - in addition to a variety of presentations - the EMS media awards will be presented. The four media awards are the Broadcast Meteorologist Award, the Journalist Award, the Outreach and Communication Award, and the TV Weather Forecast Award.

The Harry Otten Prize for Innovation in Meteorology, which carries a cash prize of 25,000 euros, will also be presented. The three finalists competing for the award are:

EnLight – New way to communicate HD weather-data about the incoming weather hazards to citizens - Yann Dufournet, Igor Stepanov, and Geanny Amor dos Santos

ADS-B Interferometry - A new method of measuring atmospheric refractivity - Malcom Kitchen and Chris Brunt

VineForecast - An interactive tool to generate individual predictions of vine diseases and phenology - Paul Petersik

Last year, more than 700 participants from 50 countries attended EMS when it was held in Budapest.

AMS Broadcasters meet in San Diego

By President Jay Trobec

The 47th AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology was held jointly with the 5th AMS Conference on Weather Warnings and Communication in San Diego. About a hundred participants were in attendance for the three day event.

More than eighty presentations covering a wide variety of topics, such as western US weather, education and mentoring, fire weather, TV station science reporting, weather service operations, weather history, digital media, and the business of TV weather.

The entire Broadcast Conference program - along with recordings of all of the presentations - are available online at button:

At left: Broadcast meteorologist Bree Sunshine Smith (Nashville-USA) spoke on “Gender Equity: What to do and say when you don’t know what to do or say.”

The 48th Broadcast Conference will be held jointly with the AMS annual meeting in Boston, January 12-16, 2020. The meeting will be a special celebration of the centennial of the AMS, which was founded in 1919. Many special events are planned in addition to the usual programs for scientists, educators, students, and other professionals. Usually about four thousand people attend. Information on the Broadcast Conference and the AMS centennial meeting can be found at:

The first German WMO-President - A recognition of Germany’s global commitment to protection against weather impacts and climate change adaptation.

Inge Niedek, Vice-chair of IABM

The World Meteorological Congress elected Prof. Dr. Gerhard Adrian, the President of the German National Weather Service, as President of the World Meteorological Organization for a four-year term in office. https://www.dwd.de/EN/press/press_release/EN/2019/20190613_adrian_as_wmo_president

Prof. Adrian won against his US-colleague Louis Uccellini. His election could be valued as a signal against the tendency in the US to strengthen the private sector. Whereas Prof. Adrian propagates a further improvement for the global and free exchange of relevant weather-data between member-states of WMO (193 members) and engaging and supporting more less developed countries in this effort. Spirits might divide over this issue. Should the world follow the ideas of the Trump administration planning to strongly shorten the budget of the National Weather Service and supporting privatization and profit-maximization as the primary goal? Who when not NMHS’s would take on the responsibility and the role of protecting life and property by distributing freely available weather information and severe weather warnings? They also play a key role of research and building weather and climate resilience. The most important task of the WMO should be to strengthen the fundamental role of the NMHS’s as reliable collector and distributor of high-quality meteorological and climatological data, with public and private partnerships when necessary, but for the overall benefit and safety of the society.

IABM and WMO (see also our history: https://www.iabm.org/history )

Members of IABM are working in the world of Weather and Media, depending on both for high-quality resources to do their job properly but belonging fully to neither. Most of our members are professional Weather broadcasters, whether private, state or independent. They are making a huge contribution in communicating weather, climate and warnings as trusted persons to a broad spectrum of viewers all over the world and thus helping WMO in the communication-process during ongoing climate-change and future challenges. Our efforts entering into dialogue with WMO date back to 1998, where IABM was granted consultative status with WMO.

Our Mission Statement (see below) is a mirror of the profound capabilities of our members and should drive further activities.


• To represent the worldwide broadcast meteorology community.
• To collaboratively work with WMO through our Observer Status, and with other appropriate organizations including SMF/FIM, AMS, EMS and NMHS’s, to support and promote the profession of Broadcast Meteorology.
• To support and encourage members in the improved delivery of weather and climate services to the public, especially those from developing countries.
• To promote, encourage and organize conferences and other opportunities for members to network and engage in Continuing Professional Development.
• To actively encourage members to maintain the highest professional standards through promoting appropriate initiatives and mechanisms.
• To encourage members to contribute to disaster risk reduction through the provision of timely and accurate weather forecasts and warnings to the public.
• To actively support and develop regional sub-groups to enhance the focus on national and regional weather broadcast issues.

Image: Bildkraftwerk/Bernd Lammel/DWD

The IABM and the Global Weather Enterprise.

By IABM Treasurer Gerald Flemming

Over the past few years, a new term has entered the language of international meteorology – the Global Weather Enterprise. In the U.S.A., the term “Weather Enterprise” has been long in use, describing holistically the work of the public, private and academic sectors in the US weather business. The concept of the “Global Weather Enterprise” can be traced back to the “World Weather Open Science Conference” (WWOSC) held in Montreal, Canada in August 2014, and the concept seeks to extend the US practice worldwide, recognising the mutual benefits to be gained from all three sectors working together in a coordinated and collaborative manner in the global context.

To understand why this focus on global collaboration has come about now, we must look a little into the history of operational meteorology. The costs involved in collecting weather observations in an organised and consistent manner are not small, and up to very recently this activity was the exclusive preserve of government agencies, either military of civil in nature. The launch of the first weather satellites in the early 1960’s continued this reality; the cost of such endeavours was such that only the most wealthy and advanced countries could provide this technology. Indeed, in Europe the provision of weather satellites was only realised through a collaborative effort when 14 countries (now 30) came together to pool their resources.

Similarly, the development and operational provision of numerical weather prediction on a global basis was always an expensive business, and while there are now many global models to choose from they are still primarily provided by well-resourced countries such as the US, UK, Germany, France, China, Russia, Japan, Canada etc along with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting.

This landscape is rapidly changing. With the automation of weather observations and the rapid miniaturisation of weather sensors, putting together a weather observation network can now be accomplished at much lower cost. Private companies such as Panasonic have moved into the business of developing and running global-scale weather models. It is worth noting that the weather broadcast industry prefigured many of these developments. Many broadcast companies developed mesoscale observing networks within their areas of coverage to augment the observations available from the public Met Services; similarly many installed weather radars to provide a better forecast service to their viewers.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is the pre-eminent global body for the coordination of world meteorology. As a UN treaty-based organisation it is composed of nation-states as Members. Permanent Representatives (PRs) of Members who attend WMO meetings are supposed to represent the entirety of the meteorological enterprise in their countries. However, PRs are typically the Directors of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), so they tend to represent only the public sector; the NMHSs. In many countries of course – especially developing countries – the NMHSs represent the entirety of meteorology in that country; there is no private sector to speak of. That, however, is changing quickly.

WMO has been open to voices from the private sector and academia for some decades; indeed it was again the weather broadcast sector that led the way in this regard when the IABM was granted Observer status with WMO back in 1997. Since then the organisation for the “Hydrometeorological Equipment Industry” (HMEI) has also been granted such status, as have a number of bodies such as the International Council for Science (ICSU) representing the academic sector.

WMO has many strengths but, being a UN treaty-based organisation, speed of reaction and agility are not conspicuous amongst them. Thus the need to create a forum where Public, Private and Academic sectors could meet on neutral” ground. The World Bank, which has invested heavily in the infrastructure and development of many NMHSs in vulnerable parts of the world, took on this task in the wake of the WWOSC conference, and has organised a series of “World Café” events where the “big issues” facing the Global Weather Enterprise can be discussed openly and informally. The IABM has participated at a number of these events, including those held in conjunction with the AMS Annual Meeting in Austin (Jan 2018), the EMS Annual Meeting in Budapest (Sept 2018), the Meteorology International Exhibition in Amsterdam (Oct 2018) and InterMet Asia in Singapore (March 2019).

The discussions and interactions at these World Café gatherings paved the way for WMO-organised “Open Consultative Platform” which was held in conjunction with the quadrennial WMO Congress in Geneva in early June. The Chair of the IABM, Dr Jay Trobec, participated in the OCP and contributed as one of the 42 global leaders in Meteorology gathered there; he has written a separate account of this event, which was moderated by to other distinguished broadcast meteorologists; Erica Grow and Tomas Molina.

Engagement with the WMO and the GWE has provided the IABM with a strong voice to represent Broadcast Meteorology. What that voice should say depends on you – the members of the IABM and the active weather broadcasters, both public and private sector, worldwide. We need your strong input into IABM affairs so that the offices and committee of the Association can fully and adequately represent you and your interests.

IABM presence at the WMO Congress

By IABM President Jay Trobec

Television broadcasters Tomas Molina (left) and Erica Grow lead the discussion in Geneva.

The IAM contributed to discussions leading to the Open Consultative Platform, created during the 2019 WMO Congress in Geneva.

The Open Consultative Platform stresses the importance of utilizing all three sectors (public, private, and academic) in the global weather enterprise. Many – though not all – IABM members are broadcasters in the private sector. The private sector is taking on an increasingly important role in weather forecasting worldwide. More about the meeting can be found here: https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/public-private-sector-link-vital-weather-forecasting

The high-level meeting in Geneva was co-moderated by Erica Grow (WNBC-New York City) and Tomas Molina (TV Catalunya-Barcelona). Having observer status with the WMO, the IABM was also invited to participate as a delegate during the two-day meeting. IABM Treasurer Gerald Fleming (Irish Met Service) was heavily involved in the drafting of the statement resulting from the meeting.

Further discussions regarding the Open Consultative Platform are planned for 2020.

Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Annual Meeting

By Claire Martin

CMOS is the national society of individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing atmospheric and oceanic sciences and related environmental disciplines in Canada. The Society’s aim is to promote meteorology and oceanography in Canada, and it is a major non-governmental organization serving the interests of meteorologists, climatologists, oceanographers, hydrologists and cryospheric scientists in Canada.

The annual CMOS meeting will be held in Montreal, QC in July 2019 in conjunction with the centennial congress of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.

During this large joint meeting a “special session” is being offered - a meteorological broadcaster/climate communicators workshop.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is proud to host this workshop to improve the overall understanding of the needs of broadcasters, to develop mutually acceptable best practices in delivering weather and climate messages, and to strengthen the relationships that already exist within the broader science communication community.

The goal of this workshop is to bring broadcast meteorologists together with government and academic climate scientists to discuss challenges, to identify areas of greatest need, and to come together as a community to prioritize next steps for resolution.

Gerald Fleming receives EMS Silver Medal

For outstanding contribution to enhancing communication

New Executive Leadership

The IABM would like to congratulate and welcome the new IABM President, Jay Trobec.

Climate Politics in the USA

-Contributed by Inge Niedek

"As you like it", climate sience in the light of the Trump-Administration - when Politics take over and shape climate-policy, so that it fits in the frame of unique economical interests. Environmental and health-aspects - neglected! Trump is planning a "Roll-Back" of siginificant climate-legislation and -rules of the Obama-administration, muggle with the National Climate Assessment and make everything suitable "as he likes it".

New IABM Secretary

Mike Favetta elected Secretary and Director of Publications at EMS 2018.


By Dr. José Rubiera*, Canal Caribe TV

Photos of tornado destruction from Jose Rubiera, Cuba
A rare tornado broke the quietness of Havana on Sunday evening January 27, 2019. It was such a weird occurrence that it hasn´t happened in the 500 year of existence of the City, which is celebrating this year the 500th Anniversary of its founding.

Tornadoes are few in Cuba, however. There is an average of 10 tornados a year, but much weather EF-O and EF-1 most of them, and they are generated usually in Summer severe thunderstorms that develop in the flat terrain inland over Western and Central Cuba.

But there are also tornados during Winter, and very important ones because of their strength. These are generated in conditions that are quite similar to those that happen in the US Midwest during Winter. These tornadoes are usually stronger that the Cuban Summer tornadoes. They have also a longer life span and track.

As an example, the tornado of December 26, 1940, another EF-4, destroyed the town of Bejucal in Western Cuba, with a death toll of 13 people. Or, the tornado outbreak of March 16, 1983, in which 7 tornados were generated near Mariel, in Western Cuba, with damages and dead people, as well.

These Winter tornados have their origin in a similar weather pattern, such as an approaching cold front, a low pressure system developing in the front over the Gulf of Mexico or over Western Cuba, and a flow of warm and humid air coming from the Northwestern Caribbean Sea.

There was a watch for severe thunderstorm issued from Friday January 25th for Western Cuba, because of the general weather patthen predicted for Sunday with the approaching from and the development of the low pressure system in low latitude. This watch was sustained during Saturday and Sunday in every one of the TV weather shows. Of course, nobody could know beforehand that a tornado would happen just over Havana.

The tornado began its destruction path around 8:20 pm Sunday January 27, 2019, over José Marti neighborhood and Casino Deportivo, with a general movement towards the ENE, and exited the Northern coast East of Havana, over a point known as Celimar, but much weaker at 8: 46 pm. It affected five very populated municipalities. The death toll was of 7 people, 200 injured and almost 10,000 displaced people that had to go to temporary shelters. There was great destruction in the whole swath, that included a hospital, that had to be evacuated when the storm was already being felt. A number of 804 well built houses were completely destroyed, while more than 7,800 were partially damaged.

An assessment was made with the use of helicopters and drones. In this survey, it could be seen that the entire tornado swath over land was 20 kilometers long, with a life span of 26 minutes and a medium translational speed of 46 kilometers per hour.

The width of the swath varied from 50 meters wide at the beginning to an average of 200 meters, though in several areas it had a width of 350 meters.

The damage survey showed that it was an intense EF-4 tornado in the Enhance Fujita Tornado Scale (winds 267 - 322 kilometers per hour). The picture of damages greatly supports this assessment.

There was only one photograph taken of the tornado which I showed on TV immediately after the tornado to explain the audience what happened, but there was only one video clip taken from a home security camera that was located on the roof of a family home in 10 de Octubre municipality, that I could recover one day after the hit. One frame of this video accompany this note, where the tornado can be seen in the middle of the screen as well as the time the image was taken. I presented this video, along with a map, as well as more information and details of the tornado track, in my Canal Caribe TV Weather Show on Monday January 28th .

There were a fast and great movement towards recovery. Just 10 days after the hit of the tornado all the area had electricity. One month after, 60 % of partially destroyed homes were repaired, while 101 homes of the 804 completely destroyed, had been rebuilt. Almost all, or 95%, of health, water, energy and communication infrastructure were operational.

*Jose Rubiera is a Ph.D, Full Professor at Havana University, and Honored Academician of the Cuban National Academy of Sciences. He is also Vice-Chairman of the WMO RA-IV Hurricane Committee, and a Member of the Steering Group for Disaster Risk Reduction of the International Council for Science (ICS) Latin-American and Caribbean Office. He began presenting Weather for the first time in National television in 1981, and currently has 3 daily TV shows in Canal Caribe TV, broadcasted to Cuba and the Caribbean area.

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See the video explanation from the Met Office

Torrential Rains in Greece cause Flooding

Contributed by Sakis Arnaoutoglou

A breeder is missing after his car was swept away and two women were trapped in their home when rocks fell on it bringing the roof to collapse.


Created with images by Kaushik Panchal - "untitled image" • Alto Crew - "untitled image" • O12 - "thunderstorm flashes night" • Matt Hardy - "untitled image" • Daniel Brubaker - "untitled image" • PublicDomainPictures - "celsius centigrade gauge" • Hermann - "high water shield setting"