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The HIWeather Book: “Towards the Perfect Warning”
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The HIWeather Book: “Towards the Perfect Warning”

HIWeather has brought together an unparalleled body of expertise in the end-to-end warning chain, with the aim of building greater resilience to natural hazards through the application of this expertise in the design and implementation of warning systems. To this end, 49 co-authors, mostly from the HIWeather task teams, have worked over the past 18 months to write a book that describes the practices that will contribute to making an effective warning system: “Towards the “Perfect” Weather Warning: Bridging disciplinary gaps through partnership and communication”. The book is being published by Springer, with Open Access in electronic form thanks to the contributors to the HIWeather Trust Fund, and we hope to launch it before the end of the year.

In numbers, the book is almost 200 pages long, with nearly 100,000 words in 8 chapters, illustrated by 41 figures and over 800 references.

The foreword by Ms Mami Mizutori, the UN Secretary General’s special representative for disaster risk reduction, emphasises the need for this book to help nations respond effectively to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, so as to protect citizens and property from weather-related hazards that are increasingly evident.

Following an introductory overview, the book opens with a chapter on governance of disaster risk, and of warning systems in particular, making the point that a framework for funding and responsibility for risk management is a pre-requisite for an effective warning system. Subsequent chapters take the “valleys of death” one at a time starting from the end user/decision maker and ending with atmospheric observation. Each chapter focuses on the bridge that crosses that particular valley, starting with a detailed exposition of the methods used by the receiver of the data and their requirements for data input, continuing with a review of the ability of the provider to meet those requirements, and bringing those together with an analysis of how partnership can facilitate the two communities working together to meet the needs of the end user. Each chapter also provides examples of working partnerships and a bullet-point summary of good practice. Chapter 3 focuses on the needs of the decision maker, be they a professional or member of the public, and how those needs can be met with appropriate forms of warning. Chapter 4 looks at the formulation of the warning and the sources and types of information required, particularly with regard to the expected impact of the hazard. Chapter 5 is at the centre of the warning chain and describes how the information about the physical hazard can be converted into knowledge of how it will affect people and their property. Chapter 6 reviews the range of hazard prediction models and how they use weather information. Chapter 7 then looks at weather prediction and its dependence on observations. A final chapter draws the whole end-to-end system together and looks at how a wider partnership can facilitate effective working together.

The Valleys of Death concept of a Warnings Value Chain. © Crown Copyright 2020, Met Office




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