Severe Weather Information Centre 3.0
A Core Component of the WMO Global
Multi-hazard Alert System (GMAS) Framework
Supporting UN Early Warnings for All Initiative

About this website

The Severe Weather Information Centre (SWIC) is a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) website that provides a single and centralized source for the media and the general public to access official warning and information issued by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) efficiently and effectively. The website was developed and maintained by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO). The website began trial run on 10 September 2001 and became operational on 23 March 2005. A total of 21 WMO Members participated in the operation of SWIC.

The SWIC website covers tropical cyclone in the following regions:

  • Western North Pacific Ocean and South China Sea
  • South-East Indian Ocean, Arafura Sea, Gulf of Carpenteria, Coral Sea, Solomon Sea and Gulf of Papua
  • South-West Pacific Ocean
  • Tasman Sea
  • Central North Pacific Ocean
  • South-West Indian Ocean
  • Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea
  • Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Oceans

The information provided or linked to by the SWIC website were advisories issued by Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) on basic information of the current tropical cyclones, and official warnings issued by NMHSs for their respective countries or regions. Apart from tropical cyclones, the SWIC website also covers other severe weather types such as heavy rain/snow, thunderstorms, gale, and fog.

During the 17th World Meteorological Congress (Cg-17), it was noted that the SWIC, as a centralized source of official weather warnings, could be enhanced as another channel for disseminating weather warnings in Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) format. Considering the progress and accomplishment made by the SWIC in strengthening the recognition of NMHSs by providing a centralized and authoritative source of official weather warnings to the public and media, Cg-17 requested to enhance the SWIC to enable the website to disseminate official weather warnings that would be provided in CAP format by WMO Members.

Following the Seventieth Session of the Executive Council (EC-70) of the WMO in 2018, the enhanced SWIC websites was identified as initial core components of the Global Multi-hazard Alert System (GMAS) provided that GMAS is approved by Cg-18 in 2019. The enhanced SWIC will provide a web-based user interface with a Geographical Information Systems (GIS)-based map display to GMAS users, ensuring the attribution of NMHSs and WMO as authoritative sources of warnings and alerts.

In 2023, the EC-76 approved the GMAS Framework Implementation Plan. The SWIC is considered to be a core component of the GMAS framework for increasing and enhancing the availability of authoritative warnings and information related to extreme and/or potentially high-impact weather, water and climate events. In contribution to the United Nations’ Early Warnings for All (EW4All) initiative, the SWIC was enhanced to make available official warnings in CAP format from more than 130 WMO Members as at early 2024. In addition, the SWIC 3.0 website fosters the sharing of authoritative warnings among WMO Members, and promotes to increase the visibility of WMO Members, which is crucial for acquiring resources to strengthen and sustain their early warning services in combating hazardous weather, water, climate and related environmental events and to develop and enhance societal resilience.