Spanish weather service Aemet to provide extreme weather risks information

by Lorraine Williamson
extreme weather

WEATHER – To minimise the risks of extreme weather for people and goods, the Aemet weather service will introduce a new system for issuing weather warnings. The warnings will make citizens more aware of the impact of extreme weather

According to Aemet spokesperson Rubén del Campo, there is nothing wrong with the weather forecast itself. However, the reporting should connect better with its target group, the inhabitants of Spain. They should be better informed of extreme meteorological conditions and the impact on their own safety and that of others. 

Make more aware 

As an example del Campo mentions storm Filomena that raged over the Iberian peninsula last winter. Then Aemet issued a clear warning with code red for heavy snowfall in Madrid. But it was not interpreted as such by the target group. According to del Campo, this was the decisive factor in adapting the way the weather is presented. And thus making people more aware of the consequences of extreme weather for themselves. 

More detailed information 

In the event of extreme rainfall, Aemet will now pay more attention to the influence it has on the inhabitants. Moreover, this is of much greater importance than stating the number of litres of rain that will fall. In part, the US weather system will be used, which reports in detail the risks to civilians. 

For example, at the end of spring or early summer, a warning will appear in the weather forecast for dust particles (such as Sahara dust) in the air. Currently this is only warned in the Canary Islands. Daily reports will be made about the concentration of these particles and their consequences for public health. 

The adjusted reporting will be gradual because not only Aemet itself is involved in the process. The weather service cooperates with public authorities including the Ministry of Health and the Spanish Institute of Health Carlos III in Madrid. Therefore, it is important reports from the aforementioned authorities about the weather and its consequences are always aligned. 

Dangers of extremely high temperatures 

Aemet will also adjust the reporting at extremely high temperatures and thereby warn more clearly of the dangers. In a few days a link to the website of the Ministry of Health will appear on the website of the weather service. The National Prevention Plan for Public Health at High Temperatures is published thereon. 

Del Campo says that the adjustment of weather reports is not a new phenomenon. Years ago, after Typhoon Haiyan swept Southeast Asia in 2013, killing more than 6,000, weather services around the world recognised the importance of better reporting that puts more emphasis on the dangers to residents.

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