Global prediction partnerships would cost little and reduce the regional carnage caused by floods, droughts and tropical cyclones, argues Peter J. Webster.

The uncertainty associated with predicting extreme weather events has serious implications for the developing world, owing to the greater societal vulnerability to such events. Continual exposure to unanticipated extreme events is a contributing factor for the descent into perpetual and structural rural poverty. We provide two examples of how probabilistic environmental prediction of extreme weather events can support dynamic adaptation. In the current climate era, we describe how short-term flood forecasts have been developed and implemented in Bangladesh.