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2016-09-05 | Strengthening cooperation between Nordic and Baltic countries

Annual meeting of the directors of Nordic and Baltic national meteorological and hydrological services (BALTMET) and 19th Council of Nordic meteorological and hydrological services (NORDMET) were held in Mežotne (Latvia) on 25-26 August 2016, attended by the Director of Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service, Mr Saulius Balys, and the Deputy Director, Ms Vida Augulienė.

During the meeting, executives of Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Swedish meteorological and hydrological services informed about main results achieved by their institutions, presented their plans for the future. The Director of Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service, Mr Saulius Balys, delivered a presentation "To change public attitude as a main goal". The issues of mutual cooperation, participation in international meteorological organizations and project activities were discussed.

Two important cooperation documents were signed during the meeting: Memorandum of Understanding and Co-operation Agreement – both common for Baltic and Nordic countries. The latter has replaced the BALTMET cooperation agreement between Nordic and Baltic national meteorological and hydrological services, signed back in 2002. The merger of two regional organizations NORDMET and BALTMET is important for the national hydrometeorological services of the Baltic countries, seeking closer cooperation with their Nordic colleagues in addressing topical issues of meteorology and hydrology.

One of the most important issues discussed at the already joint NORDMET Council meeting – development of a common numerical weather prediction system for the Nordic region. Following merger of NORDMET and BALTMET, meteorological and hydrological services of the Baltic countries will also be able to join the Nordic numerical weather prediction project. The project's principal goal - to combine resources and competencies of individual countries seeking to create a joint Nordic numerical weather modeling system to originate and deliver the best numerical weather forecasts for the region. The Baltic representatives expressed their interest to participate and have committed to explore their possibilities to join the project. It is planned that the numerical weather forecasts modeling system should become operational by 2022.