The RISKMED project: philosophy, methods and products
Abstract. This paper presents RISKMED, a project targeted to create an Early Warning System (EWS) in case of severe or extreme weather events in the central and eastern Mediterranean and specifically in southern Italy, northwestern Greece, Malta and Cyprus. As severe or extreme weather events are considered, cases when the values of some meteorological parameters (temperature, wind, precipitation) exceed certain thresholds, and/or a severe weather phenomenon (thunderstorm, snowfall) occurs. For an accurate weather forecast, selected meteorological models have been operated daily, based on a nesting strategy using two or three domains, providing detailed forecasts over the above mentioned areas. The forecast results are further exploited for the evaluation and prediction of human discomfort and fire weather indices. Finally, sea wave models have also been operating daily over the central and eastern Mediterranean Sea. In case a severe or extreme weather event is forecasted within the next 48 or 72 h for selected target areas (sub-regions defined by their morphological and population characteristics), the local authorities and the public are informed via a user-friendly graphic system, the so-called RISK MAP. On the web page of the Project ( http://www.riskmed.net ), additional information is provided about the real-time values of some meteorological parameters, the latest satellite picture and the time and space distribution of lightning during the last 24 h. The RISKMED project was financed by the EU and th Ministries of National Economy of Greece, Italy, Malta and Cyprus, in the frame of INTERREG IIIB/ARCHIMED programme.