- Documents and publications
What was known: Weather forecast availability and communication in conflict-affected countries
This paper uses a retrospective analysis of the most severe disaster events and historical forecast information to examine whether global forecast models predicted historical floods in conflict-affected regions, and whether forecast information was communicated for droughts. It analyses the historical forecast availability and communication for the most severe disaster events in 20 countries affected by protracted conflict over the last 20 years.
Armed conflict increases people's vulnerability to climate extremes. Since many of these climate extremes are predictable beforehand, Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) can help protect people's lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing. While such EWEA systems exist in several countries, there is limited scientific knowledge about EWEA in conflict-affected countries where communities experience the compounding effects of both disaster and conflict risks. The study looked at 72 disaster events that were reported to affect approximately 150 million individuals, with more than 150,000 reported dead. The results show that heavy rainfall was predicted in advance for 48 out of 50 flood events, with lead times of more than three days and probabilities between 10 and 90%. In addition, in 16 out of 20 major drought events a low rainfall forecast was communicated in advance of the disaster declaration. We conclude that forecasts exist and could be used to provide early warnings in conflict-affected areas.