European multi-hazard service moves towards operations

17 February 2020
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ARISTOTLE-ENHSP meeting participants at ECMWF February 2020

Participants in the ARISTOTLE-ENHSP meeting gathered around a bust of Aristotle at ECMWF.

Experts from four research and forecasting centres met at ECMWF on 4 and 5 February 2020 to drive forward the creation of a 24/7 European multi-hazard virtual advice service for natural disasters.

The service is being developed as part of the EU-funded ARISTOTLE-ENHSP project. It is intended to support the work of the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).

The meeting focused on the wildfire hazard component of the service, for which ECMWF provides meteorological data and a visualisation platform. It comes after the successful completion of a demonstration phase between May and August last year.

“This was a very successful meeting as we have agreed a standardised procedure and format for the fire hazard reports to be supplied operationally to the ERCC,” says Francesca Di Giuseppe, the project lead at ECMWF.

The fire hazard component is being developed by four project partners: Météo-France, the Portuguese national meteorological service (IPMA), the CIMA Research Foundation (Italy) and ECMWF.

“The plan is for Météo-France, IPMA and CIMA to take it in turns to produce fire hazard monitoring reports three times a week in a consistent format. These will be made available to the ERCC operationally from May this year as part of wider multi-hazard reports,” Francesca says.

In addition to providing relevant meteorological data, such as drought indices, ECMWF is making its ecCharts interactive web chart platform available to ingest other relevant products that have been developed by the project partners to support fire management in their own countries.

The ERCC is part of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. It coordinates the delivery of assistance to countries struck by disasters inside or outside the EU. This can take the form of relief items, expertise, civil protection teams and specialised equipment.