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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Dec 23;12(1):254-67. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120100254.

Developing a heatwave early warning system for Sweden: evaluating sensitivity of different epidemiological modelling approaches to forecast temperatures.

Author information

1
Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicin, Umeå University, SE901 87 Umeå, Sweden. christofer.astrom@envmed.umu.se.
2
Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicin, Umeå University, SE901 87 Umeå, Sweden. Ekrisebi@essllc.org.
3
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SE601 76 Norrköping, Sweden. joakim.langner@smhi.se.
4
Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicin, Umeå University, SE901 87 Umeå, Sweden. bertil.forsberg@envmed.umu.se.

Abstract

Over the last two decades a number of heatwaves have brought the need for heatwave early warning systems (HEWS) to the attention of many European governments. The HEWS in Europe are operating under the assumption that there is a high correlation between observed and forecasted temperatures. We investigated the sensitivity of different temperature mortality relationships when using forecast temperatures. We modelled mortality in Stockholm using observed temperatures and made predictions using forecast temperatures from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts to assess the sensitivity. We found that the forecast will alter the expected future risk differently for different temperature mortality relationships. The more complex models seemed more sensitive to inaccurate forecasts. Despite the difference between models, there was a high agreement between models when identifying risk-days. We find that considerations of the accuracy in temperature forecasts should be part of the design of a HEWS. Currently operating HEWS do evaluate their predictive performance; this information should also be part of the evaluation of the epidemiological models that are the foundation in the HEWS. The most accurate description of the relationship between high temperature and mortality might not be the most suitable or practical when incorporated into a HEWS.

PMID:
25546283
PMCID:
PMC4306860
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph120100254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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