Our impact-based forecasting initiative is an effort to develop decision support systems at national meteorological and hydrometeorological services. The goal is to provide information about the impact of a hydrometeorological hazard(s) to an individual or community at risk. In the case of both weather forecasts and warnings, the focus is on…

  • what the weather will be
  • what the weather will evolve to
  • what the weather will do
  • how it will impact the community

A Phased Approach

The project has been following the six-phase Impact-Based Forecasting System (IBFS) implementation guidance comprised of the following components:




Collect data and develop hazard, risk, response matrices

Expand stakeholder participation

Develop forecaster and disaster management interface




Develop standard operating procedures

Impact-based forecasting demonstration

Public awareness and outreach

Example Implementation

Barbados suffers from storm surges, flash floods, landslides and more. Barbados has partnered with the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), CDEMA, and the Eastern Caribbean Disaster Program Group/Disaster Management (ECDPG/DM) for risk-informed planning of activities related to severe weather events in Eastern Caribbean States. COMET and ICDP are supporting the implementation of an IBFS and the expansion of standard operating procedures to include IBFS in Barbados and eventually other CMO countries.

A formalized IBFS has been established in Barbados. The main stakeholders in the IBFS implementation are the Barbados Meteorological Service (BMS), Barbados Department of Emergency Management (DEM), and CIMH. These groups have taken the lead in developing standardized hazard matrices for the various hazards that require early warning and impact-based forecasting, including high winds, severe convection, and heavy rainfall events. Secondary stakeholders have been included in developing the impact and risk and response matrices. The agencies include CDEMA, Coastal Zone Unit (CZU), airport operations, first responders, harbor operations, and other groups that depend on DEM for guidance during high-impact hazardous events.