The numerical weather prediction and geographic information system training workshop for SADC

The numerical weather prediction and geographic information system training workshop for SADC

Extreme weather is listed as the second most severe risk on a global scale over the next 10 years in the Global Risk Report 2022 of the World Economic Forum. The use of early warning systems can assist with mitigating the severity of disasters associated with these extreme events.

The Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models that use high performance computing (HPC) systems are critical to produce such forecasts with high resolution in a timely manner. However, many African countries are still without HPC systems and, therefore, it is necessary that partnerships are forged with national, regional and continental programmes to make the systems available on the continent.

There is a need for the development and improvement of skills in the usage of HPC systems, available open-source software and running of NWP models. A number of national and international organizations have partnered to organise a training workshop for delegates from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

These delegates are scientists from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services; Higher Education Institutions; hosts of High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems; and other custodians of environmental datasets.

The organising partners are the South African Environmental Observation Network (NRF-SAEON), the South African National Integrated Cyber-Infrastructure Systems’ Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC); the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); the South African Weather Service (SAWS); the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) – Regional Office for Africa; the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); and the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa in Eastern and Southern Africa (AICCRA-ESA).

“We are continuing to see extreme weather events, resulting in adverse impacts on our societies on the continent,” says Dr Mary-Jane Bopape, Managing Director of NRF-SAEON. “It is important that scientists understand how to run NWP models as these inform weather forecasts shared with the public. By implication, an understanding of HPC is needed because weather models run on HPC systems to produce forecasts with high resolution.”

Adds Dr Bopape, “The use of Geographic Information System will help scientists map possible vulnerabilities to extreme weather. Beyond the training that will be provided, the workshop will also provide an opportunity for participants coming from different countries on the continent to build collaborative links that will hopefully benefit their careers beyond the week of the workshop.”

The training workshop will be held from 21 to 25 November 2022 at the National Research Foundation in Pretoria. Members of the media are invited to cover the opening session of the workshop. Interviews with experts will also be facilitated.

To cover the workshop, please contact NRF Media Relations Officer, Bongani Nkosi, on or +27 61 477 3064.

Related Posts