The GCRF African SWIFT programme aims to better understand weather systems over Africa, and to improve the forecasting of high impact weather events such as urban flooding or prolonged droughts.

This month sees SWIFT partners Kenyan Meteorological Department (KMD) host the first forecasting testbed (24-29 January 2019) - a way to bring together teams of SWIFT researchers and operational forecasters from East and West Africa and the UK to develop more accurate and timely weather forecasts for Africa.

The testbed will also provide support to the HyVic flight campaign over Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, using FAAM’s world-class research aircraft and expertise from SWIFT, NCAS, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the Ugandan National Meteorological Authority, and the HIGHWAY project.

The teams will be carrying out real-time testing of both current forecasting techniques and new proposed methods at the testbed. Through these new forecaster-researcher interactions, the SWIFT programme will advance meteorological science and improve forecast information for user groups, such as emergency response agencies and the agricultural and fisheries sectors.

The aim of the HyVic flight campaign is to deliver improved forecasting capability for the Lake Victoria region, specifically for users engaged in fishing and transport on the lake, as well as major urban centres in the lake basin vulnerable to flooding. For the first time, the flight team (supported by the testbed activities) will make detailed measurements of the lake/land breeze circulation over Lake Victoria, a key driver of the severe, life-threatening storms that take place over the lake.

For more information about the SWIFT testbed and HyViC flight campaign using FAAM: