Partnership between the Državni hidrometeorološki zavod (DHMZ) and the University of Oklahoma (OU)
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Monday, 18 January 2010: 4:30 PM
The national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS) of South Eastern Europe (SEE) have been the focus of significant attention during the past half-decade, particularly from agencies including the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and the World Bank. The most significant factor contributing to this recent increase in interest is the vulnerability of nations in SEE to disasters, weather hazards, and climate change. Numerous reports by these agencies, particularly the “2007-2008 Feasibility Study on Strengthening the Hydrometeorological Services in SEE,” have determined that the region is particularly susceptible to a number of natural hazards, including widespread floods, prolonged droughts, severe storms, and windstorms. Yet, most NMHSs in the region are not technologically ready to prepare for, respond to, and manage these hazards due to limitations in technology, data dissemination, training, and new warning procedures. Many of the NMHSs also struggle to integrate their products and services into the daily economic decision making of SEE.
As a result of several preliminary studies, the Državni hidrometeorološki zavod (DHMZ) of Croatia solicited interest and secured the financial support of the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in 2007 to begin a comprehensive feasibility study focused on developing a detailed modernization master plan for the country. The team selected to complete the study was from the University of Oklahoma (OU), representing the expertise of the National Weather Center in Norman, OK.
During the one-year study, representatives from the DHMZ and OU not only exchanged scientific ideas, but developed friendships that enhanced the project deliverables. This presentation will highlight the DHMZ-OU partnership, its achieved benefits, and its future potential.