Region III: South America
The WMO Region III comprises 13 Member States that fall within the scope of the WMO Regional Office for the Americas (RAM). Its vast territory has landscapes and highlands ranging from the lush tropical forests in the Amazon to the glaciers of the southern tip of the continent, and from the estuaries of La Plata and Amazonia to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes. This geographical diversity is reflected in the rich biodiversity and diverse weather and climate of the region.
Projects in the region
Flash Flood Guidance System with Global Coverage (FFGS)
Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5 000 lives lost annually. Their social, economic and environmental impacts are significant. Accounting for approximately 85% of flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate among different classes of flooding, including riverine and coastal. Flash floods differ from river floods in their short time scales and occurrence on small spatial scales, which makes flash flood forecasting a different challenge from large-river flood forecasting. In flash floods forecasting, we are concerned mostly with the forecast of occurrence, and focus on two causative events: 1) intense rainfall; and 2) rainfall on saturated soils. Flash floods occur throughout the world, and the development times vary across regions from minutes to several hours depending on the land surface, geomorphological and hydrometeorological characteristics of the region. However, for the majority of these areas, there exists no formal process or capacity for developing flash flood warnings.
ENANDES+. Building Regional Adaptive capacity and resilience to climate variability and change in vulnerable sectors in the Andes, a contribution to scaling up the ENANDES project
ENANDES+ will support six of seven Andean countries in their climate adaptation and resilience efforts, scale up the ENANDES project, currently being implemented by WMO through the Adaptation Fund. With The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)contribution adding Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador to the three original ENANDES countries, Chile, Colombia and Peru. The project will also involve all WMO regional institutions in South America, including the Regional Climate Centres for South and West of South America, and the Regional Training Centres in Peru and Argentina.In Argentina and Bolivia, an early warning system for flash flood warnings in the binational area of the Pilcomayo River Basin will be developed, allowing for a unique transnational approach to improve climate resilience and adaptation in the region. In Ecuador, the National Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (INAMHI) will work in the upper Pastaza River basin to produce frost warnings for small-scale family farms, and hydrometeorological forecasts to support the management of hydroelectric power plants. In Peru, the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service will work with MeteoSwiss and WMO regional centres to ensure technical knowledge is available and equally distributed amongst project stakeholders.
Enhancing Adaptive Capacity of Andean Communities through Climate Services (ENANDES)
ENANDES aims to increase the resilience and adaptive capacity to climate variability and change of highly vulnerable communities living in the Andes. Through the generation of and access to specific climate information and services, governments and communities wil together be able to reduce climate-related risks and implement climate adaptation measure for protecting households and increasing food and water security. This integrated approach will ensure that all adaptive measures are sustainable and inclusive.
In developing and emerging countries, climate data are often of poor quality and do not meet the prerequisites for the provision of climate services for political decision-makers. In Peru and the Andean region, the importance of user-tailored climate services is recognized, but this requires better quality climate observations and more expert meteorologists and climatologists. In order to address this need, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) established the project CLIMANDES (Servicios climáticos con énfasis en los Andes en apoyo a las decisiones) between Peru and Switzerland in 2012. The aim of the project was to increase the number of professionals and students trained in meteorology and climatology in support of the WMO Regional Training Centre (RTC) and to develop climate services for the regions of Cusco and Junin.
Hydrometeorological Forecasting and Early Warning System in La Plata Basin
The La Plata River Basin is the second largest river basin in South America, with an approximate surface area of three million square kilometers. The Paraguay River flows freely through 2 600 km, passing through the largest wetland in the world before joining the Paraná River. It home to more than 100 million people from five different countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. While the rivers in the basin greatly contribute to the economy of the region, they also experience large floods that impact the surrounding local communities and large cities. Demands for increased food and energy production, and the presence of populations at risk of flooding require increased knowledge of the Basin’s hydrometeorological regime and the adoption of the latest technologies to meet these challenges. The Hydrometeorological Forecasting and Early Warnings System in the La Plata Basin (PROHMSAT) project seeks to enhance the capacities of the region's NMHSs for the provision of flood forecasting, decreasing the vulnerability of the surrounding communities against the impact of floods.