Met dept secures disaster prediction technology

By Wellington Makonese

Climate change has heightened the country’s adoption of latest weather prediction systems, with government having procured weather radars that assess storms, their speed and magnitude in specific areas.

In marking the World Meteorological Services Day, the Minister of Environment Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honourable Mangaliso Ndlovu highlighted the importance of latest technologies in ascertaining prevailing weather patterns.

Said Hon Ndlovu: “For much time not attention has not been done. From a government perspective, we have been impressed by our process of equipping our department and we are installing automatic weather prediction. We are beginning at head office to install a radar and we are receiving two more radars this coming week. By end of April these two will be done and three more in May.”

“We are valuing accuracy. We will be the first country in SADC to have such a number of radars. Of course, South Africa has one, but we will cover all. This is a first. For more 10 years we haven’t done this.”

The Meteorological Services Department has set its sights on improving provision of area specific weather information.

“Currently, we are working on a national framework on weather climate and our aim is to bring area-specific and sector-specific information. We are working with various sectors to co-produce technologies that are specific,” the Deputy Director Public Weather Services with the Meteorological Services Department, Linia Gopo noted.

To work along with the radars, government also handed over vans to the Meteorological Services Department, which works closely with the Civil Protection Department in issuing early warning systems.

The country has 47 weather stations and is in the process of establishing district centres to improve area-specific weather predictions.