3rd Meeting of the ASEAN Climate Outlook Forum (ASEANCOF)

ASEAN Climate Outlook Forum (ASEANCOF) was initiated by the World Meteorological Organization/Climate Information and Prediction Services (WMO/CLIPS) project, in collaboration with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), regional/international climate centres among many other partners.  The Forum aims to provide collaboratively developed and consensus-based seasonal climate outlooks and related information on a regional scale. These activities support decision-making to manage climate-related risks and support sustainable development.

At the 3rd meeting of the ASEAN Regional Climate Outlook Forum (ASEANCOF-3) held at CCRS (17-19 November 2014), a total of 33 participants attended, including representatives from the National Meteorological Services (NMSs) of the ASEAN countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam as well as seasonal climate prediction experts from the WMO Global Producing Centres of Long Range Forecasts (GPCs), namely China Meteorological Administration (CMA), Bureau of Meteorology (BoM, Australia), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Climate Prediction Centre (CPC, NOAA, US), and the Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC, UK). Experts from the WMO Lead Centre for Long Range Forecast Multi-Model Ensemble (WMO LC-LRFMME), as well as the APEC Climate Centre (APCC) also attended.

In consultation with WMO, ASEANCOF-3 focused on the application of long range forecasts in the water resources management sector. Thus, user representatives from this sector in the region were also invited. These included the Mekong River Commission (MRC), Hydrological Forecasting Division of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF, Vietnam), Research Centre for Water Resources, Agency of R&D, Ministry of Public Works (RCWR, Indonesia) and Singapore’s national water agency, PUB. In addition, two other potential regional users of seasonal outlooks were also invited, namely the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA) and Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES). ASEANCOF-3 is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The group drafted a consensus forecast for the upcoming December to February season (DJF 2014-2015).

The workshop was officially opened with a welcome address by Director-General of MSS, Ms Wong Chin Ling. WMO and USAID also gave their opening remarks. This was followed by a science talk by Dr John McBride, Senior Principal Research Scientist (CCRS), on the topic “Seasonal Forecasting of Impacts: The Three cycles of ENSO-influence, Predictability and Impacts”.

The 3-day meeting comprised sessions devoted to interpreting the available real-time seasonal prediction products from WMO Global Producing Centres for Long Range Forecasts and WMO Regional Climate Centres, assessment of the skills of forecasting systems, development of the consensus seasonal climate outlook statement for the region and discussion on the potential applications of COF products, particularly in the area of water resources management.

A training workshop was held on the third day of the meeting with the ASEAN NMSs participants and invited international experts/trainers. The focus of the training was on the interpretation and evaluation of seasonal prediction systems.

Overall, the forum and the training was well-received by the participants. As one of the participant put it “We have learnt a lot through sharing of knowledge and experience with our ASEAN neighbours. This Forum has certainly imparted a lot of ideas and knowledge in the operational activities of seasonal climate forecast”.

For the Consensus Statement and Meeting Report, click here.

Events ASEAN 17 19Nov2014 Group Photo_RESIZED