Past heavy rainfall events and disasters have shown that, among other things, warning systems must also be adapted to new challenges and needs. For precisely this reason, the first DKKV workshop was dedicated to the topic “The development of the new warning system of the German Meteorological Service: needs of operational practice and current state of development”. The Werkstatt took place on 18 April 2023 at the DWD headquarters in Offenbach.

More than 30 participants from practice and research, among them e.g. fire brigades, THW, rescue services, but also research institutions such as CEDIM and universities, exchanged information on the new warning system RainBoW of the DWD as well as on further needs of practice. The aim of the workshop was in particular to find out the needs and requirements of the practical partners with regard to the DWD’s warning systems, so that these can be taken into account in the development of the new warning system. The DWD is continuously developing its product range. With the RainBoW programme (risk-based, application-oriented, customisable provision of optimised warning information), the warning system is to be reformed and expanded with impact information.

After a short welcome by Benni Thiebes, DKKV, and Andreas Lambrecht, DWD, Kathrin Feige, DWD, presented the new RainBoW programme. Afterwards, Ronja Winkhardt-Enz from DKKV gave a short impulse on the needs of the practice, which had been asked for in a previous survey, and then opened the room for the practice partners, who shared their previous experiences and further needs.

Small groups then discussed selected topics in four interactive word cafés. Table 1 focused on the exchange of data sets. Possible combinations were discussed using data sets brought along by the BOS representatives, data from the DWD and crowdsourcing data. Table 2 focused on the various findings from practice. This included which experiences have been made so far and which warning media of the DWD are used, which advance warning times are necessary and how the probabilities on which weather warnings are based are and can be dealt with. At table 3, various ideas on product design and impact products were collected. And finally, at table 4, various training needs, their required scope and required contents were discussed.

In the afternoon, Martin Göber from the DWD and Nico Becker from the FU Berlin held keynote speeches on the topic of communication – insights into the WEXICON project of the Hans-Ertel Centre for Weather Research and the acquisition of test users for impact-oriented information.

The day showed how important it is to bring the different actors to one table and to exchange ideas openly. In the first DKKV workshop, the various requirements that are important in practice could already be collected and discussed. The DKKV workshop series will now be continued and selected aspects will be dealt with in greater depth in future workshops. In this way, we would like to use the format to help build bridges from research to practice and optimise the topic of warning.