Commission for basic systems

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World Meteorological Organization


Sixteenth Session
Guangzhou, China, 23 to 29 November 2016

CBS-16/INF. 3.6(4)

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This section of the information paper provides a brief description of RCC implementation in all the WMO Regional Associations (RAs), and in particular the activities of five RCCs/RCC-networks in demonstration phase, as candidates for designation as WMO RCCs. Three Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) and two RCC-Networks, which have completed their demonstration phase, have submitted their progress reports and all relevant documents to the WMO Secretary-General through the presidents of their respective regional associations for due consideration by the WMO Commission for Climatology (CCl) and the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS), seeking recommendation/endorsement for the formal designation as a WMO RCC or a RCC-Network. This information paper also provides essential information on the five RCC candidates for consideration of their formal designation, and the associated follow-up at the current CBS session. These RCC candidates are: RCC Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) hosted by the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) (RA I), RCC-Network Northern Africa (RA I), RCC Pune (RA II), RCC-Network Southern South America (RA III), and RCC Caribbean hosted by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) (RA IV).

    1. Regional Association I (Africa)

The initial implementation aspects of RCCs in RA I was coordinated by the then RA I Task Team on RCCs, which made recommendations for RCC implementation across different Regional Economic Communities in Africa. According to Resolution 7 (RA I-16), adopted in February 2015, RCC implementation in RA I will comprise RCC Africa hosted by the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), RCC-Network Northern Africa, RCC Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) hosted by the IGAD Climate Predication and Applications Centre (ICPAC), RCC Southern African Development Community (SADC) hosted by the SADC Climate Services Centre (SADC-CSC), RCC-Network Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and RCC Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS). Of these, RCC Africa hosted by ACMAD was formally designated as a WMO RCC by the seventeenth session of the World Meteorological Congress (Cg-17) in 2015.

The RA I Working Group on Climate Services and Applications reviewed the reports submitted by two RCC candidates that have successfully conducted their demonstration phases, namely RCC IGAD hosted by ICPAC and RCC Network Northern Africa, and were satisfied with their performance. They, therefore, recommended RCC IGAD and RCC-Network Northern Africa for designation, which was endorsed by the president of RA I for further necessary action.

1.1.1 RCC IGAD hosted by ICPAC

RCC IGAD, hosted by ICPAC in Eastern Africa, started its demonstration phase as a candidate for a WMO RCC in April, 2011, carrying out all the mandatory functions and providing the associated products and services for the IGAD region, in particular operational activities for long-range forecasting, climate monitoring, data services as well as training and capacity-building ( In addition, RCC IGAD is also involved in research, coordination, and implementation of a number of regional climate projects.

RCC IGAD significantly contributes to strengthening climate services and developing capacities on climate services in the Region through implementing Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOF) sessions for the Greater Horn of Africa (GHACOF) sub-region. GHACOF sessions are generally held three times a year in February, May and August, to prepare outlook for the important rainfall seasons from March to May, June to September and October to December. Up to now, 44 sessions of GHACOF have been conducted.

1.1.2 RCC-Network Northern Africa

It was unanimously agreed by all the contributing countries that the implementation of the RCC for Northern Africa to be in form of a network, with the mandatory functions distributed among them. NMHSs of five North African countries jointly implement RCC-Network Northern Africa, with overall coordination by Morocco. RCC-Network Northern Africa started its demonstration phase in July 2014 according to an Implementation Plan jointly developed by the contributing countries.

The Focal Points of RCC-Network Northern Africa (in demonstration phase), at their meeting in November 2015 in Geneva, reviewed the progress of the operation of nodes. Based on the findings, minor amendments were proposed in the implementation plan, redistributing the functions amongst the NMHSs, which was formally endorsed by all the Permanent Representatives (PRs).

Currently RCC-Network Northern Africa considerably progressed with providing all mandatory functions, which are distributed among the five participating countries, as follows:

  • Casablanca Node on Long-Range Forecasting led by Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN), Morocco (;

  • Tunis Node on Climate Monitoring led by Institut National de la Météorologie (INM), Tunisia (;

  • Algiers Node on Data Services led by National Meteorological Office (ONM), Algeria (;

  • Cairo and Tripoli Node on Training led jointly by Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA), Egypt and National Meteorological Centre (NMC), Libya.

The access to the main web portal of RCC-Network Northern Africa is available through the link, which provides further links to each of the above nodes.

RCC-Network Northern Africa is closely involved in the implementation of the RCOF for Northern African region (PRESANORD), in cooperation with RCC Africa hosted by ACMAD. It is contributing to the preparation of the sessions and providing technical expertise and guidance on developing seasonal outlooks and capacity development activities for the Region.

1.2 Regional Association II (Asia)

RA II is served by a number of multi-functional RCCs having pan-Asian as well as sub-regional domains of responsibility, three of which have so far been formally designated:

  • RCC Beijing hosted by Beijing Climate Center (BCC) of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA);

  • RCC Tokyo hosted by Tokyo Climate Center (TCC) of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA);

  • RCC Moscow hosted by the North EurAsian Climate Center (NEACC).

RCC Beijing and RCC Tokyo were formally designated in 2009 and RCC Moscow was designated in 2013 as WMO RCCs. These RCCs established a joint portal that provides links to the various RCC products and services produced by them (

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has conducted the demonstration phase of a new RCC in Pune. The RA II Working Group on Climate Services reviewed the progress report and implementation of all mandatory functions and recommended the initiation of formal designation of RCC Pune as a WMO RCC, which was duly endorsed by the president of RA II.

1.2.1 RCC Pune

There was formal expression of interest by the Permanent Representative of India with WMO in 2011 for their National Climate Centre (NCC) in Pune to operate as a WMO RCC. Since then, NCC Pune expanded its geographical coverage to the South Asian sub-region, and from May 2013 has been implementing the demonstration phase to seek designation as a WMO RCC, providing a range of mandatory products and services.

During its demonstration phase the adequate capacities were developed at RCC Pune, and currently it performs all the mandatory RCC functions, including climate data, climate monitoring, long-range forecasting and training, as well as some of the highly recommended functions, such as research and development. All products and services are made available to users through the dedicated website:

RCC Pune has also taken the responsibility for coordination of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) and the preparation of annual regional forecast outlook for the Southwest Monsoon Seasonal rainfall. The fora are generally conducted every year during the third week of April. Since November 2015 winter sessions of SASCOF have been initiated to produce an outlook for winter monsoon season. Both monsoon and winter sessions are followed by Climate Services User Forums (CSUF) with particular focus on water, agriculture and health.

1.3 Regional Association III (South America)

In accordance with Resolution 5 (RA III-16) in September 2014, the RCC implementation in RA III comprises of RCC Western South America (RCC-WSA), RCC-Network Southern South America and RCC-Network Northern South America. Of these, RCC Western South America hosted by the Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno de El Niño (CIIFEN) was formally designated as a WMO RCC by Cg-17 in 2015.

Argentina and Brazil are jointly implementing a RCC-Network for the Southern South America in demonstration phase, and have initiated the process to seek formal designation as a WMO RCC-Network. The RA III Working Group on Climate reviewed its operation and the provision of mandatory functions and also highly recommended functions, and recommended to the president of RA III to initiate the designation of the RCC-Network SSA as a WMO RCC. The president of RA III has endorsed the recommendation and initiated the necessary follow-up.

1.3.1 RCC-Network Southern South America

The RCC-Network Southern South America is structured as a two-node network with seamlessly distributed responsibilities, co-led by Argentina and Brazil:

  • Buenos Aires Node led by Servicio Meteorológico Nacional of Argentina (SMN);

  • Brasilia Node led by Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INMET), Brazil.

The NMHSs of Paraguay and Uruguay serve as participant members, and the NMHSs of Bolivia and Chile are associate members contributing to the RCC-Network, with a number of other institutions serving as collaborating partners.

The RCC-Network Southern South America has been implementing its demonstration phase since May 2014, to provide regional climate products and services to the countries of Southern South American Region.

During the demonstration phase the RCC-Network Southern South America developed adequate capacities and showed significant progress, providing all mandatory products and services, including climate monitoring, long-range forecasting, climate data and application, to support NMHSs of the Southern South American Region. The products are disseminated through a dedicated website ( mostly in Spanish and Portuguese languages, with a few products (e.g., drought monitoring) also available in English.

The RCC-Network Southern South America coordinates operation of the Southern South America Climate Outlook Forum (SSACOF), which was launched in 1997 and since then is being held regularly once per year by rotation among the participant countries.

1.4 Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean)

RA IV-16 in 2013 included establishment of an optimum network of RCCs as a priority area to assist in the development of its Operating Plan, to sustainably implement the GFCS. The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Barbados, has been implementing demonstration phase to seek designation as a WMO RCC, with the domain of interest being the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. The president of RA IV, based on its progress, has requested initiation of the process for the designation of CIMH as a WMO RCC. In addition, based on a formal expression of interest by USA to establish the United States of America Regional Climate Centre (USRCC), following the single multi-functional RCC model to perform all the mandatory functions over a coverage area of the entire RA IV, the president of RA IV has endorsed the commencement of a demonstration phase to seek designation as a WMO RCC.

1.4.1 RCC Caribbean hosted by CIMH

The CIMH expressed its interest to function as a WMO Regional Climate Centre (RCC) for Regional Association IV, being endorsed by the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) and by RA IV-16. The CIMH formally started its demonstration phase in April 2013 to seek designation as a WMO RCC, to support climate services in the Island States of the Caribbean basin. During this period the CIMH showed significant progress and it currently produces and disseminates through the dedicated website ( the products and services for all mandatory functions, namely climate data, monitoring and long-range forecasting. In addition, CIMH also provides several highly recommended functions, including research and development, non-operational data services, coordination and training activities.

The CIMH coordinates the operation of the Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF). Since 2013 sessions are being held at the end of May/beginning to June to deliver forecasts for the wet/hurricane season, while the first dry season CariCOF was held in November/December 2014. Between CariCOF sessions, the national climatologists update the forecasts monthly and deliver them to a wide range of regional and national stakeholders.

1.5 Regional Association V (South-West Pacific)

RA V-16 in May 2014 recommended adopting the RCC-Network concept in RA V, and developing implementation plans for RCC-Networks for two sub-regions, namely South-East Asia and the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs).

After several rounds of discussions led by the RA V Working Group on Climate Services and the Pacific Islands Climate Services (PICS) Panel, potential hosts have been identified for these two RCC-Networks. Efforts are underway to develop implementation plans for both RCC-Networks, in order to initiate the demonstration phase.

1.6 Regional Association VI (Europe)

The RA VI RCC-Network was formally designated as a WMO RCC-Network in 2013, which is currently being coordinated by Germany and consists of the following three nodes:

  • De Bilt Node on Climate Data Services led by KNMI, The Netherlands;

  • Offenbach Node on Climate Monitoring led by DWD, Germany;

  • Toulouse and Moscow Node on Long-Range Forecasting led by Météo-France and ROSHYDROMET, Russian Federation.

Each of these nodes is supported by a consortium of NMHSs of RA VI Member countries. The services and products are accessible through a dedicated website (, which provides further links to each of the nodes.

1.7 Polar RCCs

The sixty-eighth session of WMO Executive Council (EC-68, June 2016) considered the recommendations that emanated from the Scoping Workshop on “Climate Services for Polar Regions: Establishing Polar Regional Climate Centres: Towards Implementing an Arctic PRCC-Network” (Geneva, 17-19 November 2015) that was led by the EC Panel on Polar and High-mountain Observations, Research and Services (EC-PHORS). In particular, EC-68 considered the Workshop recommendations addressing the implementation of an Arctic PRCC-Network that contemplate Members’ sharing responsibilities with the functions distributed over several nodes. EC-68 endorsed the Arctic PRCC-Network as a joint initiative between RAs II, IV and VI, and requested that a draft implementation plan be developed in a coordinated manner, and be brought to the attention of EC-69 for further consideration. Accordingly, the EC-PHORS Services Task Team (STT) has agreed to lead the development of a draft implementation plan, and to explore the start of a demonstration phase in 2017.

1.8 Action required

As per the RCC establishment/designation procedure, with reference to the WMO publication How to Establish and Run a WMO Regional Climate Centre (RCC) (WCASP No. 80, WMO/TDNo. 1534), the joint CCl/CBS Expert Team on RCCs carefully reviewed the performance of all candidate RCCs/RCC-Networks, based on the progress reports submitted by the candidate RCCs/RCC-Networks through the respective RA subsidiary body. The ET-RCC concluded that all the listed candidates for WMO RCC meet the criteria incorporated in the Manual on the Global Data-Processing and Forecasting System (WMO-No. 485).

Therefore the CCl/CBS ET-RCC recommended all five candidate RCCs/RCC-Networks (described in sub-sections 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2.1, 1.3.1 and 1.4.1 above) to be considered for the formal designation as WMO RCCs/RCC-Networks, based on which the president of CCl advised the WMO Secretary-General on satisfactory compliance with the designation criteria, seeking due consideration of the proposals by CBS. After the presentation of the proposal at CBS-16, complemented by the respective demonstration of capabilities through documentation as well as oral presentation, CBS is invited to approve an amendment to the Manual on the GDPFS to include the newly designated RCCs/RCC-Networks.

This section of the information paper provides a brief description of the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS), in particular the activities of the candidate for designation as WMO RSMC-ASDF.

2.1 Background

In 2007, Cg-XIV endorsed launching of the SDS-WAS project with its mission to enhance the ability of WMO Members to deliver timely and quality sand and dust storm forecasts, observations, information and knowledge to users through an international partnership of research and operational communities. SDS-WAS is jointly coordinated by the WMO World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) and the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW).

In 2007, the International Workshop hosted by the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) and the WMO/GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Expert Meeting hosted by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) discussed the way forward in SDS-WAS implementation. In June 2008, the sixtieth session of the WMO Executive Council (EC-LXI, 2008) welcomed the initiatives towards the development of SDS-WAS as well as the establishment of two SDS-WAS regional centres in China and Spain in support of the corresponding SDS-WAS nodes.

The Regional Steering Group (RSG) for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe (NA-ME-E) held meetings in Tunis-Carthage, Tunisia (November 2008), Antalya, Turkey (November 2011) and in Castellaneta Marina, Italy (June 2014). The corresponding Regional Centre was created in 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, and it is jointly managed by the Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) and the BSC-CNS. Its web portal includes: in situ and remote-sensing dust-relevant observations, daily experimental dust forecasts from several organizations, information and training material from several past workshops, and news for the SDS-WAS community.

The RSG for Asia held meetings in Beijing, China (November 2008), Seoul, Korea (October 2009) and in Tsukuba, Japan (March 2012). The Regional Centre is hosted by the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) in Beijing, China. Its products are available at and at

In 2012, the Regional Centre for the Americas was created in Orange, California, hosted by the Chapman University, and is currently moving to the University of Arizona. Finally, as a result of a recent collaboration between WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and following a large interest of countries in Western Asia, another possible activity node could be established for this region in the future (Cuevas, 2013).

In May 2013, in view of the demand of many National Meteorological Services and the good results obtained by the SDS-WAS, which proves the feasibility and the need to begin developing operational services beyond the scope of research and development (R&D), the WMO Executive Council designated the consortium formed by AEMET and the BSC-CNS to create in Barcelona the first Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre with activity specialization in Atmospheric Sand and Dust Forecast (RSMC-ASDF). The Centre, which started operations in March 2014, generates and distributes operational predictions for Northern Africa (north of equator), the Middle East and Europe.

More details are provided in the “Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS) Science and Implementation Plan 2015-2020”.

2.2 RSMC-ASDF Beijing

As per the RSMC-ASDF establishment/designation process, with reference to Annex 2 of the “Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS) Science and Implementation Plan 2015-2020”, the chairperson of the SDS-WAS Steering Committee (SG) carefully reviewed the performance of the candidate RSMC-ASDF Beijing, based on the technical report and its Annex, submitted by the candidate through the SDS-WAS Regional Steering Group (RSG) of the Asian Regional Node. The SDS-WAS SG concluded that the candidate for a WMO RSMC-ASDF meets the mandatory functions described in the Manual on the Global Data-Processing and Forecasting System (WMO-No. 485), and therefore proposed its formal designation.

    1. Action required

The president of the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) approved the proposal by the SDS-WAS SG, for the transition of the research Asian Regional Node activities to operations, seeking its due consideration by CBS. After the presentation of the proposal at CBS-16, complemented by the respective demonstration of capabilities through documentation as well as oral presentation, CBS is invited to approve an amendment to the Manual on the GDPFS to include the newly designated RSMC-ASDF.


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