Day 1 at the European Meteorological Society annual conference and one of the key messages from John Hirst’s opening keynote speech was for the need for clear, joined up, communication of the risk of severe weather impacts. This Reading-based EMS event may have meteorology at its core, but partnerships and a joined up approach across disciplines in the understanding and application of the early warning of high impact weather already emerging as a key to the theme of the conference.
Topics of the opening day’s parallel sessions ranged from the understanding of skill in hydrological predictions (Pappenberger) to translating warnings into mitigating actions (Ralston and Perrels). It’s where these two themes meet that provides our greatest interest for decision making and risk communication. This was evident in the final session (NWP and nowcasts to forecasts and warnings) which highlighted some tangible opportunities in flood and weather science research (Ballard and Moore). However what is clear is that the uncertainties involved in any predictions of extreme events provide one of the biggest challenges in Hirst’s call for clear communication.