What was known: Weather forecast availability and communication in conflict-affected countries

C. Jaime*, Erin Coughlan de Perez, M. van Aalst, Emmanuel Raju, Alexandra Sheaffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Armed conflict increases people's vulnerability to climate extremes. Since many of these climate extremes are predictable beforehand, Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) can help protect people's lives, livelihoods, and wellbeing. While such EWEA systems exist in several countries, there is limited scientific knowledge about EWEA in conflict-affected countries where communities experience the compounding effects of both disaster and conflict risks. By doing a retrospective analysis of the most severe disaster events and historical forecast information, this paper examines whether global forecast models predicted historical floods in conflict-affected regions and whether forecast information was communicated for droughts. It analyses the historical forecast availability and communication for the most severe disaster events in 20 countries affected by protracted conflict over the last 20 years. These 72 disaster events were reported to affect approximately 150 million individuals and more than 150,000 were reported dead. The results show that heavy rainfall was predicted in advance for 48 out of 50 flood events, with lead times of more than three days and probabilities between 10 and 90%. In addition, in 16 out of 20 major drought events a low rainfall forecast was communicated in advance of the disaster declaration. We conclude that forecasts exist and could be used to provide early warnings in conflict-affected areas. Further research is needed as to what extent forecast warnings did lead to early action to protect populations affected by conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103421
JournalInternational journal of disaster risk reduction
Early online date7 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Anticipatory action
  • Armed conflict
  • Climate
  • Conflict
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Early action
  • Early warning
  • Forecast
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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