Impact-based forecasting signals an evolution from “what the weather will be” to “what the weather will do” and thus bridges the gaps between national weather services and the end users such as disaster risk management and development sector communities. It is a user-friendly way of communicating the climate risk information to support risk-informed and strategic decision-making for enhanced preparedness and in-season policy interventions. Recognizing its value for risk reduction, resilience building and prevention, the member States requested ESCAP to strengthen impact based forecasting capacities in the region.
This working paper introduces a methodological concept that translates the pre-monsoon seasonal outlook to multi-sector impact-based forecasting. Building on the seasonal forecasts for precipitation available from South Asia Climate Outlook Forums (SASCOFs) and risk profiles of the region from the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019, it provides customized risk scenarios and impact-based forecasting for disaster risk management and for addressing climate risks in key development sectors such as agriculture, energy, health and water management. It sets an example of operationalizing the WMO global framework of climate services; identifies and narrows down the areas of potential impacts that may emanate from the climate events on the people, economy, and their livelihood for strategic policy interventions and enhanced preparedness. It also highlights the scope for improvement in impact-based forecasting with additional and more precise information on hazards, risk profiles and socio-economic exposure and vulnerability.