Ninety percent of disasters are weather-related, according to the United Nations. Major disasters can have significant impacts on people’s lives and communities, even jeopardizing a country’s economic progress. 2017 was the costliest year on record, from hurricanes and wildfires to droughts and floods; global economic losses totaled more than $330 billion that year.
Russia, with its vast natural territory, is among the many countries facing severe challenges brought about by climate change. Indeed, economic losses and human casualties resulting from floods in the Far East, Siberia, and South of Russia have shown how vulnerable the country is to weather-related and climate change disasters. The World Bank estimates that weather-related disasters cost the Russian economy between $1 billion and $2 billion each year.
Weather forecasts play a critical role in alerting authorities to potential disasters. Improving hydrometeorological forecasting and early warning systems could also mean significant financial savings for Russia, and boost economic productivity at the same time. Every dollar invested in the national hydrometeorological service has the potential to generate at least three dollars’ worth of socio-economic benefits.
Accurate forecasts and sufficiently early warnings for floods, high winds, and extreme heat, save lives and property. Forecasts can also help public and private institutions make more-timely, better-informed economic decisions to address climate challenges. Reliable weather services help operations run more smoothly in many weather-dependent sectors, such as transport, agriculture, energy, and tourism.