An experimental Environmental Watch System, the so-called Observatorio Andino (OA), has been implemented in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile over the past 2 yr. The OA is a collaborative and regional network that aims to monitor several environmental variables and develop accurate forecasts based on different scientific tools. Its overall goal is to improve risk assessments, set up early warning systems, support decision-making processes, and provide easily and intuitively understandable spatial maps to end users. The initiative works under the scientific and logistic coordination of the Centro de Modelado Científico (CMC) at Zulia University, Venezuela, and the Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno “El Niño” (CIIFEN), and it is operated at a local level by the national weather services (NWSs) of the above-mentioned six Andean nations. The OA provides several freely available model outputs, including meteorological and hydrological forecasts, droughts, fire and flood indices, ecosystems dynamics, climate and health applications, and 5-day high-resolution oceanographic predictions for the eastern Pacific. This article briefly describes the current products, methodologies, and dynamical and statistical modeling outputs provided by the OA. Also, a discussion on how these sets of tools have been put together as a coordinated scientific watch and forecast system for each country and for the entire region is presented. Our experiences over the past 2 yr suggest that this initiative would significantly improve the current decision-making processes in Andean countries.

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Footnotes

Centro de Modelado Científico, La Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela, and Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno El Niño, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET), Madrid, Spain

Servicio de Meteorología de la Fuerza Aérea Venezolana (SEMETF AV), Maracay, Venezuela

Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales (ID EAM), Bagotá, Colombia

Instituto Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (IN AMHI), Guayaquil, Ecuador

Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (SENAMHI), Lima, Peru

Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología (SENAMHI), La Paz, Bolivia

Dirección Meteorológica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Centro de Modelado Científico, La Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela