Reliable forecasts are an essential building block of an effective early warning system. These are needed at a sufficient lead time to enable preparatory action to be taken in advance of a heat wave. Yet good forecasts are not possible without a solid understanding of the occurrence and behavior of heat waves, and so far there has been little research in this area for South Asia. This study focuses on Bangladesh, one of the most motivated countries in the region in this regard. The presentation will examine the physical characteristics of heat waves in Bangladesh, exploring the roles of synoptic dynamics, the land surface and variability in the global oceans as drivers of these events. Results suggests that opportunities exist for extended range prediction of heat waves in Bangladesh, offering the potential to provide more advance warning and increasing the capacity to prepare. Outstanding obstacles to the implementation of an effective early warning system will also be discussed, including strategies for the development and dissemination of clearly communicated heat forecast information to decision makers in the health sector.
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