||This article contains instructions, advice, or how-to content. (October 2011)|
www.meteoalarm.eu is the official website from Europe’s national weather services that will provide advice on exceptional weather. It is intended for anyone travelling through Europe. Pictograms and colour-coded maps of Europe show at a glance where the weather in the next 24 till 48 hours might be, or soon become, dangerous. The level of risk is colour-coded, based on likely damage, disruption and danger.
Thanks to the use of similar and easy pictograms and colour-coding everyone can instantly understand the weather messages, whichever country is involved and whatever language is spoken. Gales, torrential rain, snow and ice, thunder and lightning, fog and extreme temperatures are all indicated, as well as weather conditions that could lead to increased risk, such as storm surges and high waves, forest fires and avalanches. Behind the pictograms there is a link to the current warnings. More detailed information is given on the WebPages of the co-operating weather services. These are easy to visit by clicking on the country and then on the logo of the weather service.
There are four colours to point out the weather conditions in a certain European country: green, yellow, orange and red.
If a country is coloured green, then there’s nothing to worry about.
This means potential danger. The weather is unlikely to be extreme but care is called for in activities that are dependent on the weather.
Danger. There is severe weather that may cause damage or accidents. The weather brings risks. It is wise to be careful and keep abreast of the latest developments in the weather. Take heed of advice given by the authorities.
Great danger from extremely severe weather. Major damage and accidents are likely, in many cases with threat to life and limb, over a wide area. It’s wise to be extremely careful, pay constant attention to bulletins and obey the instructions and advice given by the authorities. There may be exceptional measures taken.
Especially for people who are colour-blind, the site has a greyscale map which translates the warning colours in different greyscales.
Meteoalarm.eu is developed by EUMETNET, the network of public European weather services who are members of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The weather service of Austria (Zentral Anstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik) is the responsible member for this project and does the technical realisation. The Dutch public weather service KNMI (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut) gave close support. This project is officially called the European Multiservice Meteorological Awareness Project or EMMA-project.
The member countries of www.meteoalarm.eu are: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
The EMMA-project received in October 2008 the EMS (European Meteorological Society) Outreach & Communication Award for the website www.meteoalarm.eu. The panel thought that this project was an excellent example of putting a bridge between weather services, science and society.
Usage and future developments
The daily access rates reach 12 million per day during warning situations. In the future the website will be expanding. Probably more countries will be participating. It is foreseen to connect with information providers and to disseminate weather warnings through SMS and email. A feedback feature with the possibility to present photographs from users might be a further step.