News from RHMS of Serbia

2022

DAY OF RHMSS 2022
Address by
Professor Jugoslav Nikolić,
RHMSS Director
 26.09.2022. 
 
 
 
Dear colleagues, RHMSS employees and contracted staff,

As far back as 134 years ago, on Krstovdan (the Day of the Elevation of the Holy Cross), 27 September 1888, Dr Vladan Djordjevic, Minister of Education and Church Affairs at the time, issued a Decree on the establishment of a unified network of meteorological stations in the Kingdom of Serbia, thus founding the national meteorological service in Serbia. For this reason, 27 September has been marked as the Day of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS).

These anniversaries represent an opportunity to look back on the accomplishments, achievements and challenges from the past year. This year, along with the ongoing coronavirus situation, we have been dealing with the recommended savings measures and energy crisis, as well as with a significant reduction of the number of employees due to natural attrition. Faced with these challenges, we have invested additional efforts in order to implement the Program of Meteorological and Hydrological Activities of Interest for the Republic of Serbia and the Hail Suppression Program.

Over the previous year, we have provided 24-hour operation of the Hydrometeorological System of Early Warnings and Alerts on the Occurrence of Meteorological and Hydrological Hazards, which represents an integral part of the National System of Protection and Rescue in Emergency Situations. We have constantly monitored meteorological and hydrological conditions and analyzed the data from meteorological measurements and observations (surface, upper-air, radar and satellite), as well as the hydrological data from national and foreign and meteorological and hydrological measuring stations. Weather forecasts, early warnings and alerts on dangerous and extraordinary meteorological events and hydrological forecasts and warnings have been produced regularly based on the issued analyses, products of the numerical models of the atmosphere and hydrological models, which have also regularly operated. Meteorological analyses and forecasts for aviation have also been produced in the form of bulletins and significant weather charts. Issuing of monthly and seasonal weather forecasts has also been going on according to plan. In the period from 15 April, we have produced specialized daily weather forecasts for the needs of the Hail Suppression System and bulletins on the occurrence of favourable meteorological conditions for wildfires. Every day RHMSS has produced specialized hydrological forecasts for the Sava River for the needs of the construction of a bridge near Sremska Raca, for the Zapadna Morava and Juzna Morava Rivers due to the works on the Preljina-Pojate Road Corridor and for the Danube River due to the construction of a marine in Apatin. Specialized hydrological forecasts have also been prepared for the needs of navigation on the Danube and Sava Rivers. During the first half of June, due to a short-lasting wave of high water on torrential water flows along the river basins of western, southwestern, central, and southeastern Serbia, timely warnings were issued for possible flash floods of a local character. Since July, the RHMSS Director has prepared and delivered to the relevant authorities on a daily level a brief, extraordinary, morning information on meteorological and hydrological conditions for the needs of analyses in the field of energy.

Within the meteorological and hydrological observation system, which is the basic component of the hydrometeorological early warning and alert system, we have implemented annual programs of systematic meteorological and hydrological measurements and observations and provided permanent, 24-hour operation of the national networks of meteorological and hydrological stations on the territory of the Republic of Serbia which are under our jurisdiction. In addition to successfully ensuring the operation of the meteorological observation system, at the end of the last year RHMSS carried out the reconstruction of the facilities of the main meteorological stations of Banatski Karlovac, Sremska Mitrovica and Sjenica, which created better working conditions for observers at these facilities. We have also established cooperation with the Directorate for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Security of Serbia, in accordance with the Conclusion of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, which enabled the Directorate to install automatic measuring devices for measuring radioactivity at 20 locations of the RHMSS Meteorological Observing System. With the completion of the project “Early warnings on the territory of the city of Užice”, which included participation of the representatives of the Meteorological Observation System, at the Užice Radar Center one automatic station was installed, as well as 3 climatological and 3 precipitation stations, and data from these stations is available to RHMSS.

Our Meteorological Laboratory was successfully re-accredited according to the SRPS ISO/IEC 17025-2017 standard until 2025. An interlaboratory comparison in the field of thermometry, barometry and hygrometry was carried out with the Regional Instrument Centre of the World Meteorological Organization in Ljubljana, as well as a comparison in the field of anemometry and airflow with the reference laboratory in Wattvill, Switzerland.

Within the hydrometeorological telecommunication system, we have enabled regular reception, national and international exchange, and archiving of meteorological and hydrological data and products. Maintenance and improvement of the telecommunications network, continuous operation of the RHMSS network services and regular updating and improvement of operational procedures for the reception, control and distribution of data and products have been ensured. Among the technical and technological improvements in the area of the telecommunications system, the following can be highlighted: establishment of connection via optical lines with users at the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency (SMATSA) and the Serbian Army; change in the forwarding of national aviation bulletins; transition to operational reception of satellite images via changed channels of the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT); change of security settings for receiving data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) – data center in Bologna; improvement of VMware virtual infrastructure software; improvement of the way of communication and regular control of RHMSS radar centres; automation of the change of security certificates for RHMSS email clients; and the introduction of report processing and web presentation of data from additional automatic meteorological stations.

In the observed period, RHMSS has fulfilled the obligations stemming from its active participation in the work of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC) and the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS). RHMSS has also continued its work on the development of the Hydrological Information System for the Danube River (Danube HIS). In the area of research and development activities and technical improvements, the most significant activities have been related to: defining, preparing and achieving the operational availability of data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for the purpose of introducing a decision support system in radiological emergency situations, in cooperation with the Directorate for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Security of Serbia (SRBATOM); ensuring the operational preparation and transfer of ECMWF products for the needs of the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency, and ensuring their access to the ecCharts interactive portal; installation of the DIANA graphic software package and preparation of its operational application in weather forecasting, for choosing an atmospheric model and data from meteorological observations, as well as for interactive graphical presentation of atmospheric fronts and phenomena in the atmosphere; establishment of a standardized international platform for the exchange of hydrological and meteorological data, as a data source for the Hydrological Information System for the Danube River Basin (DanubeHIS), resulting in greater availability of data and information needed for flood risk management, water resources management and implementation of scientific projects in the field of hydrology; migration of all operational procedures for exchanging data and products from FTP to SFTP protocol (secure file transfer protocol); etc.

Among the development activities in the field of numerical weather prediction, regular delivery of ECMWF forecasts for the needs of the public company Putevi Srbije (Roads of Serbia) has been established. As part of this cooperation, it is also planned to include data from the Putevi Srbije observation system in the work of the RHMSS weather forecasting service. A new version of the Python-based MetView graphical package was also installed, and all existing macros for creating ECMWF forecast displays, from short-term to seasonal forecasts, were reworked. Ensemble weather forecasts for specific locations in Serbia have been put into operational use. For the purposes of forecasting convection in the atmosphere, several instability indices (CAPE, CIN, KX) as well as prognostic emagrams for 72 hours ahead have been prepared. The previously mentioned products are available on our new internal webpage.

A Program of Hydrological Observations and Measurements has been implemented in accordance with the Decree on the Establishment of the Annual Water Status Monitoring Program and the Interstate Water Management Cooperation Program. The activities related to the collection, input, control, processing, archiving and publication of hydrological data have also been carried out. Data and information have been prepared for the publication of Hydrological Yearbook I – Surface Water and Hydrological Yearbook II – Ground Water for 2021. RHMSS has carried out an analysis of the hydrological situation in the main basins in the territory of the Republic of Serbia for 2021, performed a hydrogeological analysis of the regime of groundwater bodies, and prepared a report on the quantitative status of groundwater bodies for 2020.

As part of the hail suppression program, in preparation for the 2022 season, all planned activities were carried out, from technical preparation for the establishment of hail suppression system on the territory of Republic of Serbia, training and medical examinations of shooters for launching of the rockets to the establishment of network of 1240 launching stations and the establishment of work on all 13 Radar centers. As of 15 September 2022, 11299 rockets were used during 62 days, which indicates that the atmosphere was rather unstable this year. Damage of varying intensity caused by hail was registered during 29 days on 2.3 thousand hectares of agricultural land. As part of this program, further work on automation of the Radar centers was carried out. In addition to the fully automated RC Valjevo and Fruska Gora and the first phase of RC Bukulja, work continued on the automation of the RC Bajsa and Samos in cooperation with the Secretariat for Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of the AP Vojvodina, and out of 271-planned automatic launch stations, fully operational are stations at 123 locations. As part of the implementation of the approved capital project “Construction and equipping of the facilities of the Radar centers Valjevo, Uzice, Petrovac, Besnjaja and Krusevac”, work on completion of the construction of the Radar centers Valjevo and Uzice is in progress. As part of the implementation of the Capital project “Modernization of the automatic system for the implementation of the hail suppression methodology according to the defined plan until September 30, 2022, hardware equipment will be installed and a new software package will be put into operation at 8 Radar centers.

As part of the annual program of the National Center for Climate Change within the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, which performs the function of the sub-regional South East European Virtual Climate Change Center (SEEVCCC), which operates as part of the Network of Regional Climate Centers (RCC-Network) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), monitoring and analysis of the climate in Serbia and Southeast Europe was carried out through production and issuance of climate bulletins, analyses and studies. Monthly and seasonal forecasts were prepared, bulletins on early warning of extreme climate events and anomalies for Serbia and Southeast Europe were disseminated within the WMO World program for climate monitoring. RHMSS took part in preparation and execution of regional Climate outlook forum for Southeast Europe and Caucasus region within the system of WMO Regional climate forums.

During the same period, RHMSS issued agrometeorological bulletins, analyses, forecasts and information relevant for agricultural production for the Republic of Serbia and protection of agricultural crops from extreme weather events along with agrometeorological information and press releases. Concurrently, functioning of the drought monitoring and forecasting system was ensured as well as operational application of agrometeorological model for simulation of growth and forecast of corn yield. Moreover, for the purpose of publication of four annual reviews of the result of specific agrometeorological measurements and observations in 2021 data processing was carried out. On the request of end-users, in the first half of 2022, 313 expert analyses, reports and opinions on the weather, climate and climate change were issued.

Experts of the National Center for Climate Change participated, as members of the Working groups, in the implementation of the project „Improvement of medium and long-term planning of adaptation measures to changed climate conditions in the Republic of Serbia”. As part of this project, RHMSS representatives organized a Workshop “Climatic data in the service of adaption to changed climatic conditions”. Experts of the National Center for Climate Change participated in the activities of the Working Group for the development of the National Action Program (NAP) to combat desertification and land degradation under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries with Severe Drought and/or Desertification (UNCCD).

Representatives of the RHMSS participated in the work of other interdepartmental working groups such as: Working group for the preparation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, Working Group on monitoring and evaluation of progress in the development of Strategy and Action Plan for the air protection, The Sectoral Working Group for Climate Change of the Negotiating group 27 and Working group for the development of Specific Implementation Plan for INSPIRE directive within the Project “Further development of approximation in the field of environment for air, chemicals and horizontal issues” (EAS 3).

This year, contract was signed on the implementation of the project “Supporting and standardizing climate services in Europe and beyond” (CLIMATEUROPE 2). Project implementation is anticipated to start in second half of the year. The project is financed under the European Commission program "Horizon Europe" (Horizon Europe, 2021-2027) and aiming at the development and support of climate services, the development of standardization procedures for climate services, including criteria for certification and labeling of climate services, in order to support adaptation and mitigation of climate change and variability. A proposal for the project "Adaptation-oriented Seamless Predictions of European ClimaTe” (ASPECT) was prepared with the aim of enhancing climate forecasts as support for making socially important decisions in adapting to climate change. By the end of the year, we expect to sign the contract on the implementation of this project, which is also financed from the fund of the "Horizon Europe" program. Representatives of the RHMSS also participated in the implementation of the project "Enhancing Environmental Performance and Climate Proofing of Infrastructure Investments in the Western Balkan Region from an EU integration perspective (ClimaProof), namely in the activity "Creating a favorable environment for regional cooperation and investment in infrastructure" resistant to climate change in the Western Balkans" within the third component of the project entitled: "Construction of infrastructure adapted to future climate and weather pattern in the target region”.

Contribution of RHMSS and its associates within atmospheric modelling gained international recognition within the scientific circles. This year, a RHMSS’ Associate was awarded the prestigious Plinius Medal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for “pioneering work on modelling sand and dust storms and for significant contributions to the development of a global dust advisory and warning system”.

Furthermore, a RHMSS employee received 2022 WMO Borivoje Dobrilovic Trust Fund Research Award for his scientific paper entitled “Cloud icing by mineral dust and impacts to aviation safety“. The paper was published in the renowned scientific journal Nature.

Additionally, publication of the scientific paper “Fully Dynamic High–Resolution Model for Dispersion of Icelandic Airborne Mineral Dust“ has contributed to the establishment, for the first time within the WMO, of operational numerical model for the forecast of aerosol transport in the most vulnerable polar areas and thus made progress in the research of its impact on the climate system.

The international activities of RHMSS have been carried out through the implementation of the functions of National Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Serbia and the assumed international obligations within the framework of ratified international agreements, conventions and protocols in the field of meteorology, hydrology, and climate change monitoring and research. Meetings of constituent and working bodies of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF), European Network of National Meteorological Services (EUMETNET), Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Danube Commission, International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), etc. have been organized online whenever possible due to the pandemic situation. The most important online events attended by RHMSS participants were the following: Extraordinary World Meteorological Congress (11-22 October 2021); 18th Session of WMO Regional Association VI – Europe (19 November 2021); 27th and 28th Session of EUMETNET Assembly (9-10 December 2021 and 23-24 May 2022); 2nd and 3rd Director Workshop on EUMETNET’s Federated Data Coordination Mechanism (28-29 September 2021 and 8-9 March 2022); 103rd and 104th session of the ECMWF Council (2-3 December 2021 and 28-29 June 2022); and 110th session of the ECMWF Financial Committee (26-27 April 2022). In the framework of regional cooperation, RHMSS representatives participated in the 19th Conference of NHMS Directors from South East Europe – ICSEED (4 November 2021), as well as in a session of the General Assembly of the European Severe Storms Laboratory – ESSL (20 October 2021). International commitments in the field of hydrology were implemented through participation in the activities of WMO working bodies, such as the Hydrological Advisers Forum (28 June 2022). RHMSS representatives have participated in the preparation of the annual report and other activities of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), primarily relating to the maintenance and improvement of the established forecasting platform SavaFFWS through online trainings and working group activities. RHMSS representatives also took participation in the work of the Danube Commission and the interstate water management cooperation with Hungary, with a working group meeting held in Belgrade (19 and 20 April 2022). After 20 years, interstate water management cooperation with Romania has been renewed. A preparatory meeting was held from May 25 to 27 in Timisoara, while from June 22 to 24, the first session of the Serbian-Romanian Commission for Sustainable Management of Transboundary Waters was held in Belgrade. The final evaluation meeting (19 and 20 May 2022) of the Velika Morava Flood Forecasting and Warning System Project (Velika Morava FFWS) also took place.

Summarizing the work of the RHMSS during the previous period, I believe that progress of our service has been continuous in accordance with the available material and professional capabilities.

I would like to congratulate the Day of RHMSS to all employees and associates hoping to accomplish better results in the future period and thus give valuable contribution to our country and each citizen, within this significant field, enabling progress of numerical forecast of the early warning and alert of meteorological and hydrological extreme events and rational use of all available resources.


Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, graduate meteorologist    
RHMSS Director and                        
PR of Serbia with the World Meteorological Organization

 


RHMSS supports the Rowing Association of Serbia
 12.05.2022. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Rowing Association of Serbia is entrusted with organizing the 2022 World Rowing Cup that will take place on Sava Lake in Belgrade, 27-29 May 2022. In order to provide proper conditions for a successful organization of this event, as required by the World Rowing Federation (FISA), the Rowing Association of Serbia has asked the Republic Hydrological Service of Serbia (RHMSS) for professional support.

RHMSS has officially supported the organization of the World Rowing Cup aimed at promoting the Republic of Serbia and the City of Belgrade. In line with that, an Agreement on business and technical cooperation was signed on 12 May 2022, stipulating that graduate meteorologists from RHMSS shall be on duty providing all required forecasting products throughout the event. On behalf of RHMSS, the Agreement was signed by RHMSS Director, Prof. Jugoslav Nikolic, and on behalf of the Rowing Association of Serbia by our renowned former basketball player, Director-General of the World Rowing Cup, Mr. Zoran Jovanovic.

Over three days of competition there will be around 170 races in all 14 Olympic disciplines and 9 para-rowing disciplines, in both men's and women's division. About 600 competitors from more than 40 countries are expected to arrive, as well as more than 300 supporting staff, umpires, delegates and representatives of the World Rowing Federation, press and others.

It has also been decided to entrust our country with the organization of the World Rowing Championships for seniors in 2023, which is at the same time a qualifying competition for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

 

World Meteorological Day
and World Water Day 2022
 22.03.2022. 
 
 
 
Dear Colleagues,

World Meteorological Day was established on 23 March 1950, when the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, dealing with research, monitoring and forecasting of atmospheric processes and conditions, came into force. On the other hand, in line with a UN General Assembly Resolution, World Water Day has been celebrated on 22 March since 1993.

The theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day is “Early Warning and Early Action”, with the focus on the vital role of meteorological and hydrological information in disaster risk reduction. World Water Day 2022 is dedicated to “Groundwater”, the resource providing ½ of drinking water in the world, 38% of water for agricultural irrigation and 1/3 of water required by industry. Both themes overlap, depicting the current moment in history – efforts related to the reduction of adverse weather and climate impacts and efforts related to water preservation.

On the global level, over the past 50 years there were more than 11000 reported weather and water-related disasters, resulting in just over 2 million deaths and US$ 3.64 trillion in economic losses. That breaks down to a daily global average of 115 deaths and US$ 202 million in economic losses. According to WMO’s Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2019, the number of disasters increased five-fold in that period, while economic losses have increased by a factor of seven. However, it is encouraging that the number of deaths decreased three-fold, thanks to improved early warnings and disaster risk reduction strategies.

Extreme meteorological and hydrological conditions related to storms, floods, landslides, heat waves, wild fires and droughts have also become more frequent in the territory of the Republic of Serbia over the past decades. The years of 2018 and 2019 were among the warmest years in Serbia (in the period from 1951 up to now), and heavy floods were recorded in 1980, 1981, 1988, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2016. In the 2018 and 2019 summer period, fifteen municipalities in central Serbia declared state of emergency due to flooding. One of the rainiest years in Serbia was 2014, with flood damages estimated at 1.6 billion euros. Serbia was hit with heavy droughts in 2000, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2021. Damages caused by drought in 2012 in the entire country were estimated at two billion euros. During the summer of the same year, over 18000 open fires were recorded, and the longest heat wave was registered in Belgrade.

The Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS) issues early warnings and alerts related to extreme meteorological and hydrological events using using appropriate verified models. Continuous strengthening and enhancement of the RHMSS system of early warnings and alerts of extreme events significantly increases the readiness to respond in emergency situations. A clear protection and rescue plan in emergency situations contributes to reducing the consequences of emergencies. For extreme weather events that are long lasting, with consequences that are not immediately visible, such as drought, it is important to identify and implement strategic measures for adaptation to climate conditions, thus increasing community resilience.

RHMSS response to these conditions is defined through its legal mandate and responsibilities, including the application of relevant international conventions and protocols related to this field. The Law on Meteorological and Hydrological Activity defines in detail the competencies, functions and activities of RHMSS, including its mandate to conduct international cooperation in the field of meteorology, climate monitoring and research and operational hydrology, since atmospheric processes recognize no borders. RHMSS is the only institution in the state administration system of the Republic of Serbia responsible for issuing warnings and alerts in the field of meteorology, hydrology, climate and climate fluctuations.

In the middle of 2015, the mandate to perform hail suppression activities was transferred to RHMSS from the Serbian Ministry of Interior – Sector for Emergency Situations. These activities are regulated by the Law on Hail Suppression, passed in 2015.

In recent years, we have achieved significant results in the field of early warning and action. A significant contribution has been made through the development of numerical weather forecasting, using an integrated system that includes the atmosphere, aerosols, oceans, soil and hydrology. Further priority activities of RHMSS, which play an important role in the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, are aimed at further strengthening of the hydrometeorological system for early warnings and alerts, active participation in the production of analyses and studies on risk assessment and development, implementation of the national strategies related to disaster risk reduction, as well as adapting to climate conditions.

I would like to congratulate you World Meteorological Day and World Water Day, wishing that in the coming period we achieve even better results in the field of early warnings and alerts related to all extreme meteorological and hydrological phenomena and processes.

Director Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, grad. meteorologist Permanent Representative of the Republic of Serbia with the World Meteorological Organization
Director                           

Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, grad. meteorologist
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Serbia      
with the World Meteorological Organization     
 

2021

 DAY OF RHMSS 2021
Address by
Professor Jugoslav Nikolić,
RHMSS Director
 24.09.2021. 
 
 
 
Dear Colleagues, RHMSS employees and contracted staff,

This year, just like the year before, due to the coronavirus situation we are unfortunately not able to celebrate September 27, Day of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS). Since the end of 2019, in the process of adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have gone through swift and dramatic changes in terms of our way of life, interaction, education and daily activities. The pandemic has sped up changes in the performance of meteorological, hydrological and climate activities in many ways. In line with that, our institution has been investing maximum efforts to adapt to the changes and requirements put before the field of meteorology and hydrology in the 21st century. I would briefly like to highlight some of the key RHMSS activities and achievements from the last year, which have enabled us to turn a new leaf in the further development of the National Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Serbia.

Last year was marked by the modernization of the meteorological and hydrological observation system, a key component in the provision of quality, timely and reliable meteorological and hydrological information and warnings on dangerous weather events, as well as by the modernization of the hail suppression system. These advancements will facilitate strategic decision-making process in numerous economy sectors, food production and protection of the environment, which are frequently under a heightened disaster risk due to climate fluctuations and change.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, we have initiated and partially completed the modernization of the hail suppression system on the territory under the jurisdiction of the Bukulja radar center. At the same time, the system modernization project for the territory under the jurisdiction of the Fruska Gora radar center was fully completed in cooperation with the Secretariat for Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry of the autonomous province of Vojvodina.

Within the capital project “Construction and equipping of the Valjevo, Uzice, Petrovac, Besnjaja and Krisevac radar centers”, construction of the Valjevo and Uzice radar centers is ongoing, and a tender is published for the construction of the Besnjaja radar center. During the first half of 2021, in line with the adopted action plan, we have implemented the first phase of the capital project “Modernization of the automatic system for the implementation of the hail suppression methodology”. The additional network of automatic meteorological stations (AMS) has been expanded with the installation of new AMSs in Kladovo and Zagubica, as well as an additional AMS in Kosutnjak. We have successfully completed the re-certification of our Meteorological Laboratory to the SRPS ISO/IEC 17025-2017 standard, valid until 2025.

Along with the observation subsystem, the hydrometeorological early warning and alert system is also composed of the computer and telecommunication subsystem, which provides permanent communication links between RHMSS and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), European Network for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), German National Weather Service (Deutsche Wetterdienst) as a WMO specialized weather center, regional meteorological telecommunication hubs in Vienna and Budapest and relevant national hydrometeorological services. During the previous period, we have improved the operating procedures and protocols within this subsystem.

In the field of numerical atmosphere modelling, we have established cooperation with the Serbian Radiation and Nuclear Safety and Security Directorate (SRBATOM), related to the implementation of the Jrodos project dealing with the establishment of a decision support system in the event of radiological emergencies.

The research activities of RHMSS have mostly been conducted within its National Climate Change Center. Following the interest of the international community to better understand the high-latitude atmospheric processes in terms of climate variations and Arctic ice melting, RHMSS has improved the DREAM numerical aerosol model developed by Serbian scientists. Modelling results relate to the role of sand in the ice cover melting process. Using the DREAM numerical model, RHMSS has been calculating and forecasting the transport of Saharan sand to the South East Europe area on a daily level, with a special focus on examining the impacts of this aerosol on climate, in line with WMO recommendations. This RHMSS activity is mentioned in this year’s report of the UN Secretary General, dedicated to the issue of sand transport and impacts, which will be presented at the forthcoming session of the UN Assembly. This mention, I believe, carries huge significance and contributes to the success of not only our institution, but also Serbia as a country, especially taking into consideration that this type of UN reports very rarely references specific national meteorological services. RHMSS has also continued its research activities related to the mineral aerosol impacts on cloud ice formation and its possible impacts on air traffic. In his yearly report, which will be presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2021 (available at: https://undocs.org/en/A/76/219, par. 14 p. 6), the UN Secretary General has particularly mentioned the National Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Serbia and its work in sand modelling and accelerated ice cover melting process.

In the previous period, RHMSS has continued its activities on numerous projects and international, intersectoral and expert working groups such as: Danube River Basin Enhanced Flood Forecasting Cooperation (DAREFFORT) project; West Balkans Drina River Basin Management (WBDRBM) project; Working Group for the Production of the National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation according to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification (UNCCD); Working Group for the Preparation of an Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan; Working Group for Progress Monitoring and Assessment in the Production of an Air Protection Strategy (Program) and Action Plan; Sectoral Working Group for Climate Change within Negotiating Group 27; Working Group for the Production of a Specific Implementation Plan for the INSPIRE Directive within the Additional Development of EU Environmental Approximation for Air, Chemicals and Horizontal Acquis (EAS 3) project; Climate Observations, Modelling and Services in Europe project; Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan; Establishment of a Transparency Framework in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; Establishment of an MRV System aimed at monitoring nationally defined greenhouse gas emissions and reporting requirements stemming from the Paris Agreement.

As a measure of adaptation to the current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, international cooperation activities have been carried out via teleconferences. The most important international online meetings attended by RHMSS Director, who is also the Permanent Representative of Serbia with WMO, were the meetings of WMO constituent bodies: the First Session of the Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications (SERCOM), 22-26 February, and the Second Session of the Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems (INFCOM), 12-16 April 2021. Along with that, it is important to note the participation of RHMSS representatives at the 26th regular session of the Assembly of the European Network of National Meteorological Services (EUMETNET), 17-18 May, and its extraordinary session on June 25; as well as at the 99th and 100th session of the Council of the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), held on June 3 and 29, respectively. A RHMSS representative also participated in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), 22-26 April. The South East European Consortium for Operational weather Prediction (SEECOP), operating within the EUMETNET’s Forecasting Program, has been performing its coordination and research & development functions. The 6th SEECOP Council session was held on 19 January 2021. RHMSS coordinated the 25th South East European Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF). This Forum, organized as a series of online sessions throughout May, analyzed and assessed the forecasting products from the previous SEECOF session and prepared a seasonal climate outlook for the region of Southeastern Europe (http://www.seevccc.rs/?p=22).

We have achieved significant results across all RHMSS departments while at the same time protecting the health and lives of the entire RHMSS staff. I would once again like to congratulate the Day of RHMSS to all RHMSS employees and contracted staff, hoping for a final defeat of this invisible global enemy, convinced that we will celebrate this anniversary joyfully for the many years to come.

Director                           

Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, graduate meteorologist
Permanent Representative of Serbia      
with the World Meteorological Organization    
 

 International Day of the Sava River  01.06.2021. 
 
 
 
As a way of marking the International Day of the Sava River, June 1st, the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), in cooperation with the competent institutions from the Parties to the Framework Agreement on the Sava River Basin (FASRB), carries out celebratory activities each year with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of the Sava River for all segments of our lives and of the need to protect the water resources and preserve the environment and the cultural heritage of the Sava River Basin.

One of the goals of the activities is raising awareness of the need for and ways of protection against the harmful effects of water. With that in mind, ISRBC, in cooperation with the hydrometeorological services, organized the installation of high water marks at selected locations in all four countries of the Sava River Basin, along with the accompanying programme.

In the Republic of Serbia, the event was organized at the Sava Port in Belgrade, where a mark was installed, next to the hydrological station, showing the highest recorded water level (H=738 cm, 16 April 2006), and on this occasion, a representative of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS) gave a brief presentation. Along with the representatives of ISRBC and RHMSS, the event was attended by the representatives of the Public Water Management Company Srbijavode and the School for Tourism and Hospitality from Belgrade.
 

 WORLD METEOROLOGICAL/
WATER DAY 2021
Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, graduate meteorologist
 23.03.2021. 
 
Dear Colleagues from the field of meteorology and hydrology, I wish to extend my congratulations to you on the occasion of World Meteorological Day and World Water Day. In the recent years we used to mark these days with celebratory gatherings, but this year it will not be possible because the invisible global enemy is still among us. As you know, World Meteorological Day commemorates the coming into force, 70 years ago, on 23 March 1950, of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, dealing with research, monitoring and forecasting of atmospheric, climate and water processes and conditions, while World Water Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and is observed around the world on 22 March every year.

Every year, the World Meteorological Organization devotes World Meteorological Day to a different relevant theme. This year, the selected theme is “the ocean, our climate and weather”. If we add the slogan “valuing water”, which is the theme of this year’s World Water Day, we complete the circle of fundamental sustainable development elements.

When it comes to the weather and climate, most people think about the atmospheric processes. However, in order to comprehend those processes, we have to take into account the role of the ocean that covers nearly 70% of the Earth’s surface. The atmosphere-ocean interaction plays an important role in the understanding of weather conditions in all regions of the world. The oceans are the greatest heat reservoir on the planet, and a slight change in their temperature can cause certain changes in the regional-scale weather patterns, leading to the variation of many meteorological and climatological parameters. In the several last decades, climatologists have focused major attention to the study of the impact of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emission to the increase of air temperature. Along with being heat reservoirs and having an important role in the exchange of heat with the lower atmospheric layers, oceans significantly affect the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. Depending on the heating and cooling of the global ocean, air temperature rises and falls are observed in the world and in Serbia (figure 1).




Weather, climate and water are crucial for overall wellbeing, health and food safety. On the other hand, they can have a destructive power. Severe events, such as heavy precipitation, heat waves, heavy droughts, winter weather disasters, extremely low temperatures or tropical cyclones represent real danger to human lives and livelihoods. We are the witnesses of the intensity and frequency of some of those events.

There have lately been frequent disagreements in the scientific and expert community related to the understanding of terms “weather” and “climate”, which has led to debates and refutations of conclusions regardless of their relevance. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that weather is the state of meteorological elements and meteorological phenomena at the observed area and time interval ranging from several minutes to one hour, one day, ten days, one month, one season or one vegetation period. When it comes to the climate, it should first be considered if it is a phenomenon or a resource. It can be defined both as a resource and a phenomenon. Climate is a renewable natural resource: energy resource (Sun and wind), material resource (precipitation) and biomass resource (combined with soil). As a phenomenon, climate is defined based on the experiences with weather events. A classic definition includes mean values, extremes, frequency of occurrence and other statistical parameters related to meteorological conditions over a relatively long time interval. The shortest-term climate variability is seasonal in character.

Along with meteorological, climate also includes other factors. Climate is a result of geophysical, astronomical and many other factors. It is a reflection of the state of the geophysical system in planetary proportions, and its changes are conditioned by the changes in the geophysical system. Climate and climate variations are influenced by many factors, which makes the study of climate and climate change rather complicated.

In the last 35 years 350 floods occurred on the major rivers in Europe, 220 of them in the last 12 years. Heavy floods in Serbia were recorded in 1980, 1981, 1988, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2016, and in the previous three summers, around 15 municipalities in Central Serbia proclaimed the state of emergency due to the flooding of rivers. The rainiest year in Serbia was 2014, while heavy droughts occurred in 2000, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The longest heat wave in Belgrade was recorded in the summer of 2012, while maximum air temperature in Belgrade of 43.6oC was measured on 24 July 2007. Heat-related extreme events may cause: heat stroke, cardiovascular diseases, dehydration and other complications.

On the territory of Serbia, 2019 and 2018 were the warmest years in the period from 1951 until today. Thirteen out of fifteen warmest years in Serbia were registered after 2000 (1951-2019), and fourteen in Belgrade (1888-2019).

Over many decades, the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS) has been focusing its full attention to the improvement of its forecasting system, from hourly to seasonal forecasts, using the knowledge on the manner in which the ocean-atmosphere interaction shapes weather and climate.

Viewing climate as a dynamic system driven by the atmosphere, ocean, surface processes, cryosphere and biosphere, was initiated in the mid-80s, both in the leading hydrometeorological services around the world and in Serbia. Due to the long-term researching, the Republic of Serbia has become a regional leader in the field of numerical weather and climate modelling. With a view to improving the forecasting system on the regional level, RHMSS initiated the establishment of the South East European Consortium for Operational weather Prediction (SEECOP) in 2015.

RHMSS hosts the sub-regional South East European Virtual Climate Change Center (SEEVCCC), which operates as part of the Network of Regional Climate Centers (RCC-Network) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). At the same time, RHMSS coordinates the South East European Climate Outlook Forum (SEECOF), thus supporting WMO’s Climate Outlook Forums mechanism. At a workshop held in Offenbach in October 2020, it was shown that the SEEVCCC products were used operationally in 12 National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs).

RHMSS plays a fundamental role in meteorological and hydrological events early warning and disaster risk reduction. As the National Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, RHMSS successfully carries out the international cooperation activities in the field of meteorology and hydrology, as well as in the research and monitoring of climate and climate change. RHMSS has also developed a special framework of regional and bilateral cooperation by participating in the implementation of joint projects.

The activities, tasks and challenges ahead of RHMSS testify to its commitment to achieve the tasks and goals set by our country and its citizens and put by the World Meteorological Organization before the NMHSs of its member states.

Once again, I would like to thank all members of the meteorological and hydrological community for their dilligence in performing their duties, and to wish them a happy World Meteorological Day and World Water Day.

RHMSS Director, Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, graduate meteorologist
 

2020

 Deputy Ambassador of FRANCE Mr Nicolas Faye visited RHMSS  04.12.2020. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upon the request of the Embassy of France in Belgrade, Director of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS), Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, held a meeting with Deputy Ambassador of France in Belgrade, Mr Nicolas Faye, on 4 December 2020. The topic of the meeting was the relocation of one department of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMFW). Due to Brexit, the ECMWF facility for EU-funded activities shall be moved from Reading, UK, where ECMWF is seated, to one of the bidding countries from the EU, France being among them. Mr Faye officially informed Professor Nikolic that the city of Toulouse, where the key operational Meteo France services were located, had been put forward as French candidate to host ECMWF’s facility for EU-funded activities, with firm guarantees pledged by France. RHMSS’ capacities for potential partnership on certain projects related to atmospheric monitoring, climate, climate change, floods and fires were also presented at the meeting.

ECMWF is a European intergovernmental expert organization composed of 23 Member States from Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Spain, France, Serbia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Turkey, Slovenia, United Kingdom and Croatia. ECMWF also has 11 Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Morocco, South Macedonia, Israel and Montenegro) and partners with numerous international organizations (World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), EU’s Joint Research Center (JRC), European Space Agency (ESA), Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), Executive Body of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), African Centre for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) etc.).

Upon the initiative of RHMSS, the Republic of Serbia became a full member of ECMWF in 2015, gaining the right to decide on the strategically important issues related to the ECMWF development and use of its benefits. The body in charge of the implementation of the ECMWF Convention is the Republic Hydrometeorological Service.
 

 Austrian Ambassador Mr Nikolaus Lutterotti visited RHMSS  19.10.2020. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Upon the request of the Austrian Embassy in Belgrade, Director of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS), Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, held a meeting with Austrian Ambassador to Belgrade, Mr Nikolaus Lutterotti, accompanied by Deputy Head of Austrian Mission, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ms Sabine Kroissenbrunner, on 19 October 2020. During the meeting, Professor Nikolic presented RHMSS activities and regional cooperation, which was followed by the discussion on the possibilities of further cooperation on joint projects in the Danube Basin, focused on the issues related to the floods, droughts and early warnings on meteorological and hydrological extremes.

On this occassion, Ambassador Lutterotti officially informed Professor Nikolic, as the Permanent Representative of Serbia to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and representative of Serbia at the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), that the Government of Austria had decided to put forward its candidacy to host two ECMWF's Copernicus Services in Vienna. Numerous advantages of Vienna were presented, depicting Vienna as a suitable location for the mentioned services and highlighting the first-rate research institutions and conditions for cooperaton in this field that Austria could provide if supported and selected as the host.
 

 DAY OF RHMSS
Professor Jugoslav Nikolić,
grad. meteorologist,
RHMSS Director
 26.09.2020. 
 
Dear Colleagues, RHMSS employees and contracted staff,

This year, for the first time, due to the coronavirus situation, we are not able to celebrate September 27th, Day of the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia, marking the date when in distant 1888, that is, 132 years ago, Dr Vladan Djordjevic, the Minister of Education and Church Affairs at the time, issued a Decree on the establishment of the first unified national network of meteorological stations in the Kingdom of Serbia. Traditionally, during the ceremony dedicated to the Day of RHMSS, we used to present a critical review of the working results from the previous period. In all RHMSS departments we have indeed achieved substantial results that should be reported; this year, however, we have decided to abstain from using the usual format, because the protection of your health and lives, as well as the lives of your loved ones, is an imperative for us.

Our institution, which is a leader in the region and highly regarded in Europe and worldwide, has sufficient know-how and technical capacities to provide our country, our government, our economy and all citizens of the Republic of Serbia with meteorological and hydrological data and products of significance for the preventive protection of people’s lives and property and of our economy, without the risk of endangering the health of any of you.

I would like to thank all members of the meteorological and hydrological community, as well as the RHMSS staff, who, even in the most difficult circumstances, have enabled permanent operation of the Hydrometeorological Early Warning and Alert System, for the sake of preventive protection of people’s lives and property from extreme weather, climate and hydrological events and disasters, and provided data and information of significance for the mitigation of risks related to the impact of weather hazards, adaptation to changed climate conditions and performance of numerous jobs and everyday activities of citizens.

While waiting for the inevitable defeat of this invisible global enemy, I believe that we shall celebrate this jubilee joyfully for the many years to come.


RHMSS Director,

Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, grad. meteorologist
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Serbia
with the World Meteorological Organization

 

 WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY AND WORLD WATER DAY DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY
Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, graduate meteorologist
 23.03.2020. 
 
Dear colleagues, employees and contractors at the Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS) and other institutions and companies,

For the first time we are not able to celebrate World Meteorological Day and World Water Day because we are fighting against a mighty and an invisible enemy. At this moment, due to the Coronavirus situation, it is essential to preserve your and your beloved ones’ health and lives. I therefore ask you to rigorously adhere to all recommendations related to the preventive measures that have been and are being introduced by the state of Serbia, but also by our institution that has been at the forefront of these efforts so far. We have enough knowledge and technical capacities to provide to our state, our Government and all the citizens of the Republic of Serbia meteorological and hydrological data and products of importance for the preventive protection of people’s lives and property, without risking the health of any of you. The only requirement is for all of us to strictly follow all given recommendations, to be disciplined and solidary in this emergency conditions, and to use our knowledge, capabilities and technical capacities.

Every year up to now, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and its 193 Member States, as well as the meteorological expert and scientific community worldwide, have traditionally celebrated March 23rd as World Meteorological Day, commemorating the date from seventy years ago, in 1950, when the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations dealing with the research, monitoring and forecasting of atmospheric, climate and water processes and changes, came into force. World Water Day, in line with a UN General Assembly Resolution, has been celebrated since 22nd March 1993. In recent years we have been marking the two dates jointly.

This year World Meteorological Day and World Water Day share the same theme – Climate and Water, under the slogan “Count every drop because every drop counts”. It was decided to share the same theme and slogan due to the fact that climate and water are inextricably linked and both lie at the heart of global goals on sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

Water is one of the most precious commodities of the 21st century, and more than 2 billion people do not have access to clean water. Disaster risk reduction and water management would be unimaginable without climate and water data. The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services play a key role in this. RHMSS, accordingly, constantly works on the enhancement of its hydrometeorological early warning and alert system. This complex system includes: meteorological and hydrological observation system; hydrometeorological telecommunication system; system for the analyses, forecasts, early warnings and alerts of disasters and hazards; system of climate monitoring, warnings and alerts on extreme climate variations; drought monitoring and early warning; and system for analyzing and mapping the risks of meteorological and climate disasters and production of the Extreme Weather Events Vulnerability Assessment of the Republic of Serbia.

Through the provision of meteorological and hydrological observations and scientific analyses, through research and delivery of operational climate services, RHMSS contributes to building society’s resilience and increasing the efficiency of adaptation to climate fluctuation and change.

I would like to thank the members of the meteorological and hydrological community and the employees of the institutions from these two fields, who are enabling, in these exceptionally difficult times of emergency, smooth permanent operation of the hydrometeorological early warning and alert system with the goal of preventive protection of people’s lives and property from extreme weather, climate and hydrological events and disasters, and who are providing data and information significant for the mitigation of risks from the impacts of weather disasters, adaptation to changed climate conditions and performance of numerous economic activities, as well as citizens’ everyday activities.

I wish you to stay strong, until the victory against this invisible global enemy, hoping and believing that we will celebrate these two dates joyfully in the many years to come.

RHMSS Director,

Professor Jugoslav Nikolic, graduate meteorologist
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Serbia
with the World Meteorological Organization
 

2019

 RHMSS - Cooperation with the most developed European countries  27.06.2019. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RHMSS Director, Prof. Jugoslav Nikolić, as a member of the Council of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and representative of the Republic of Serbia to ECMWF, actively participates in the work of the 94th session of the ECMWF Council, held in Lisbon, on 27 and 28 June 2019.

The Republic of Serbia has been a full ECMWF member since 2015, along with 22 of the most developed European countries (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, etc.) and 12 cooperating states.
The Council will make important decisions defining the work of ECMWF related to the provision of meteorological services to the National Meteorological Services in the following period, bearing in mind the conditions surrounding the relocation of the ECMWF data centre from Reading (UK) to Bologna (Italy), where a new data centre will be set up with one of the currently most poweful supercomputer networks in the world, with the aim of calculating meteorological products using high-resolution models in real time. The Republic of Serbia will greatly benefit from using this data centre.
 

LINK: Archive - News from RHMS of Serbia (2013-2018)

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