“I feel extremely happy and honoured! I hope to contribute with both mine and SMHI's expertise in operational hydrology, water and climate services, capacity development and international relations,” says Cristina Alionte Eklund.
She works on a daily basis with “Capacity Development” which is designed to support weather and water institutions in other countries, primarily in Africa in order to develop relevant water and climate information services.
Cristina is a hydrologist and has extensive experience in international project management. By way of example, she has worked with the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) - the first operational monitoring and forecasting service for European rivers - which SMHI has been tasked to run. Cristina is already part of the “Advisory Group” for the “WMO Flood Forecasting Initiative.”
European water and climate services
“The new role of hydrological advisor means that I will be supporting the WMO and its President for Region Europe with my hydrological expertise. This includes the implementation of the WMO regional operational plan,” says Cristina.
She is also Co-Chair of the Working Group on Climate and Hydrology. This consists of six teams working on a multitude of issues that will strengthen the ability of Europe's various meteorological and hydrological institutes to jointly deliver user-friendly products and services.
“In order to achieve this goal, we need to improve access to regional climate and water information, and to develop the management and exchange of data between countries.”
Cristina will also be working with coordination relevant to other activities going on within the WMO and the European Commission, for example, the above mentioned EFAS.