The Varysian Guide Hydrometeorology Issue 1 - Initiatives, Challenges, Innovations and Solutions

Page 1

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Foreword p5



Q&A with ‘Ofa Fa’Anunu, WMO RA V President /Climate resilience in the Pacific Islands / Factoring in mental health / Advancements in weather satellites / ENDANDES

Published by Varysian

Editor/Senior Content Manager

Keri Allan

Chief Executive Officer

Tom Copping


Hydromet Value Chain

Q&A with Yolanda González Hernández, Past WMO RA III President / Integrating meteorological information into wildfire operations / Enabling early warnings / Co-create a meteorological value chain / Capacity building to counter extreme weather events / An early warning system for the Andes / Pollution monitoring / Saving lives in Malawi / All the way to the end users

Managing Director

Luke Pierce

Operations Manager

Katie Barkans

Partnerships Manager – Private Sector

Liam Smith

Editorial Design

Michael Nnadi

Rosie Linham


World of Data

The importance of radar / Mobile sensing systems / Introducing ARC’s early warning system / Compact and maintenance-free / Surface weather observations / Meeting aviation weather needs / Yes, we scan!

Funding p77

Q&A with Evan Thompson, WMO RA IV President / Supporting the development of early warning systems - SOFF

Our address

The Old Sunday School, Chapel Street, Waterbeach, Cambridge CB25 9HR, UK Tel: +44 01223 863289,


Private Public Partnership

Q&A with Daouda Konate, WMO RA I Past President / No business as usual / Tailored to your needs

Directory p93

The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

While every care has been taken during production, the publisher does not accept any liability for any errors that may have occurred.

© 2023

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About us *

Learn. Meet. Collaborate.


Varysian was founded in 2017 with the objective of enhancing partnership and collaboration between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) and other industry stakeholders through world-class events, data and research

Varysian has built on these foundations to work with partners from across the conservation, environmental and development spheres, creating specialist networks and curating digital events and campuses


Quality curated events and meaningful interaction sit at the heart of the Hydromet Network. From our flagship regional Symposiums - HydrometPAC, HydrometLATAM; HydrometCARIBBEAN; HydrometAFRICA - held in-person and live-streamed on the Hydromet Network, to hybrid events, weekly webinars, technology demonstrations, one-to-ones, training modules and specialist conferences, the Hydromet Network regularly convenes this sector’s key decision-makers from the public and private sectors.


Much of the world is losing hope. Extreme weather is escalating, astronomical losses are being felt the world over, the media continues to play the “fear card” and all that is seen by the public is a world in dire need of solutions.

We were once seemingly in control of our destiny, now we are definitely in doubt. But…there is hope.

Whilst the media may spread fear, there is a small industry fighting the fight of resilience against the extremities, to combat that which grows seemingly stronger every day. That industry is ours: hydrometeorology. We are not known by many, maybe an automatic weather station, or those copper rain gauges in “our old school,” but our industry IS one of the most important industries in modern history, at a time when logging, monitoring, modeling, and forecasting the weather has the capability with early warning systems and early action, to save billions of dollars, hundreds of millions of livelihoods and millions of lives.

We are here. We will likely never be known, there won’t be history books about us, or tales of how that radar detected that cyclone, how that automatic weather station data helped insurance companies to provide cover for farmers, or how the ICT infrastructure within the NMHS changed the way modeling was done, drastically changing the economy of the country.

No, this will not happen, but our place, now, is one of the most important in human history.

This publication has been created to bind the industry, not to show off our wares to the public, but to provide a platform for public-private engagement between actors and key stakeholders in our industry, bringing together a summation of current initiatives and understanding the hydromet value chain from different actor vantage points. Understanding the “World of Data”, its importance, and the issues that come with it.

This publication is not here to flower the issues, we wanted to bring you something different, and we hope we have done so. We will also cover funding and public-private partnerships: all topics that NMHS need in their knowledge repository to make sure their NMHS’ network’s potential is being fulfilled. We have incisive interviews from WMO Regional Association Presidents and a host of case studies from the private sector to give insights into the technical possibilities, financial savings and saving of human lives by using their equipment.

We may not be a cure, but we are the “rebellion” of resilience, and as has been said before, “Rebellions were built on hope.”

Yours Sincerely,

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- Varysian publication
CEO, Varysian Ltd
Initiatives 01 8 ‘Ofa Fa’ Anunu, WMO RA V President 11 Climate Resilience in the Pacific Islands 14 Factoring in mental health 17 Advancements in weather satellites 18 ENANDES

‘Ofa Fa’anunu, WMO RA V President

‘Ofa Fa’anunu is Director of Tonga Meteorological Service and President of WMO Regional Association V (South-West Pacific).

Varysian CEO Tom Copping recently spoke with ‘Ofa Fa’anunu, Director of Tonga Meteorological Service and President of WMO Regional Association V. They discussed the challenges specific to his region, and the Weather Ready Pacific Programme’s goal to ensure the Pacific Islands countries and territories have reliable and sustainable multi-hazard early warning systems in place within the next ten years.

Ready Decadal Programme was developed. After endorsement was given by the Pacific Meteorological Council the initiative was presented to the Pacific Leader Forum in 2021, where it was unanimously approved for implementation.

This is a ten-year programme of investment to strengthen the region’s ability to anticipate, plan for and respond to high impact and extreme weather, water and ocean events.

The main priorities are governance, coordination and leadership, improving forecasts and warning production, improving communications, upgrading systematic observations and monitoring networks, capacity building and multi-hazard warning systems.

‘Ofa Fa’Anunu , WMO RA V President

Tom Copping: Hi there ‘Ofa, where do we find you today?

‘Ofa Fa’Anunu: Hi Tom, I’m currently in Fiji attending a regional coordination meeting on a multi-hazard early warning system resilience project we’re implementing. This is a pilot project funded by the World Bank we’re currently running in Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands called the Pacific Resilience Programme (PREP).

TC: RA V covers such a vast area, doesn’t it?

OF: Out of the six WMO regions Region V is the biggest area to monitor, but has the smallest number of members. This means we have the least number of instruments out in the field – in an area that’s basically 90% ocean! I have to say that some of our challenges are very unique to this region and need specific attention.

TC: I can imagine. So, what are you, as RA V President, focusing on right now?

OF: We have a Pacific Islands initiative called the Weather Ready Pacific Decadal Programme of Investment, which we’re focusing on right now as a region.

A feasibility study was collaboratively undertaken by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the WMO and the Pacific National Meteorological Services, and the Weather

These are big items that will need to be implemented through Pacific-wide collaboration. Now we have endorsement from governments, it’s time to engage with our partners to find funding, as the programme budget is estimated at US $166 million.

TC: Who are you looking to work with on this and how are you approaching funding? Is it out there or is it tough for you to get the funds you need?

OF: Now that the initiative has been endorsed by the Pacific leaders, we’re in discussions with our traditional development partners like Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific region to get some funding commitments for the programme.

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“The main priorities are governance, coordination and leadership, improving forecasts and warning production, improving communications, upgrading systematic observations and monitoring networks, capacity building and multi-hazard warning systems”

But there are several different ways we can approach funding. At country level, we depend a lot on bilateral partnerships.

From a regional perspective, we have the Pacific Meteorological Council. This is where we developed the Weather Ready Pacific Decadal Programme and have a whole number of partners from the region who help us fund and implement regional priorities.

There’s also the WMO and its members who assist us at the global level, and support schemes like the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) -see page 82- in support of the upkeep of the Global Basic Observation Network (GBON).

TC: These main focus areas are each big undertakings in their own right though, aren’t they?

OF: Yes, we understand how big an undertaking this is, but we wanted to have the region working together on something that will focus our energy into implementation of a longerterm programme that would seriously deal with our gaps in a sustainable mater.

In the past we’ve struggled with smaller projects due to their stop stop/start nature. Pacific small island developing states (SIDS) meteorological services only have limited resources here, which makes it tough finding the capacity to do all the work that’s expected of us and managing development projects at the same time.

I think the best way to accomplish our goals is to work together

as a region, and with our leaders approving this initiative, it will be much easier to find the support we need to implement the Weather Ready Pacific.

TC: I know the project covers a lot, but what would you say is the region’s biggest capacity gap right now?

OF: Definitely, we have five main areas of concern. Firstly, we have staff and skills shortages across many disciplines.

Other areas of concern are related to governance, quality of products and service delivery. Then there are our observation networks. We really need to improve our systematic observations. Our region needs a lot more ocean-based observations, for example.

This also ties into the WMO’s push towards more impact-based forecasting. We won’t be able to achieve this without having the right technology and equipment in place. We want to establish a comprehensive radar network that covers all the Pacific Islands, so we’re better able to locate tropical cyclones and accurately predict the flooding that comes with them.

But we cannot plan if we’re unable to gather the data that allows to know how much rain is going to fall in the next six hours.

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“We have the least number of instruments out in the field – in an area that’s basically 90% ocean”
A Marshall Islands beach

TC: Perhaps the answer lies in partnering with private companies that provide long-term sustainability? This way your staff won’t need to go out and service equipment as there are companies that will do that for you. This way you won’t need to develop those technical capabilities in-house. One of the big challenges I often come across though is around the last mile, especially when it comes to early warning systems.

If you build your capacity, gather the data, analyse and create forecasts, you still need to get this information out to people. If there’s no way to get messages out to civilians, none of this matters.

It must be tough for your region as there are so many small, remote communities, no?

OF: You hit the nail on the head Tom, communication is key. This is a challenge we really came up against when we had the volcanic eruption in Tonga as our undersea cable was damaged and we were off the global grid for almost two months.

We had no communication with the outside world and had to quickly ship over a lot of satellite equipment – at a high cost to the government. Even now we haven’t repaired the cable that goes out to the other islands, only this main one.

In response to this, I’ve sent the WMO a proposal under the Climate Risk and Early Warning System (CREWS) accelerated funding mechanism to develop a mobile application as well as a cell broadcasting capability in Tonga funded by PREP, but with the angle that we can roll it out to the other Pacific Islands once it’s established.

So yes, what you’ve said is actually very important, reaching out with warnings is always a challenge.

But mobile technology is here and I think it’s time to use it. It’s just a matter of someone leading the way and rolling it out. But it’s still fairly early days here and we’re looking at all these technologies.

Actually, the response to the volcanic eruption is a good example of some unplanned bilateral agreements, as when the disaster happened a number of partners including New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China and the United States immediately came to our assistance.

This was across a variety of sectors, including meteorology, as we not had these communications issues, but also some of our automatic weather stations were damaged in the related tsunami and the volcanic ash. On a more regional scale, we’ve seen multilateral assistance from Australia and New Zealand pledging more climate financing for the Pacific Islands over the next five years.

TC: So, you have your ten-year plan, where do you see RA V at the end of this project?

OF: Well, it’s about building our capacity so we’re in a position to successfully carry the multi-hazard early warning system burden that’s expected of us. So, as well as having a good communications and observation network in place, I also want to see the skills of our scientists and technical staff advanced, resulting in better warning products developed and better service delivery.

This is what I want to achieve in the next ten years.

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“This is a ten-year programme of investment to strengthen the region’s ability to anticipate, plan for and respond to high impact and extreme weather, water and ocean events”
Photo captures devastation from Tonga volcano eruption - TONGA GEOLOGICAL SERVICES Author: Keri Allan, Senior Content Manager, Varysian

Climate resilience in the Pacific Islands

Climate resilience in the Pacific Islands

The Climate Change Centre Virtual Innovative Exhibition 2022 for the Pacific region was held on 4-6 October with backing from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa.

The event, which was organised by the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC), was supported by Varysian, whose team identified and mobilised participants as well as hosted the event’s exhibition on its virtual platform.

The Climate Change Centre Virtual Innovative Exhibition 2022 for the Pacific region was held on 4-6 October with backing from the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Samoa.

The event, which was organised by the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC), was supported by Varysian, whose team identified and mobilised participants as well as hosted the event’s exhibition on its virtual platform.

This exhibition is part of a short-term consultancy that focuses on analysing and identifying climate resilience innovations in Pacific Islands Countries (PIC).

A virtuous circle of creation and learning

This exhibition is part of a short-term consultancy that focuses on analysing and identifying climate resilience innovations in Pacific Islands Countries (PIC).


on October’s Climate Change

Centre Virtual Innovative Exhibition in the Pacific and the organisation’s ongoing consultancy project

A virtuous circle of creation and learning

The exhibition provided the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about current innovations and create evidence-based solutions. It featured practical presentations that enabled direct contact between the solutions providers and solutions seekers, supporting a virtuous cycle of creation and learning about adaptive systems for climate change in the Pacific region.

The level of participation was high with an average of 400 participants per session, reaching 1,600 for the innovation presentations.

The exhibition showcased several innovative experiences the region could potentially adopt or that are currently being implemented in some countries that could be replicated.

Key topics

The exhibition provided the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn about current innovations and create evidence-based solutions. It featured practical presentations that enabled direct contact between the solutions providers and solutions seekers, supporting a virtuous cycle of creation and learning about adaptive systems for climate change in the Pacific region.

The level of participation was high with an average of 400 participants per session, reaching 1,600 for the innovation presentations.

The exhibition showcased several innovative experiences the region could potentially adopt or that are currently being implemented in some countries that could be replicated.

Key topics

In preparation for the event, a large survey was conducted to identify the predominant climate change challenges facing the PIC. The three-day event emphasised a key topic each day: disaster response and preparedness, energy efficiency and green energy production and biodiversity, water protection and agriculture.

These included contributions from private sector companies, research universities, public institutions and civil society organisations (CSOs).

These covered a wide range of ideas, from resilient housing with local constructing material, to increasing cyclone resistance, GIS mapping for improved biodiversity and forestry and health management in remote communities.

In preparation for the event, a large survey was conducted to identify the predominant climate change challenges facing the PIC. The three-day event emphasised a key topic each day: disaster response and preparedness, energy efficiency and green energy production and biodiversity, water protection and agriculture.

These included contributions from private sector companies, research universities, public institutions and civil society organisations (CSOs).

There was also talk about a new solar panel printing technology that could bring cheaper, safer and more durable clean solar energy, a new partnership framework platform dedicated to island networks, smart crop production systems for food security, and advanced policy initiatives to accelerate electric public transportation transition.

These covered a wide range of ideas, from resilient housing with local constructing material, to increasing cyclone resistance, GIS mapping

Embracing complexity

The challenges of climate change present the opportunity to revise development patterns in favour of low-carbon, resilient development, opening up new opportunities for the inhabitants of the Pacific region.

The current disruption created by climate change leaves us with an environment that is difficult to predict as previous baselines and projections are made redundant. To answer to these systemic changes and the emergence of new vulnerabilities, complex adaptive approaches are required to design new social, technical, scientific, financial, policy,partnership and business models. All these approaches will harvest the power of innovation.

for improved biodiversity and forestry and health management in remote communities. There was also talk about a new solar panel printing technology that could bring cheaper, safer and more durable clean solar energy, a new partnership framework platform dedicated to island networks, smart crop production systems for food security, and advanced policy initiatives to accelerate electric public transportation transition.

Innovation can help us cope with changes, creates new opportunities and fosters competitive advantage to sustain socio-economic growth.

Embracing complexity

The challenges of climate change present the opportunity to revise development patterns in favour of low-carbon, resilient development, opening up new opportunities for the inhabitants of the Pacific region.

The solutions can take many shapes, from processes to using different innovative technology, to diversifying the energy matrix, tapping into new sources of collaborative financing or encouraging community engagement for needdriven solutions.

The current disruption created by climate change leaves us with an environment that is difficult to

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Report on October’s Climate Change Centre Virtual Innovative Exhibition in the Pacific and the organisation’s ongoing consultancy project
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Opening of the PCCC event, L-R: Ofa Kaisamy, PCCC Manager and Tagaloa Cooper-Halo, Director of the climate change resilience programme. L-R: Ofa Kaisamy, PCCC Manager and Tagaloa Cooper-Halo, Director of the climate change resilience programme at the opening of last October’s PCCC event. Two Super Typhoons interacting over the Pacific Islands in 2009

A multi-layer formula: innovation

Technological and scientific innovation needs a supporting social and institutional innovation’s approach to ensure a transformative advantage and to challenge the business-asusual mindset.

Indeed, a conducive environment will ensure more impactful results and sustain their outcomes over a longer period.

Although mentalities are slowly shifting in this direction, there’s still a real need for policies to support grass-root initiatives and better acknowledge community-led proposals.

The need assessment will be tailored to the current challenges faced by these communities, and ideally reduce transaction costs with a more direct approach from donors to beneficiaries.

The Pacific region’s population is predominantly gathered in small settlements where community leaders are the accepted authority. Involving these leaders is therefore essential for the success and sustainability of any new projects.

Key findings of the short-term consultancy

The consultancy report begins with an overview of local initiatives as well as replicable international models from various sectors, with a special emphasis on climate change resilience.

A close analysis is given to the potential involvement of 138 private sector participating companies who either work in or have interest in the PIC’s market.

The study highlights the types of activities, end-user categories and research and development, with a focus on innovation and capacity building initiatives that underpin the key components of this report.

The study analyses how private sector actors operate within the framework of climate change projects, while making an inventory of applicable innovative initiatives that focus on providing a swift and sustainable response to climate change through the use of partnerships.

The report concludes by drawing on lessons from the positive dynamics and gaps in partnerships and engagements between public, private and civil society actors.

The results of the study highlight a need for recommendations to further improve the facilitating role of the Pacific Climate Change Centre (PCCC) to fully implement its mandate as the regional centre of excellence for climate change information, research and innovation.

This is because the PCCC can facilitate the implementation of innovative solutions for climate change and in turn satisfy end-user needs, protect lives, property and support the PICs economies for the prosperity of all.

The consultancy report is expected to be published soon. For more information, contact

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Rainy season in Samoa.

SOLID weather radar design

5 ways compact architecture leads to high reliability and low lifetime costs

Short wave guides only run from the antenna to the back of the receiver, optimizing the signal path and measurement performance.

The data server can be installed at a central site, server room or wherever is most convenient. This makes site design easier, smaller and cost-efficient.

No wave guide rotary joints are needed, improving reliability and lowering lifetime costs.

All active components are located at the back of the antenna — both the transmitter and receiver. This design improves radar performance and lowers lifetime costs.

All you need is the mains electricity and the fiber optic cable, which are easier to route than a rigid wave guide structure.

Trusted weather observations for a sustainable future

The future of weather radar design is here — and it’s Solid.

Factoring in mental health

Factoring in mental health

Integrating mental health risk-based approaches in climate response helps create resilience in vulnerable communities

Globally climate change is of great concern and increasingly the cost of responding and recovering from its impact has left a great gap in economies of nations.

Globally climate change is of great concern and increasingly the cost of responding and recovering from its impact has left a great gap in economies of nations.

Developing resilience in communities is the new front, more so for poor economies as uptake of weather forecasts increases across sectors informing business, daily lives and investments. Weather forecasts issued by regions and nations inform decision-making at all levels.

The implications of climate change to vulnerable communities

Developing resilience in communities is the new front, more so for poor economies as uptake of weather forecasts increases across sectors informing business, daily lives and investments. Weather forecasts issued by regions and nations inform decision-making at all levels.

Over the last few decades there has been evidence of poor seasonal performance in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region, which comprises Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea.

The implications of climate change to vulnerable communities

Over the last few decades there has been evidence of poor seasonal performance in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region, which comprises Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea.

The region has experienced decades of failed rains amplifying droughts affecting tens of millions of people. Take the 2021 October-December seasonal forecast for example. The region expected poor rainfall performance leading to a drier and warmer season than normal in most parts of the arid and semi-arid lands, while some areas were likely to experience more than normal rainfall.

As a result, the forecast cited likely inter-community conflicts, human-wildlife conflicts, displacement of people, food insecurity and an upsurge of diseases to human and livestock as some of the impacts this weather would cause.

The region has experienced decades of failed rains amplifying droughts affecting tens of millions of people. Take the 2021 October-December seasonal forecast for example. The region expected poor rainfall performance leading to a drier and warmer season than normal in most parts of the arid and semi-arid lands, while some areas were likely to experience more than normal rainfall.

Increasingly, the severity and frequency of climate change impacts threaten to undermine sustainable development goals in the region and ravage livelihoods, affecting management of resources, health and productivity. This in turn leads to food insecurity, conflicts, rising poverty and internal displacement of populations.

As a result, the forecast cited likely inter-community conflicts, human-wildlife conflicts, displacement of people, food insecurity and an upsurge of diseases to human and livestock as some of the impacts this weather would cause.

These have direct impacts on the lives of individuals, families and communities on a daily basis, affecting their quality of life and contributing to the decrease in physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

As mitigation measures to lessen negative impacts on populations, meteorological departments across the region have been issuing weather and climate advisories to help to build resilience.

Increasingly, the severity and frequency of climate change impacts threaten to undermine sustainable development goals in the region and ravage livelihoods, affecting management of resources, health and productivity. This in turn leads to food insecurity, conflicts, rising poverty and internal displacement of populations.

These have direct impacts on the lives of individuals, families and communities on a daily basis, affecting their quality of life and contributing to the decrease in physical, emotional and social wellbeing.

This has included messages to the community on onset of season, cessation and expected performance, the need to plant drought resistant and short cycle crops and to put mechanisms in place for water harvesting. Agencies and governments are urged to ensure food distribution, provision of fodder and hay for farmers, water for domestic and livestock and enhanced surveillance of climate-sensitive diseases to – amongst other things – prevent community conflicts.

As mitigation measures to lessen negative impacts on populations, meteorological departments across the region have been issuing weather

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Mr. Alex Seki, a farmer in Kajiado, walks team through dry River in Kajiado County, Kenya. Crop and lovestock loss has left families stressed. Integrating mental health risk-based approaches in climate response helps create resilience in vulnerable communities Mr. Alex Seki, a farmer in Kajiado, walks team through dry river in Kajiado Country, Kenya. Crop and livestock loss has left families stressed.

While these are laudable actions, responses to health impacts have tended to narrow their focus on to physical health issues such as malaria, meningitis, asthma, diarrhoea, scabies, eye and fever diseases.

There is a notable gap in responses addressing psychological wellbeing and mental health of the affected populations.

Health impacts of climate change

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises their own potential, can cope with normal life stresses, work productively, fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to the community”.

In the light of the risks posed to communities by climate change, it’s notable that the wellbeing of communities falls short, violating the sustainable development goal on health amongst others.

Climate change affects social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, secure shelter and resource base. The direct and indirect impacts of climate change, including the health and security of the populations, compounds problems humans experience in trying to cope with life.

WHO reports indicate that there is a notable global increase in mental health disorders with a billion people living with a mental disorder.

Africa has its share of people with mental health disorders though surrounded with a lot of myths, misconceptions and stigma, often go undiagnosed or managed as physical illnesses, further complicating the health crisis.

The 2021 Ministry of Health in Kenya report showed that one in four seeking healthcare has a mental health condition. Underlying such statistics could be social causes rooted in climate change impacts that trigger or exacerbate mental illnesses. Overdependence on rain-fed agriculture predisposes vulnerable communities such as farmers, pastoralists, fisher folk, elderly, women and girls, and people with disabilities to psychological anguish caused by climate change impacts.

A 2020 study by Atwoli, Muhia and Merali published by Cambridge University Press on mental health and climate change in Africa noted that the impact of climate change in mental health is far higher than physical impacts.

Climate-related stressors such as droughts and floods affect the brain functions and mental wellbeing of the affected populations.

Disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression are the most prevalent, with notable suicidal ideations.

These may be triggered or complicated by the increase in intensity and frequency of weather hazards caused by climate change as associations continue to be understood. The Sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

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Withering Miraa tress, Meru North, Kenya. Dire situation due to loss of livelihoods leading to hopelessness.

Report of February 2022 validates this assertion by highlighting that the risk posed by climate change on the people’s mental health and wellbeing is high.

The report argues that climate change is a rising threat to mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of vulnerable communities as evidenced by resultant distress, anxiety, grief and depression.

This could be further exacerbated by the deficiency in mental health facilities and professionals such that early diagnosis and interventions are not prioritised, putting many at risk of poor health and lower productivity.

Responsive policy strategies

It’s no overstatement to argue that the economic burden of mental health to nations needs to be considered to understand the productivity gains and social value of inaction. Half measures are no longer an option, as put across to the global International Society of Substance Use Professionals in October 2021, for there exists a nexus between mental health and climate change.

With the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (Cop27) just behind us, it makes business sense for nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to integrate mental health responsive interventions for socio-economic development in building climate-resilient societies.

For disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Africa, every sector of the economy in their climate talks should consider mainstreaming mental health indicators in anticipatory actions.

If we wish to enhance climate resilience, risk reductionbased approaches in climate response community interventions for vulnerable communities is the new future. Report of February 2022 validates this assertion by highlighting that the risk posed by climate change on the people’s mental health and wellbeing is high.

The report argues that climate change is a rising threat to mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of vulnerable communities as evidenced by resultant distress, anxiety, grief and depression.

This could be further exacerbated by the deficiency in mental health facilities and professionals such that early diagnosis and interventions are not prioritised, putting many at risk of poor health and lower productivity.

Responsive policy strategies

It’s no overstatement to argue that the economic burden of mental health to nations needs to be considered to understand the productivity gains and social value of inaction. Half measures are no longer an option, as put

across to the global International Society of Substance Use Professionals in October 2021, for there exists a nexus between mental health and climate change.

With the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (Cop27) just behind us, it makes business sense for nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to integrate mental health responsive interventions for socio-economic development in building climate-resilient societies.

For disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Africa, every sector of the economy in their climate talks should consider mainstreaming mental health indicators in anticipatory actions.

If we wish to enhance climate resilience, risk reductionbased approaches in climate response community interventions for vulnerable communities is the new future.

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Author: Dr Pamela R.N. Kaithuru, Psychologist, Kenya Meteorological Department Mr. Amos Tumpes, a pastrolist and Trader in Kajiado County, shares his story of loss in a manyatta in Kajiando Central. He expressed his pain and frustration that has left him feeling helpless.

Advancements in weather satellites

For decades, instruments onboard Earth-orbiting satellites have given scientists unparalleled data on our atmospheric and Earth systems.

As remote sensing tools become more sophisticated, so too does the demand for environmental intelligence. Climate change and environmental degradation threaten economic and societal systems and this will only continue to worsen in the coming years. Fortunately, new innovations in both remote sensing and space technologies enable scientists and policymakers to predict, forecast and respond to environmental crises with greater accuracy and precision than ever before.

New tools onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) latest tranche of environmental satellites are several times more technologically advanced than any previous generation.

A new era in weather prediction

The agency’s first launch of a GOES-R series satellite in 2016 represented a new era in weather prediction. Its advanced baseline imager (ABI) is able to scan the Earth five times faster with four times the resolution and three times the number of channels than any previous geostationary operational environmental satellite (GOES).

Every 30 seconds, new images of storms and hurricanes in the Western Hemisphere can be downloaded by any user in any country. The data’s timeliness and clarity allows GOES-R to be a game changer for environmental intelligence.

The mission set for these satellites is also quite broad. From tracking severe weather and monitoring fog for aviators to scanning for brush and forest fires, GOES-R’s ABI takes operational weather forecasting to the next level. That’s good news for emergency responders, who rely on up-to-the-minute data that is tailored to their unique mission to save lives.

Meanwhile, climate change continues to worsen and increase the frequency of extreme weather and storms. In the face of that challenge, mitigating disasters becomes far easier for

governments, businesses and NGOs when they are given the foresight needed to prepare, respond and rescue.

The NOAA GeoXO satellite system

NOAA most recently announced its development of a new generation of geostationary weather satellites that will succeed GOES-R through to 2055. NOAA’s Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite system will bring a suite of new capabilities to address the extraordinary environmental challenges to come in an unprecedented era of climate change.

GeoXO will allow users to customise the way they access data and usable environmental information. Users will have the option to choose from multiple data delivery systems, such as an internet storefront, mobile device access and satellite broadcast. NOAA also plans to build on the successes of the ABI by acquiring new instruments that provide more detailed observations and higher resolution tracking of severe weather.

For example, GeoXO will detect wildfires four times smaller than before, which NOAA hopes can increase lead time to respond before the flames get out of control. In addition, an onboard infrared sounder will provide users with real-time data about the vertical distribution of atmospheric temperature and water vapour.

With these data in tow, advanced numerical weather prediction models will help improve forecasting of storms and extreme weather events.

Environmental monitoring satellites have become a critical tool to predict and prepare for the consequences of climate change. Newly innovative sensors and instruments come at a particularly opportune time when the need for sophisticated and timely data is high.

These satellites need to be a part of the equation to address the major environmental, economic and security challenges that have arisen during climate change.

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The latest weather satellites herald a new era in weather forecasting Author: David Harary, Executive Director of the US think tank Center for Development and Strategy The NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research captured this image of an algae bloom in the Barents Sea on July 15, 2021 with the NOAA-20 satellite. Photo credit: NOAA


ENANDES, or Enhancing Adaptive Capacity of Andean Communities through Climate Services, is a project supported by the Adaptation Fund that started in February 2021 and seeks to strengthen the capacity of communities in Chile, Colombia and Peru to adapt to climate change and variability.

This four-year intervention (2021-2025) is implemented by the WMO in partnership with National Meteorology and Hydrology Service of Peru (SENAMHI), the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia (IDEAM), the Meteorological Directorate of Chile (DMC), and the International Centre for Research on the El Niño Phenomenon (CIIFEN).

Significant trends in precipitation and temperature have been observed in South America, including changes in climate variability and extreme events. Such trends are projected to continue due to climate change. Of particular concern is the retreating of the Andean cryosphere, which affects the seasonal distribution of streamflow. This affects the water supply for agriculture, cities and hydropower generation in countries where poverty and socio-economic vulnerability levels are still high.

ENANDES’ goals

ENANDES aims to enhance the provision of climate services at national and regional levels focusing on the fullservice value chain through activities ranging from service design, user engagement and socio-economic benefit analyses.

Outcomes are based on the structure of the climate service value chain. For example, the suite of tools, processes and functions needed to add value to weather, climate and water observations, data and products to produce actionable information and knowledge that inform adaptation decisions, which in turn improve climate resilience and yielding value to individuals, communities and society.

The timely production, translation and delivery of climate information for decision making will support both climate risk management and adaptation plans for three priority sectors. These are agriculture and food security, water and energy–the sectors most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

During its first year, the project focused on the design, production and communication of climate and water information and services and the institutional coordination to facilitate the targeting of information, products and services to user needs. In order to do that, the WMO signed collaboration agreements with relevant institutions with recognised expertise to transfer knowledge and tools to national meteorology and hydrology services.

The national service of Spain (AEMET), for instance, supplied advice and recommendations for improving national data management and quality assurance systems. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) helped to enhance seasonal climate prediction capacities, while the Centre for Climate Change C3, based at the University of Tarragona, helped to make clear the potential impact predicted climate changes could have on crop calendars.

Cross-border collaboration

ENANDES’ geographical focus is on three of the seven countries within the Andean region, yet its strategy builds on regional cooperation among all Andean countries, exchanging and replicating experiences and tools to consolidate local capacities and expand project benefits beyond its national borders.

In this sense, most of the activities have a regional scope, counting on the capacity and mandate of CIIFEN as a regional climate centre, and on the possibility of including most of NMHS through the use of online platforms for workshops and training.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions on mobility accelerated the use of such tools and enabled the project to achieve wider participation than initially planned when promoting, supporting and generating regional dialogue and coordination for scaling up best practices on data management, climate monitoring and adaptation planning.

This strategy was widely used during the first year of implementation to carry out the project inception workshops. This brought together 166 people from 16 countries for several sessions on standards and policies, such as the two multi-regional events on WMO Integrated Global Observing

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Enhancing Adaptive Capacity of Andean Communities through Climate Services Climate services value chain ENANDES NMHSs and Board members, July 2022.

System (WIGOS) and WMO Information System (WIS) that involved almost the same number of professionals from 12 countries.

The same digital tools have been used to promote experience and knowledge sharing among regional members on methodologies applied for socio-economic analysis, such the assessment and mapping of community vulnerability to climate change or the evaluation of socio-economic benefits provided by climate services-based adaptation strategy.

Considerable human and technical resources are already available at the participating institutions enabling the implementation of an operational framework for the production and delivery of enhanced climate services. Developed with human capital and facilities that mostly exist within national institutions, they are achieving effective and efficient south-south cooperation among countries through their NMHS and strategic partnerships.

Examples of good practice

One great example of sharing experiences and knowledge comes from the Technical Agroclimatic CommitteesMTAs (Mesas Técnicas Agroclimáticas), and the Technical Roundtable on Energy set up by the DMC and the Chilean Ministry of Energy.

Colombia is a reference country regarding MTAs, having local committees in several departments, including Cauca, where ENANDES demonstration areas are located. MTAs have become essential platforms to support decision making processes on adaptation strategies, where representatives from multiple sectors and institutions exchange knowledge on agro-climatic sensitive practices to open the analysis and

debate on how to cope with impact scenarios.

Conversely, Peru and Chile are implementing TACs with a view to align them with what is happening in Colombia. This is an opportunity for ENANDES to advance and strengthen the multilevel articulation of TACs in these countries.

To address and collect information on the energy sector needs, participatory platforms and roundtables are also a successful and priority tool. In Chile and Colombia, NMHS have already set up a dialogue mechanism to assess the kind of information that may be provided or processed for guaranteeing business continuity to energy utilities and distributors.

The future

The ENANDES project has generated great enthusiasm among regional institutions and has already captured the attention of other international donors who are willing to support the scale-up of the initiative. From the start of 2023, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will double ENANDES’ budget, enabling the expansion of the project to include Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina.

This will enhance the regional scope and provide an opportunity to involve six NMHS and four regional centres into shared efforts to support an effective and sustainable adaptation process to the impact of climate change in a highly vulnerable region.

Authors: Raul Polato, WMO Project Officer and ENANDES Project Manager & Roberta Boscolo, WMO Scientific Officer, Climate and Energy

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Community activity, Cauca, Colombia

Hydromet Value Chain 02

22 Yolanda González Hernández

Former WMO RA III President 26 Meteorological information for wildfire operations 30 Enabling early warnings 33 Co-create a meteorological value chain 36 Capacity building to counter extreme weather events 38 An early warning system for the Andes 42 Pollution monitoring 46 Saving lives in Malawi 50 All the way to the end users

Yolanda González Hernández - Past WMO RA III President

Tom Copping: Wonderful to speak with you Yolanda. I wanted to start our discussion today by asking what the burning issues are for RA III, right now?

Yolanda González Hernández: There’s a number of points that I’d like to share with you, Tom. Here at RA III, we’re developing plans that look at reducing gaps across the region – in terms of everything from technology to skills. The first focus is around technology modernisation and how the level of advancement differs from country to country.

In some RA III countries, we still lack automatic weather stations, while in others we see the development of meteorological networks with satellites, and so one priority is to help smaller nations to update their meteorological and hydrological stations.

We need to ensure we have a better density of stations within our countries, particularly taking into account climate change and variability, which will help improve our early warning systems.

The majority of stations are currently close to urban areas, so we need to ensure we improve monitoring of our coasts,

forests, rivers and mountains etc. My second point is that in some cases we lack the technical knowledge to make the most of our remote sensors, radiometers, radars etc and the data they produce. This could manifest as badly calibrated wind sensors, for example, but also an inability to analyse the good data we do gather.

We definitely lack in regional and local modelling, which could have a great impact in our ability to predict heavy rain and winds for our early warning systems.

TC: So, what’s the answer?

YGH: I think this can be managed via education. Masters programmes could improve our technical knowledge in the region, but also just more focused courses for our meteorologists and hydrologists, particularly on risk management with technologies.

At the moment, education in the sector is more focused on weather and climate than early warnings and this is something we must address if we are to transform.

Knowledge exchange – in situ – is also a part of the solution. Rather than focus on workshops and courses, we should move towards expert internships or work visits between meteorology and hydrology services.

Moving on, another area of importance is research. Sometimes we focus on the new technology but forget how important it is to keep up with the research.

We need some solid risk research undertaken at regional level on climate change and variability, looking at things like El Niño and La Niña and there are major institutions in the region that can support this, such as the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) in Ecuador.

However, it’s no use having all this technology, knowledge and research if we don’t share it with the people and this brings us back to early warning systems. For these to work, we need to define protocols around how to deliver information to people.

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In a conversation with Varysian CEO Tom Copping late last year, Yolanda González Hernández discussed the region’s biggest capacity gaps, the key role that partnerships have to play in filling these, and exciting multinational projects such as ENANDES. Yolanda González Hernández with Evan Thompson, WMO RA IV President. Yolanda González Hernández was Director of Columbia’s Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM) and President of WMO Regional Association (RA) III (South America) up to January 2023.

Most of the time we’re not really in the public eye and therefore lack impact, which is something we have to change.

I also think, as a secondary benefit to saving lives and property, if we had a stronger impact, we’d also improve NMHS’ status and financial situation.

YGH: Indeed. RA III has started something called technical tables to exchange knowledge – not just between the region’s meteorological institutions, but also including different organisations across RA III. Through partnering and sharing information I believe we can reduce the gaps that exist.

One issue we have with these technical tables, however, is getting the people with the specialist knowledge to regularly attend. I hope this is something that changes.

Another concern related to this is that this key knowledge stays with the people at the table, and we really need to get that info out to the communities, which is where partnerships provide benefits yet again.

So, we need to find ways to communicate early warnings in a more user-friendly way, for example that reach the elderly in our communities or those in our most remote places.

TC: A lot of what you discuss revolves around partnerships as an enabler. By sharing knowledge and data, the region’s meteorology and hydrology sector can become stronger as a whole.

Take the ENANDES (Enhancing Adaptive Capacity of Andean Communities through Climate Services) project as an example (see p18-19). This was developed to enhance the capacity of communities in Chile, Colombia and Peru to adapt to a varying and assessing the use of credible and authoritative information as the scientific evidence for decision- and policy-making on disaster preparedness. We’ve already begun looking at expanding this out to also include Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. The idea, and ideal,

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“Rather than focus on workshops and courses, we should move towards expert internships or work visits between meteorology and hydrology services”
The ENANDES project was developed to enhance the capacity of communities just like this one in Colombia.

is to have joint projects between different countries with similar ecosystems such as deserts, islands and mountains and developing support for these specific, and potentially more vulnerable communities.

TC: It’s great to hear about these bi- and multilateral projects between public sector organisations, but what are your thoughts on public private engagement (PPE)?

YGH: This is a very important subject, because alliances between the public and private sectors can help us to improve the quality and management of data. It can also help NMHS to implement new technologies and build capacity because the private sector often has more resources than the public sector.

I am aware, however, that a lot of public institutions are a little scared of engaging in this way, but I can testify that it has been very good for IDEAM and is working well for us. I also want to add that it’s very important for meteorological and hydrological organisations to work together with risk management institutes.

This is because in RA III we have some countries that have a lack of risk management controls in place. In the end, it’s vital that we bring all the key parties to the table in order to have success and I think your work at Varysian is very important to this.

In 10 years’ time I picture your organisation being the one that enables met service projects to happen by connecting them to private sector partners and highlighting the different funding solutions.

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Attendees at HydrometLATAM 2022
“In the end, it’s vital that we bring all the key parties to the table in order to have success and I think your work at Varysian is very important to this“
Author: Keri Allan, Senior Content Manager, Varysian

Meteorological information for wildfire operations

There is great concern around the increasing occurrence of wildfires affecting people, property and businesses, as well as their effects on the environment. Sadly, because of climatic extreme conditions and a sociocultural tendency of people moving into wild areas, these high-risk situations are expected to increase.

When preparing for and responding to wildfires, the value of meteorological information is globally recognised, particularly because it could help reduce related costs and risks. Even so, the supporting studies and procedures to integrate this information into the decision-making processes are not well known in Latin America.

As atmospheric conditions are closely related to the occurrence of extreme fires, it’s very important to understand the effects of weather on fire and take the necessary action to produce meteorological information that will advise on potential fire behaviour and promote procedures that will get this information out to the people that need it. Surface meteorological variables affect fire indirectly through their effects on fuel load and availability to burn. For example, grassland curing and productivity are related to the evolution of precipitation prior to and during fire seasons, and dead fuel humidity content responds to variables such as

wind, temperature, precipitation and relative humidity. Variables such as rate of fire spread and direction are directly affected by surface variables such as wind intensity and direction; though other more complex integrations happen when convection columns interact with upper air. Case studies help identify meteorological patterns that create favourable conditions for the occurrence of large fires. It is essential that forecasters assigned to fire weather activities are adequately trained to understand the effects of weather on fire. It’s also essential for weather and fire management services to work together in order to identify formats, language and communication channels, so that the information arrives in time and is understood by its end users.

How can meteorological information be integrated into the decision-making process for wildfire operations?

As shown in figure 1, the processes of producing and implementing operationally adequate meteorological information for wildfires starts with the necessary studies to understand fire/atmosphere interactions and identify critical weather patterns. Case studies provide very valuable information, especially when carried out by researchers and fire personnel working together.

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Figure 1
A look at the need to integrate meteorological information into the decision-making process of wildfire operations, particularly in Latin America.

The interaction of everyone involved is necessary to clearly understand aspects such as what type of products are required and identifying who will be responsible for requesting and receiving the information and what communication channels are available. Finally, special effort must be made to ensure that fire management agencies develop the adequate procedures to integrate the meteorological information received into their decision-making processes. This last aspect is closely related to the characteristics and level of organisation of local agencies, as we learnt in Argentina through the Meteorological Support to Wildfires, undertaken by the National Fire Management Service and the National Weather Service of Argentina.

Developing meteorological support for wildfires in Argentina through the Meteorological Support to Wildfires, undertaken by the National Fire Management Service and the National Weather Service of Argentina.

Developing meteorological support for wildfires in Argentina has left many lessons that could probably be useful to other Latin American countries and beyond. The process we summarise here requires a strengthening of research, increased density and quality of meteorological observations and specialised forecasters.

What training is required to develop capacity?

The steps we’ve identified require training of all actors to effectively integrate fire weather operationally.

But how and where to start? Inspired and guided by WMO Education and Training (ETR) and WMO Global Campus network of training institutions, Ibero-American states are collaborating not only among themselves but also internationally to support best practice in training.

Local, regional and international experts working together on projects and training events have achieved positive results and generated synergy.

However, building a regional strategic training plan regarding meteorological support for wildfires would guarantee

continuous and coherent training, as well as have a better chance of getting sustainable funding.

There have been very interesting and beneficial breakthroughs regarding more cost-effective training, with greater reach and engagement.

Furthermore, education has become more open, giving the opportunity to reuse, translate and adapt resources so that training can respond rapidly and effectively to changes and demands.

Discussing and sharing experiences generates a sense of belonging and helps us achieve more together. The impact of training on the quality-of-service delivery, and therefore in the community, must be evaluated and acknowledged.

When training forecasters assigned to fire weather, local case studies with simulation activities are more compelling and useful. Different agencies involved in wildfires could work together and learn from each other by participating in a virtual workshop developed for disaster risk reduction (DRR) adapted for their needs.

In a nutshell, representatives from each country meet virtually for country-specific participatory activities – using tools to ensure fluid communication among participants, while strengthening their national and international relations. Design thinking can turn the challenge of training into a creative process of problem-solving (an adventure for some), after all, they say innovation is driven by passion and you certainly need impetus to take action for multidisciplinary training.

There are different models or ways to approach training but certain key aspects must be in place. These are analysis and planning, refining and building, putting into action (implementing a pilot), analysing and learning from the results and then scaling up.

Special attention must be given to gaining acceptance of change, even deeper context analysis and change management, as communication among all stakeholders is key to ensuring successful implementation.

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Firefighters at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida monitor a fire. Photo credit: Joseph Whelan/USFWS

Making the most of training

There are ways to make the most out of training, which are enthusiastically discussed in recurring meetings and conferences such as CALMet Conference, WMO VLab and WMO Education Symposium, as well as WMO Train the Trainers courses and communities of practice.

These include promoting a space for asking questions and reflection, capitalising on the benefits of virtual learning and interactivity, raising critical consciousness to improve and cultivate support of each other, encouraging participation and listening to input.

To ensure success, it’s key to build the right training team (see below), made up of a variety of talents, and also determine the end goals of the training related to the

attendees needs.

The audience (see below) has different perspectives, training needs and interrelationships. A training experience develops critical thinking, promotes collaboration and sharing and offers opportunities for personal and team growth. When training becomes embedded in the culture of the organisation, the personnel become independent learners and there is a higher chance the organisation will achieve its goals.

Wildfire issues affect us all in different ways and require public and private engagement.

Nowadays, with the advances in science and technology and new education approaches, it’s everyone’s responsibility to do our best to tackle wildfire threats and impacts.

The Training team

• Project manager – keeps everyone on track.

• Analyst – understands the context and salient needs, explores resources.

• Change Manager and Communicator – foresees and reverts opposition to change and communicates effectively (before, during and after).

• Instructional Designer – offers a variety of possibilities (blended learning), takes advantage of suitable tools and pedagogical aspects.

• Stakeholder Representatives – are integrated into co-production to ensure acceptance and implementation.

• Content Area Expert/Facilitator – sometimes one person can cover both roles but usually the combination of skills is needed for trainees to succeed.

The Audience

• Forecasters – Prepare fire weather forecasts and communicate them effectively to users and decisionmakers.

• Technicians – Interpret relevant data for wildfires from meteorological observation networks.

• Operational Personnel – Need to understand the system requirements.

• Fire Managers – Need to understand the operational application of the system.

• Decision Makers – Must consider the importance of evaluating danger and applying meteorological information.

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Authors: María del Carmen Dentoni, Former Technical Co-ordinator of Argentina’s National Fire Management Service and Professor at Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia; and Marinés Campos, Former Director of WMO Regional Training Centre Argentina, Servicio Meteorológico Nacional

Enabling early warnings

It isn’t just individual countries that are affected by natural disasters. As we have seen with recent hurricane, tsunami and earthquake events, impacts can spread from one country to the next as economies, trade, travel and other factors are disrupted.

Therefore, any investment made in meteorological capacity will shield others around the globe from the secondary consequences of the next storm.

While many countries already access international warning systems and weather networks, one crucial value of improved meteorological capacity is that it provides local insights. More granular data, when disseminated correctly, enables targeted interventions and preparations that are impossible using other networks. An effective early warning system is based on accurate and dependable weather detection systems that empower individuals and communities to respond promptly and appropriately to threats to reduce death, injury, and property damage.

The impact can be measured in the billions of dollars and the thousands of human lives. For example, a recent US study found that having 12 hours of localised warning before a flood event can reduce damages by 60%.

We cannot control the weather, but we can reduce its impact on vulnerable communities

Despite our vastly improved abilities to observe, study and forecast weather that impacts our livelihoods, available technology is still underused. Ignoring the many potential applications of weather monitoring continues to cost our society billions of dollars and thousands of human lives.

Meteorological infrastructure and capability development is the practice of improving national resiliency by putting technology to its appropriate uses. When enacted, the result is that governments, businesses and citizens are to take concrete, coordinated actions that mitigate the effects of disasters ahead of time. They can successfully protect key resources and infrastructures, as well as enable quicker and more efficient recovery efforts.

Finnish expertise helps Ethiopia prepare for extreme weather phenomena

Vaisala is delivering a turnkey meteorological solution for the Ethiopian Meteorological Institute (EMI) together with the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). The project helps Ethiopia to become more resilient to climate change and promote the nation’s sustainable development, and to build up capabilities that improve their capacity to predict and warn about extreme weather. Top-of-the-line environmental observations, forecasting and early warning systems help safeguard both lives and property.

“Ethiopia faces hazardous weather events such as droughts, floods, hail and heavy precipitation. These events are expected to increase in both frequency and intensity, and to mitigate the impacts we need action on many levels of society. The importance of reliable weather measurements and forecasts to protect lives and property is constantly growing. Adaptation to climate change is important for all African countries, which are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather phenomena,” says Jarkko Sairanen, Executive Vice President, Weather and Environment, Vaisala.

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Integrated, holistic approach to enabling forecasts and early warnings
Enabling early warnings through holistic meteorological infrastructure and capability projects

“When extreme weather strikes, reliable early warnings are crucial for people and organisations to be prepared. Thanks to our meteorological solution as well as the forecasting systems and training provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, EMI will be able to provide better weather services to Ethiopian people and thus mitigate the consequences of extreme weather events to local economies and livelihoods,” said Panu Partanen, Vice President, Weather and Environment, Vaisala.

Getting Vietnam ready to face weather challenges Vietnam faces weather related challenges every year; typhoons, storms, floods and severe lightning. After establishing the meteorological infrastructure Vietnamese National Hydro-Meteorological Service will be able to serve the whole nation with high quality meteorological data and weather forecasts. The National Hydro-Meteorological Service of Vietnam now has an enhanced capacity for monitoring, forecasting and analysing weather phenomena, made possible through the introduction of unique infrastructure.

The changes were brought about via a Vaisala-led project, together with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Vietnam Hydrometeorology Equipment and Environment Joint Stock Company.

Vaisala’s comprehensive Meteorological Infrastructure & Capability Development offering works to improve national resiliency through implementation of weather observation solutions.

“Our primary expectation is that these new daily operations will contribute to us having an advanced, modern and stable system that improves the quality of weather forecasts to better serve the community and the people,” says Nguyen Duc Phuong, Deputy Head of the Weather Radar Department

in Vietnam.

“It will help us with 24/7 weather monitoring, and data will be continuously collected and used as an input for prediction models, rainfall estimates and thunderstorm, flood and avalanche warnings. All of this should result in the most effective and accurate weather news to serve the community, people and society at large.”

From detection and analysis to forecasting and monitoring, the work of meteorologists is as complex as it is vital to local communities. Technology that aggregates and assimilates observational data of various types and formats in one place allows forecasters to make faster, better-informed decisions.

Good local partners and seamless co-operation are also vital in ensuring success of such vast multiannual projects.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute has assisted more than 100 countries in developing their weather and climate services.

The weather information and forecast production system SmartMet developed by the FMI is in use in approximately 30 countries and the SmartMet Alert system for creating weather warnings is used in about ten countries. SmartMet collects weather observations and data produced by radars, satellites and weather forecasting models into a single system to enable easy analysis and visualisation of information.

The contract with National Hydro-Meteorological Service of Vietnam was developed over four years, signed in 2016 with funding arranged through the Finnish Concessional Credit instrument, and concluded in 2020. The contract included a weather radar network consisting of five greenfield dual polarisation doppler weather radars, a central site, comprehensive lightning detection network and upgrades to existing infrastructure, as well as software, technical training,and provision of spare parts.

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Solar powered Vaisala Weather Radar in Shahura, Ethiopia Vaisala Weather Radar in Vi t Trì, Phú Th, Vietnam

Making Bahamas storm-proof – building better-informed societies together

The Bahamas is a country that is in the path of hurricanes, and consisting of some 700 low and flat islands, is prone to any rise in sea level. It is also a large country in area: the weather in the northern islands can be completely different from that in the southernmost islands.

When extreme weather strikes, early warnings and alerts are crucial for people and organisations to be prepared for the storm. Thanks to Vaisala’s newly implemented meteorological solutions, the Bahamas could send out accurate alerts that gave thousands of people the chance to seek shelter from Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

In late 2016, the Bahamas decided to invest in a new nation-wide meteorology network to improve its weather forecasting capabilities. The contract includes altogether four new weather radars and one radar upgrade on five islands, nine automatic weather observation systems for airports and 16 automatic weather stations, as well as civil works and installation services. During 2017, Vaisala started the deliveries of the latest in meteorological technology, providing both hardware – weather radars and weather stations –and software, as well as meteorological training through its partnership with the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

As Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in September 2019, Vaisala’s systems were put to the test. With the help of Vaisala’s solutions, more accurate information and alerts

could be sent out, enabling thousands of citizens and organisations to prepare for and seek shelter from the threat of Dorian.

“Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of over 180 mph (close to 300 km/h), the highest wind speeds of an Atlantic hurricane ever recorded at landfall in September. The storm resulted in significant damage to these islands; most structures were flattened or swept to sea, and at least 70,000 people were left homeless. If the hurricane hadn’t been well monitored and timely alerts given in advance, the consequences could have been much worse. This shows how important the systems are for our customers,” says Aleksis Kajava, Sales Director, Weather and Environment, Vaisala.

Improved weather forecasting capabilities of the Bahamas Department of Meteorology, both through advanced instrumentation and increased expertise, will make it possible to provide advance warnings of approaching severe weather –like in the case of Dorian.

After Hurricane Dorian, three Vaisala automatic weather observation systems are still in place and operational. The weather radar tower and the radome have been designed to resist hurricane winds, but Dorian was an extreme Category 5 (highest category) major hurricane with wind speed exceeding the tower and radome specifications in gusts.

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Author: Kimmo Ristolainen, Director, MEA and India, Vaisala Effects of Hurricane Dorian in the Carolinas

Co-create a meteorological value chain

Public sector organisations, specifically national weather services, create and sustain the foundation on which meteorological value chains are built. Open data policies help to remove barriers, while private sector companies make important contributions along the value chain, particularly in the last mile.

The prize

Let’s start with an example of socio-economic value created in a community. Smallholder farmers in a Bangladesh project have been taught how they can use the weather forecast to decide when to fertilise. If they fertilise and it then rains, the fertiliser is washed out and lost. They perceive the rain forecast to be 95% accurate, which it’s not. How come?

• Farmers now use a forecast rather than following traditional rules that do not work in the presence of climate change.

• By using the forecast routinely, the farmers have learnt not to fertilise when probability of rain is > 60% during monsoon. Outside the monsoon season their threshold is 50%.

• Farmers say they save 25% fertiliser cost compared with before.

This is just one of many examples where small welldesigned projects make a difference. Key in each of them is a readily available weather forecast together with good handson training of the forecast users.

Experience shows that farmers quickly learn to read graphical depictions such as meteograms, even if they are illiterate.

A functioning value chain is key

Many things must happen in an aligned fashion to create weather forecasts and deliver them where they are needed. Meteorological value chains are complex, long and must be supported by the right enablers.

Much has been written about this, and a sound legal framework, clear mandate for the national meteorological service (NMS), trust between the public and private sectors, open and free data policies, and measures to strengthen the NMS always rank highly on the list of enablers.

This is all true, but one shouldn’t wait for all enablers to be optimal before getting a value chain going and continuously improving it.

Starting points

So, let’s see what good starting points there are to get a value chain going, always keeping in mind that socioeconomic value is created primarily at the end of the value chain.

It’s unrealistic to expect an evolving NMS to deliver all the needed components. The NMS can start by contributing the components it already does well and then expand its capacity.

What exactly those components are depends on local circumstance. Open and free data together with open processing chains allow value chain participants to pick and choose which components the NMS and other partners contribute, and which components are provided by the private sector.

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Farmers in Bangladesh successfully use the weather forecast. Credit

Fast-track weather services

The good news is that you can get started right away. With current technology, many development steps that established NMS had to go through are no longer necessary.

One can compare this to mobile phone technology that slowly replaced landlines in developed countries, yet was rolled our directly in developing countries.

Modern numerical weather prediction (NWP) processing chains offer at least three extension points that NMS’ can leverage to make their contributions quickly available to end users and organisations that cover the last mile.

Firstly, the data from weather stations can be used for postprocessing that increases the accuracy of local forecasts. Secondly, if an NMS operates a limited area NWP model (LAM), it can be added to a multi-model ensemble, further improving the ensemble’s skill. Thirdly, where a weather radar is available, it can immediately improve the nowcast.

End users can access the forecast directly, via web or app. Local organisations use the output to help their customers or members.

An NMS and its partners from the public and private sectors can create local value-added solutions from a mix of public and private systems. The use of private services can be scaled up or down as needed. The NMS connects international resources to local knowledge and capabilities.

Fast-track weather services set up a virtuous circle where the NMS visibly contributes to end-user value and at the same time becomes driven by end-user needs to continuously improve its service quality.

End users can already benefit from good weather services while the NMS is still growing its capacity.

Importantly, weather service delivery is resilient, and end users can rely on weather services being available without interruption. Glitches that easily occur during development may temporarily reduce forecast accuracy, but they do not interrupt weather service delivery.

Private sector companies can help

Private sector companies that cover the last mile can typically act more flexibly than NMS that must fulfil their mandate and provide continuity.

They’re typically good at installing and maintaining networks of weather stations, creating tailored products, providing tools and supporting end users. As they work for a profit,

The same map plug-in renders weather maps, satellite images and rain radar output on different host systems and form factors. Example from an iOS app. Credit meteoblue AG.

they must do a good job, listen to their customers and continuously improve their services in order to stay in business.

Most private sector companies rely on the public sector one way or another. Organised in the WMO, capable national and international public sector agencies have evolved and together provide the private sector with:

• Security of supply of high-quality data.

• Sustained access to high quality weather data.

• A basis for establishing credibility through validation with public data.

• Long term continuous innovation.

Good public services such as the ones delivered by NMS are crucial for a functioning value chain.

Getting started

An NMS can jump-start a country’s hydromet value chain within a few months by partnering with the national and international private sector. The ingredients for a functioning meteorological value chain are available within a country or as international resources as demonstrated by projects such as the one in Bangladesh.

The challenge lies in aligning the contributing players, and this is best done with hands-on projects that focus on satisfying the needs of the users of weather services.

Initially these projects should be small to not drown in organisational overhead. They can grow once the value chain participants have learned to work together.

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Farmers in Bangladesh successfully use the weather forecast. Credit Author: Dr. Christoph Ramshorn, CCO of meteoblue
+ CATS THE LIGHTNING DATA PROCESSING SOFTWARE Integrated system designed to produce and manage 4 ranges of solutions using lightning data COMPATIBLE WITH ALL TYPES OF LIGHTNING DATA STREAMS AUTONOMOUS USER ACCOUNTS MANAGEMENT USER FOCUSED SERVICES TAILORED TO ALL SPECIFIC NEEDS CATS is a modular production tool exported worldwide. EVALUATE the lightning risk CHECK the situation after a thunderstorm ANTICIPATE an immediate risk FOLLOW the thunderstorm’s evolution Let’s talk about thunderstorms! NEED TO KNOW MORE ? Contact :

Capacity building to counter extreme weather events

What are the capacity gaps that must be filled in order to ensure end users can receive important data related to extreme weather events and accept and take action on the information they receive?

Accurate and reliable hydromet information has always been incorporated into government plans and provides confidence that infrastructure, supply chains and communities can endure extreme weather events (EWEs).

However, for governments in developing economies that still prioritise socio-economic infrastructures, strengthening institutions to generate key hydromet data is still reliant on attitude, economy, risk perceptions and supporting local needs. Such needs often revolve around public facilities that benefit and support the community.

Therefore, the hydrometeorological infrastructure agenda should highlight how it supports these local needs in order to win the support of the community and achieve its goals.

Dealing with limitations

The limited hydromet capacity that’s common among government institutions points to a need to develop and sustain robust cooperation with hydromet data generators. These limitations include inadequate infrastructure to relay information from data generators to users (locals). This is something that could potentially be addressed by improving the community’s access to ICT services.

Such issues aren’t new, but it’s only possible to address these types of problem through alliances between the local government and the private companies that provide the necessary infrastructure for data generation, access and application. This includes the telecommunications industry.

The need for collaboration

The need for collaboration has also been brought to the forefront by the understanding that EWEs are wicked problems that disturb the water-energy-food-waste (WEFW) nexus, and that an effect on one sector can also affect another.

It’s because of this interconnectedness that creating an environment that nurtures collaboration has been a key goal local governments. Even so, documentation about the WEFW nexus is in some areas, such as Africa, limited.

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Storm with lightning at night, Wielkopolska Province, Poland.

While disseminating information is undoubtedly important, factors explaining (de)motivation to use hydromet data have been our area of interest.

The accuracy and reliability of meteorological predictions are heavily contested and can swing motivations to (or not) use hydromet information. This (de)motivational gap can make a big difference to the success of data sharing.

This is because, while adequate inclusivity and effective communication infrastructure has a multiplier effect that amplifies the relay of information to the majority of community members, demotivational factors may mean that end users distrust or don’t accept the hydromet information communicated to them.

With this in mind, we encourage discussions around other sources of data and knowledge. Indigenous knowledge (IK) held by some of community members has been key to complementing data from meteorological departments, as well as improving the level of acceptance of hydrometeorological data.

The needed capacity is however to discern the myths that have no basis in hydrometeorology with evidence-based indigenous knowledge.

Partnerships are crucial

The gaps we’ve highlighted cannot be filled by government businesses alone; policymakers have roles to support the development and implementation of specific and auxiliary policy frameworks to reinforce hydromet infrastructures.

It is crucial that partnerships are made with them, and that their views are accommodated in order to win their support. We ask them to allocate adequate financial resources that go beyond data collation to synergising, disseminating and applying it.

It’s also their support and that of the hydromet experts that manage unrealistic expectations from the locals and instead improve trust in hydromet data and support the government’s effort to improve hydrometeorological infrastructural capacity.

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Author: Kibet Tonui, Disaster Management Officer at Bomet County Government, Kenya. Rehabilitating Jakarta’s waterways to mitigate flood risk. Photo Credit: Farhana Asnap / World Bank

An early warning system for the Andes

ARC has been working on a project to design and implement an early warning system for floods, mud and rockslides on the western slope of the Peruvian Andes Mountains.

Riding horseback at 4,500 m along a narrow trail clinging to a rugged Andes Mountain peak isn’t in a typical chief scientist’s job description.  But for Roelof Bruintjes, it was just the most recent adventure in his tenure as Chief Scientist for Advanced Radar Company (ARC).

From his perch on the sure-footed pony, Dr Bruintjes enjoyed the spectacular scenery while critically assessing a potential weather radar site that would be instrumental to improving the safety for thousands of people living in the valleys and flood plain below.

In 2020, the Peruvian government awarded a contract to design and implement an early warning system (EWS) for both floods and solid movements (mudslides and rockslides) to a multinational consortium that includes ARC.

Phase one

The comprehensive EWS covers the entire western slope of the Peruvian Andes Mountains.

Phase one of the contract addresses four components: risks assessment, designing an observational system to monitor atmospheric and hydrological conditions and identify high-risk weather events, a warning component that includes sirens, SMS, and other warning dissemination means, and

a disaster response component that includes training for emergency services and public education and awareness. This ambitious project is built around the principles identified in the WMO’s Disaster Risk Reduction Roadmap and the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

The project most recently focused on the site selection process for weather radars, lightning detection systems, automatic weather stations precipitation and stream gauges. The extremely complex terrain of the western slope of the Andes Mountains makes site selection for the weather radar sites critical.

The eight sites, most sited along the coast, will provide essential atmospheric data for 11 watersheds, and if possible, an additional seven.

While map and satellite data were sufficient to determine the optimum locations for radar coverage, site visits were essential to verify each location fully met requirements for access, soil conditions, drainage, and clearance. The sites are spread over a 1,200 km span of the Peruvian coast, and Dr Bruintjes visited every site, traveling mostly by four-wheel drive vehicle and occasionally by horseback where roads don’t exist.

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Roelof Bruintjes, ARC Chief Scientist, surveying potential radar sites in the Andes mountains

ARC C250P C-band polarimetric doppler weather radars

As part of phase one, ARC will deliver two ARC C250P C-band polarimetric doppler weather radars; the remaining systems are planned for phase two of the project.

The ARC C250P radars are particularly well suited to the Peru requirements; operating at C-band provides large geographic coverage, and C-band is less attenuated by heavy rain as compared to X-band doppler radars.

The innovative C250P receiver design corrects for radio frequency interference (RFI) that is increasingly common at C-band frequencies. Additionally, the C250P uses NCAR-developed thunderstorm identification and tracking analyses (TITAN) and configurable integrated data display (CIDD) radar product generation and display (TITAN/CIDD) software, which can be configured for direct data assimilation into weather models, including the WRF model run by SENAMHI, the Weather Service of Peru.  ARC’s experience with radar networking further benefits the project, as the data from the eight radars will be delivered to SENAMHI headquarters in Lima for use in both numerical weather and hydrology models. Additionally, radar data will be separately transmitted to the four regional weather offices to support localised short-term forecasting for the EWS.

Experience across the world

While the Peru project is one of the largest undertaken by ARC, it isn’t unique. The company has designed and implemented doppler weather radar networks in the UAE and the Philippines, and provided radar maintenance and operator training, multi-sensor integration support and even special mission aircraft support for government laboratories, military and private research aircraft.

Since its inception in 2006, ARC has delivered and supported ARC and other branded dual-polarised weather radars in more than 20 countries.

Upgrade options

In addition to manufacturing radars, ARC offers cost-effective upgrades of existing doppler and dual-polarisation weather radars, regardless of the radar brand.

For many weather radar owners, an upgrade represents an enormous cost saving over buying a new radar system and provides a path to continued maintenance and updates when the original manufacturer is unable or unwilling to support the system.

Upgrade packages are tailored to a client’s specific needs, and typically include a digital receiver, radar controller and monitor, antenna control unit, ARC-GUI control software, and US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)developed TITAN/CIDD software.

If needed, the upgrade can include transmitter replacement, brushless motors and maintenance-free gearboxes, cables and accessory items.

Both new and upgraded radars use the TITAN/CIDD radar product generation and display software. Originally developed by NCAR, TITAN/CIDD has been refined through decades of research and operational use for both standard and polarimetric radar products.


TITAN/CIDD provides the customisable tools necessary to detect storm cells and potential hazardous weather associated with them.

Individual storm cells are identified based on measured reflectivity values and, for each storm, an extensive list of meteorological values is calculated. These properties are used to assess the intensity of the storm, as well as to detect any potential hazardous weather associated with it.

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Peru Early Warning System Planned C-Band Radar Sited and Covered Watersheds
“Since its inception in 2006, ARC has delivered and supported weather radars in more than 20 countries”

In addition, the CIDD software package provides the opportunity to overlay other meteorological data (such as station and satellite) on the radar data displays.

When used with ARC’s C250P and X250P dual-polarisation radars, TITAN/CIDD provides additional detection options such as the hydrometeor particle identification algorithm and radar echo classifier.

These tools enable the forecaster to better detect storms posing a threat of severe and hazardous weather. Continuity of the cells between successive scans allows a cell to be tracked and the future position is determined and displayed in TITAN/CIDD.

Broadening our horizons

In 2021, ARC expanded its capabilities with the acquisitions of Radiometrics and WDSS International. This makes it uniquely positioned to offer doppler weather radar, radar wind profilers, thermodynamic profilers, SkyCast wind and thermodynamic profiling systems and powerful meteorological decision support systems.

Over 20 SkyCast systems are deployed worldwide,

predominantly as the central component of Aviation Weather Decision Support Systems (LWDSS).

In addition to boundary layer wind and thermodynamic profiles, these systems can ingest data from the airport aviation weather observation system (AWOS), low level wind shear alert system (LLWAS) and terminal doppler radar.

VizAir aviation decision support software can generate wind shear alerts for both horizontal and vertical shear, warnings for icing and low-level jets, fog alerts with trending analysis, forecast indices and real-time Skew-T diagrams updated every five minutes.

A launch weather decision support system, which includes electric mills and a tropospheric radar wind profiler, is in daily use at a commercial space launch facility in Texas.

In addition to VizAir decision support products, ARC offers other decision support tools such as the Mesonet Analysis and Prediction Support System (MAPSS) and the Hydromet Decision Support System (HDSS).

HDSS provides nowcasting and NWP models optimised for flash flooding, severe storms, water resource management, heavy rainfall events and winter snow and ice events.

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It integrates existing hydromet information such as weather radar data, surface station networks, basin information and critical flood thresholds with precipitation estimation to provide meteorologists enhanced forecasts and nowcasting tools to better inform customers and general public of hazardous weather events. Customised forecaster workstations and web-based displays are available.

HDSS products include storm tracking and characteristics, radar rainfall estimation (QPE), gauge corrected QPE, basinaveraged and gridded data, flash flood prediction and alerts, and lightning activity nowcasts.

The common thread through all of these products is delivering real-time atmospheric observation data with application-specific software tools to provide actionable information on current and forecasted hydrometeorological conditions.

Data needed

“Beginning with the 2009 National Research Council’s seminal Observing Weather From the Ground Up report, and recently in the WMO’s 2021 State of Climate Services, there’s continued recognition of the need for additional boundary layer data to improve early warning systems, better assess climate change impacts, and increase weather forecast accuracy in general,” says ARC CEO Neil Brackin.

“ARC is uniquely positioned to deliver not only the critical observation systems, but also the decision support tools and expert services needed to fully leverage the combination of these systems with surface sensors, lightning sensor networks, satellite data and numerical models.

“ARC remote sensing systems are installed, or in construction, at over twenty airports around the world, are supporting space launches at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and in Brownsville, Texas, and are operated by numerous national weather services,” he continues. “Additionally, well over 200 of our remote sensing systems are used by atmospheric researchers on all seven continents.”

ARC is focused on delivering industry-leading remote sensing solutions that provide high-quality and reliable weather information to its customers. As summarided by Brackin; “Our goal is to be globally recognised for the innovative systems we bring to the weather monitoring industry.”

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Pollution monitoring

Raymetrics is the global leader and most experienced atmospheric LIDAR manufacturer in the world, with more than 20 years in the industry.

Lidar is an acronym for ‘light detection and ranging’. It has applications for a wide range of uses such as urban environment pollution monitoring, industrial emissions monitoring, volcanic ash detection, dust monitoring and forecasting, sea surface monitoring, ships’ fuel and emissions monitoring, temperature and humidity profiling, weather prediction nowcasting and remote early fire warning and monitoring.

Raymetrics produces backscatter, depolarisation and raman lidars for atmospheric applications, as well as components such as telescopes designed specifically for lidars. Through a combination of experience and expertise, it can offer some of the most powerful systems available commercially.

Anchored in Athens but with global reach and ambition, Raymetrics was founded by scientists and engineers to develop state-of-the-art lidar systems.

Raymetrics’ lidars

Developed through a long-term collaboration with the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) community, Raymetrics lidars perform robust and fully automatic measurements.

Its lidars are guaranteed to follow all Aerosols, Clouds and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network (ACTRIS) quality assurance protocols, will fill the requirements for ACTRIS National Facility for Aerosol Remote Sensing and minimise operation and maintenance cost.

Raymetrics’ client portfolio includes organisations as the British, French, German, Chinese and Dutch meteorological agencies, the European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Ternium Steel, Vale and National Environment Agency of Singapore.

Raymetrics’ PMeye

Raymetrics’ PMeye is a novel commercial system for remote sensing of particulate matter (PM) concentrations. It is a state-of-the-art scanning lidar employing a novel inversion scheme for converting raw lidar signals to reveal PM concentrations. The effectiveness and achieved accuracy of PMeye remote monitoring of aerosol concentrations is validated by combining raw lidar data with collocated measurements of a light scattering in-situ PM sensor. The following study presents PMeye measurement results in two Ternium steel factories in Latin America.

System specifications

PMeye is an eye-safe UV scanning depolarisation lidar system (Figure 1), developed by Raymetrics. The system quality is monitored using the EARLINET/ACTRIS quality assurance procedures and is designed for 24/7 unattended operation. Table 1 presents its essential technical characteristics.

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Telescope 200mm Emission 355nm Energy per pulse 30mJ Repetition rate 20Hz Detection 355p / 355s Spatial
PMeye: a novel commercial lidar scanner for pollution monitoring
resolution 3.75m Angular resolution 0.1 Degrees Scanning ange angle Zenith: -6° to 90°
0° to 360°
Raymetrics PMeye scanning lidar installed on the administration building rooftop in TERNIUM, Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Lidar applications for meteorology

Weather nowcasting - Current weather situation and forecast

• Weather prediction nowcasting: providing accurate warnings and watches.

• Planetary boundary layer (PBL): important for everything from climate to air quality studies.

• Temperature and humidity profiling: cloud base for near-future forecasting and total cloud cover.

Aviation - Comprehensive solutions for civil aviation authorities, airports as well as meteorological agencies

• Cloud base for near-future forecasting and total cloud cover.

• Visibility/Fog: visibility measurements, RVR, VOR, MOR & SVR- up the glide slope.

• PBL: the atmospheric layer in which turbulent phenomena take place.

Early warning systems - Multihazard early warning systems

• Desert dust: deliver timely and quality sand and dust storm forecasts, observations.

• Wildfires: remote early fire warning and monitor applications.

• Volcanic ash: detection, discrimination and distribution of volcanic ash.

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The Raymetrics processing software retrieves higherlevel products (aerosol optical properties, graphs, surface plots, statistics etc.) from raw lidar signals. It is designed for automatic data processing, so, apart from the necessary initial setup, requires no further user input.

The software is organised as a chain of processors. Each processor takes as input one or multiple data files and produces corresponding output files, typically data or images.

All processing parameters are controlled by a configuration file, which allows for fine-tuning the analysis during setup without any software changes. All data is stored in NetCDF4 format, with their internal structure following the Climate and Forecast (CF) convention.

PM concentrations

Aerosol concentration retrievals are performed as a two-step approach. Firstly, a proprietary inversion algorithm estimates the aerosol backscatter coefficient based on raw lidar signals.

The algorithm treats the inversion as an optimisation procedure and regularises the solution based on physical considerations, such as solution smoothness (See image below).


PMeye system application in two steel factories in Latin America included numerous field measurements near different emission sources. For the validation of the system, the lidar was manually pointed towards an in-situ PM sensor (TSI Dust Track DRX 8543). Figure 3 presents results from such intercomparison measurements over the Ternium steel plant in Argentina.

In this way, the inversion is achieved without explicit boundary conditions, as typically required by vertical lidar inversion schemes.

As a second step, source-specific calibration factors are derived based on reference measurements performed alongside the portable PM counter at various distances and over different emission sources. Water droplet clouds are separate from particulate emissions using depolarisation measurements.

The targeted emission site was located 740m from the lidar location. Similar measurements and results were obtained in several sites on each plant, on various distances and directions with respect to the lidar location.

The intercomparison of 5min averages of these results reveals high correlation coefficients and mean relative differences of less than 20% on all sites.

Calibrated and interpolated horizontal scanning results using a 2° step are presented in figure 4. The system performed horizontal 360° with 5s measurement duration at each line of sight to monitor the emissions and dispersion from various plant processes as well as external sources (forest fire). Figure 4 also demonstrates the separation of water and aerosol plumes.


Raymetrics PMeye is a novel commercial system consisting of a state-of-the-art scanning lidar and innovative algorithms used for PM concentrations monitoring. Measurements performed at two highly variable sites in terms of emission sources, i.e., two steel factories in Latin America, support the effectiveness and accuracy of the overall system. Using an innovative inversion scheme for transforming raw signals to aerosol concentrations, PMeye is a unique remote sensing monitoring tool in urban and industrial areas.

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Left: retrieved optimal backscatter profile. Right: comparison of the actual lidar signal (orange) with the signal that would be produced by the backscatter profile (blue). Figure 3: Time series of lidar (blue) and in situ counter PM values (orange) over Ternium (Argentina) steel shop in arbitrary units.

Learn. Meet. Collaborate.

What are they?

Varysian events are designed to provide a platform for constructive conversation and debate around building resilient hydromet infrastructure, improving data, developing partnerships, working with stakeholders and understanding the current key themes being championed by the WMO, including Public-Private Engagement (PPE).


Varysian was founded in 2017 with the objective of enhancing partnership and collaboration between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) and other industry stakeholders through world-class events, data and research

Who attends?

Varysian has built on these foundations to work with partners from across the conservation, environmental and development spheres, creating specialist networks and curating digital events and campuses.

Our events bring together a diverse audience of attendees, particularly senior figures at regional NHMS, academic and research institutions, NGOs and private sector players to develop a common understanding of their priorities and partnership needs


Quality curated events and meaningful interaction sit at the heart of the Hydromet Network From our flagship regional Symposiums - HydrometPAC, HydrometLATAM; HydrometCARIBBEAN; HydrometAFRICA - held in-person and live-streamed on the Hydromet Network, to hybrid events, weekly webinars, technology demonstrations, one-to-ones, training modules and specialist conferences, the Hydromet Network regularly convenes this sector’s key decision-makers from the public and private sectors

How are themes developed?

Each event is unique to the region in which it is based. Topics are developed from within the region, and decided on by a select focus group consisting of local high-level stakeholders Over several sessions these select individuals highlight and develop themes around important weather, climate, hydrological and meteorological topics, on which Varysian bases the specialised agenda.

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Author: Richard Fellner, CEO, Nowcast

All the way to the end users

Provide actionable information

Provided meteorological information should always be actionable by those who receive it. So, while having access to high quality meteorological data is traditionally at the top on the priority list, information uses and modes of delivery are just as important.

Leveraging with adaptability and creativity an improved knowledge of its end users, a NMHS will be able to deliver adequate services specifically answering the identified needs.

Remaining the go-to reference for weather-related information in their country is a key goal for national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHS) in order to better fulfil their state missions and protect their population.

In order to achieve this objective, a strong trend is emerging: putting end users in the foreground. Focusing on end users’ needs and deploying a dedicated services strategy increases the practical benefits of meteorological data, among other advantages. Many NMHS across the globe are either already well advanced on this path or heading this way.

Here are four steps we observed NMHS apply to develop an effective end-user strategy.

Get to know your end users

The key is listening. Discussing with the end users helps better understand the ways they interact with meteorological information.

How do they get it? How do they use it? Is the information they are getting complete and adapted? Could it be improved?

For instance, thunderstorms and lightning are major worldwide meteorological threats to people, infrastructures and economic activities. Every year, lightning kills and injures tens of thousands of people and causes damages valuated in billions of US dollars.

On top of that, it usually occurs alongside other dangerous thunderstorm conditions such as wind gusts, hail, heavy rain and flash floods, which can be rapidly evolving and hard to predict. As such, lightning is a danger with various consequences for many stakeholders, including NMHS forecasters, civil security authorities, airports, electricity grids and industrial sites, as well as the general population.

Switching the focus to the needs seems the surest manner to optimise the information value chain, all the way to the people and entities NMHS are addressing.

For instance, to mitigate efficiently different aspects of the lightning risk impacting various stakeholders, different services might be needed such as displays to follow storm cells, real-time warnings based on detection or nowcasting methods, statistics to analyse their exposure based on lightning climatology, activity reports to check the correlation between the lightning information and any event.

As an example, in the Caribbeans Météo France uses lightning data to produce METeorological Aerodrome Reports (METARs) for airport authorities, facilitate the maintenance of local electricity grids and warn fuel storage sites of incoming thunderstorms.

Start with what is already there

A cost and time efficient approach could be to start with readily available datasets, such as satellite data or data from existing networks, and third-party services which are already packaged and ready to be delivered.

This avoids heavy initial investments and long implementation timeframes. The purchase of packaged services production software can be integrated in thematic development programs or operating budgets. It can also be funded via a revenue-sharing scheme in the framework of a public-private partnership (PPP) or by the development of cost-recovery activities addressing the private sector.

As a basis for services, the lighting dataset has several key advantages. It tends to be easily actionable, as in many cases the end user needs a binary information: is there lightning activity or not coming over my area of interest? Was this infrastructure hit by lightning? For other weather parameters, determining the thresholds triggering an action is not always so simple.

Secondly, it’s innovative enough to catch the attention of the general public, greatly facilitating the communication effort and the spread of uses.

Third, from the variety of consequences lightning can have derives a variety of specialised services necessary to properly cover the needs. And finally, it’s not part of the standard WMO package of meteorological parameters which must be made publicly available “as is”, so NMHS have more flexibility regarding how to use and deliver this information.

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Four steps NMHS can take to develop an effective end user strategy

Ensure long-term viability with an efficient implementation

As we saw, identifying end user needs and defining adapted services is a process which can bring major benefits at every level. However, it does require an investment in time and human resources, the development of specific skills and to get organised for it. So, defining a clear path forward is crucial to implement efficiently such a strategy.

Key questions

Here are a few questions we observed to be key for NMHS wishing to go this way:

• Do we have available human resources, with the adequate technical and marketing skills, who could roll out an end-user approach?

• What available datasets could be used to develop dedicated services?

• Which end users should be addressed first?

• Is this strategy aiming solely at better addressing the needs of everyone or do we wish to adopt a differentiated approach between public/private users to engage in cost recovery?

• Do we wish to develop this approach internally, via subsidiaries or with external partnerships through PPPs?

On this complex and promising topic, Météorage works with Météo France, BMKG in Indonesia, KNMI in the Netherlands, INAMET in Angola and many other partners and customers to develop the benefits brought by lightning data in the framework of a service strategy focused on the end users.

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Top security features to look for in weather stations

Having access to critical weather data, key individuals can use that information to forecast and guide the decision-making process. When researching what weather station is right for you, consider these critical security features to ensure data security.

Vaisala weather stations are designed with reliability and security in mind to keep your information accessible and intact.

1 No hard coded user accounts and passwords

Secure management of user credentials where the application does not store credentials or transmit unencrypted credentials at any time.

2 Secure boot

Helps a system resist attacks and infection from malware.

3 Arm® TrustZone® technology protected private keys

A methodology to isolate security critical components in a system.

4 Encrypted flash memory

Protect the confidential information stored on the weather station’s devices and ensure that the data remains safe in the event of theft or accidental loss.

5 Root file system integrity

Help prevent potentially malicious software from modifying protected data.

6 Encrypted installation package

Verify and maintain the integrity of the system and prevent hackers from tampering with it.

7 User accounts with minimum access rights

Allow only enough access to perform the required job and reduce the risk of attackers gaining access to critical systems or sensitive data.

8 Device certificate ensuring device authenticity

Enable only authorized devices to connect to your network or other devices and applications on your network.

9 Firewall – all ports closed by default

Do not leave unnecessary ports open and vulnerable to hackers and malware attacks.

C M Y CM MY CY CMY K WEA-MET-advert-Top-security-features-for-weather-stations-Varysian-Guide-2022-210x297mm.pdf 1 2022-09-25 17:45:29
World of Data 03 54 The importance of radar 57 Mobile sensing systems 60 Introducing ARC’s early warning system 62 Compact and maintenance-free 64 Surface weather observations 68 Meeting aviation weather needs 70 Yes, we scan!

The importance of radar

Data and weather are much alike. We make many decisions each day based on the findings we glean from both. If the news we receive is faulty, we might make decisions we later regret. Spot-on data is of the utmost importance.

In many countries around the world meteorological observational equipment is ageing and in need of repair or replacement. Yet there’s an ongoing challenge within the industry to balance quality with the economics of the purchase price and the ongoing maintenance costs. A client might want to buy high-end sensors, but lack the budget or ability to maintain these advanced tools. Maintenance is a critical element regarding radar – as a high-quality radar gives us precise information which, down the road, helps with forecasts, analysing and issuing of warnings.

However, maintaining a radar can be arduous as the device comes with a lot of moving parts. Radars not only need repairs from wear and tear but preventative maintenance as well – something an organisation needs to keep in mind.

Baron Weather’s approach to radars is a novel one. All three of the radars Baron offers — the X, C, and S band — have some common components standardised for easier, quicker or reduced maintenance. Built for durability and reliability, Baron radars include advanced features that help keep maintenance low and data quality high. Multiple configurations ensure an organisation can find the best solution for their needs.

Calibration counts

As for radars and sensors, both must be calibrated. An uncalibrated or poorly calibrated radar generates degraded base data which limits the usefulness of the radar and contributes to erroneous weather forecasts.

A flawed forecast can be catastrophic, resulting in lost lives and property damage. This problem can be resolved by calibrating radars with new, sophisticated and patented algorithms that reduce labour costs, increase operation time and reduce maintenance headaches.

Baron first developed the auto-calibration technology. Its auto-calibration checks numerous parameters with every volume scan, ensuring the radar system is automatically calibrated 10 times per hour. Even when operating in adverse environments, the hardware can accommodate any temperature-related effects, ensuring continuous accuracy. This keeps Baron Gen3 radar systems consistent, precise and easier to operate and maintain.

Next came groundbreaking multi-radial ZDR calibration, setting an even higher standard for radar reliability.

This patented technology solves several calibration and operating challenges, as Baron’s Multi-Radial Calibration is

Why radar is key to establishing a solid foundation for current and future forecasting

automatically calculated with every sweep, equalling more than 300 times per hour.

This means Baron radars don’t need to be taken offline to perform calibration nor require a maintenance visit versus other methods, which eliminate the need for human intervention to keep radar differential reflectivity precise at all times.

A solid foundation for future forecasting

The increasing quality and quantity data is playing a major role in the improvement of forecast performance.

Data, delivered by Baron radars, can serve as the foundation of a more effective meteorological network and early warning system.

Baron’s doppler weather radar innovations have led to more accurate and reliable weather detection and forecasting. In fact, when it comes to numerical weather prediction (NWP), Baron radars can assimilate with the Baron NWP high-resolution model giving our customers improved, short-term precipitation forecasting.

The quest to combat the clutter

With the emergence of 5G, the fifth-generation technology for broadband cellular networks, and a general increase in radio frequency (RF) transmission, radars are getting more interference. Cutting the clutter is critical in cultivating accurate and dependable radar data.

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This dual polarisation radar, located in Bangladesh, is from Baron’s Gen3 series and can analyse hydrometeor returns in a cross-section, retrieving accurate precipitation measurements.

Clarity is especially paramount because professionals in public safety and emergency management, or even the general public, aren’t trained to know what they’re looking at. They don’t know what’s precipitation or not. They lack the training meteorologists possess. So, the cleaner the data, the more useful it is to the untrained eye and more valuable to other downstream users in the meteorological chain. New radar processing technology makes dual-polarisation radars even more powerful tools for solving weather and climate problems. This new advanced technology allows meteorological organisations to identify weather and climate events with greater precision and deliver more accurate analysis of weather data.

Introducing ClearScan

That’s where ClearScan comes in. This exclusive technology from Baron gives the most advanced and proven suppression systems for ground clutter and RF interference, resulting in greatly improved meteorological data quality.

Using machine learning algorithms supported by human intervention, Baron ClearScan learns to recognise data from actual weather targets versus radio frequency interference

(RF) or anomalous propagation (AP).

RF interference is caused by other electronic devices and is a growing concern as new technologies like 5G cellular signals increase the potential interference with weather radars.

In summary

Clearer visualisation and analysis of weather threats are moot if radars aren’t calibrated or well maintained. But even when these bases are covered, the most skilled weather professionals can struggle with the inability to ‘see’ the weather data in three dimensions.

That’s why Baron also helps meteorologists visualise the weather. Baron Lynx Advanced Forecaster Workstation offers multiple options for viewing and analysing weather data, easing the ability to generate forecasts and assess real-time conditions.

This enables critical weather information to be delivered to key stakeholders and the public in a visually appealing format.

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Author: Jon Tarleton, Vice President – Integrated Weather Systems at Baron Weather
Before ClearScan After ClearScan
Baron Weather’s ClearScan™ is radar processing technology created to make dual-polarization radars even more powerful tools for solving weather and climate problems. This advanced technology allows meteorological organizations and broadcasters to identify weather and climate events with greater precision.

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Mobile sensing systems

Mobile sensing systems are proving to be an effective way for researchers to gather timely, actionable data. Today’s lightweight, powerful sensors enable scientists to capture essential and relevant data with precision and placement previously unobtainable.

They no longer need to invest and rely on physical structures or expensive transport vehicles. Now they can use any vehicle, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to carry their payloads precisely where they want to gather data.

LI-COR Environmental, a US-based leading technology innovator for ecosystem measurements, recently acquired Anemoment LLC, producer of TriSonica sensors: the world’s smallest and lightest 3D ultrasonic anemometers.

Its TriSonica Mini Wind and Weather Sensor is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand yet is a highly accurate tool for atmospheric monitoring, weather reporting and ecosystem research. Even with its small size it provides precise wind speed, direction, temperature, humidity, pressure, tilt and compass data. The fact it has no moving parts eliminates maintenance issues, making it perfect for permanent installations.

LI- COR ’s TriSonica Sphere Wind Flux Sensor is the industry’s smallest and lightest 3D sensor, engineered to deliver precise vertical wind measurements. Fast sampling rates of up to 100 Hz make it ideal for UAV-based atmospheric flux and turbulence research, including eddy covariance studies.

Methane monitoring

The TriSonica mobile sensors are being used today around the globe in a number of key areas of research including methane monitoring and monsoon research. With increased awareness of the impact greenhouse gas emissions have on air quality and climate change, there’s a focus on finding ways to reduce methane emissions.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), methane (CH4) represents the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted on a global scale, and has a greenhouse effect 84-times stronger than carbon dioxide when counted over 20 years after releasing the gas into the atmosphere.

Accurately measuring methane emissions is important, not only in raising awareness of the environmental impact of methane on our atmosphere, but also in helping to formulate realistic, effective regulations regarding its release.

Sparv Embedded of Sweden is working with Linköping University to integrate a high precision CH4 sensor for UAV deployments. The sensor, developed by Aeris Technologies, measures variations smaller than one parts per billion.

The Sparvio sensing platform takes onboard readings of methane, winds, air pressure, position, orientation, speed, temperature and humidity, logs this data and transmits it to a ground station to view the location of methane emission sources, as well as the quantity of gas flow, in real-time. This approach has applications in many environments including emissions from extended areas that are difficult to measure using traditional methods, searching for leaks from gas pipelines and mapping and measuring of inaccessible emissions in complex industrial landscapes.

Another deployment example comes from the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Earth Systems Observation group (EES-14). Its field campaigns attempt to locate, quantify and characterise methane leaks from oil and gas infrastructure using a variety of sensor arrays, including trace gas analysers, wind flux sensors and sonic 3D wind and weather sensors.

Using the data obtained by these sensors along with a variety of different modelling procedures enables the team to leverage physics-based models to inform their field measurements and vice versa to get a better idea of how these emissions are transported and interact with the atmosphere and, in turn, the potential effects they might have on our ecosystem.

Wind plays a critical role

“In characterising methane and other hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas infrastructure, trace gas analysers can give us continuous volumetric concentrations in the air of methane and ethane and other hydrocarbon species,” says Aaron G. Meyer, a EES-14 trace gas specialist.

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Mobile sensing systems elevate hydrometeorology to a new level. TriSonica family of sensors

“However, to go from a concentration that you may be measuring in a plume downwind of a source to an actual quantifiable emission flux, the wind data is as important as the trace gas concentration data because of the atmospheric dynamics that are at play.”

Researchers have found that the downwind characterisation of emission sources can vary dramatically based on existing wind conditions. A day with good conditions for measuring a source downwind, in terms of the wind speed and direction, will appear different in terms of the concentrations that the trace gas analysers are reporting compared to a day with higher or lower wind speeds.

So, when calculating for target gas concentrations –whether applying a basic atmospheric dispersion equation or performing more complicated dispersion modelling and turbulence profiling – wind speed and direction are critical variables.

“Our field campaigns always come back to wind characterisation,” says Meyer. “It’s such an important factor in finding where potential sources are coming from and being able to quantify their size. All of that is contingent upon having accurate wind data.”

Monsoon research

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University uses UAVs to improve forecasting and better predict flash floods and severe thunderstorm events associated with North American monsoons.

The overarching goal of its research is to better understand what triggers that very localised precipitation.

To that end, the university enlisted personnel from its Prescott Arizona, and Daytona Beach Florida campuses to conduct this research project. The approach involved a variety of manned and unmanned research vehicles, the use of which provided near continuous measurements of the lower atmosphere over the complex terrain found in northern Arizona.

Traditional forecast models rely heavily on fixed local weather stations located miles apart that fail to capture the meteorological interactions that occur over complex terrain. By using a fleet of manned and unmanned vehicles, researchers were able to capture measurements horizontally as well as vertically. The UAVs allowed researchers to investigate the unique weather phenomenon present during the monsoon season at a finer spatial and temporal scale than ever before.

Their theory is that the denser and more frequent the data, the better the forecast. In capturing data near the Earth’s surface as thunderstorms were forming, researchers hope they can more effectively monitor the timing and location of convective cells. By improving their understanding of these processes, they hope to enhance forecasting of flash floods and severe thunderstorms.

Timely access to high quality and actionable information is necessary if we’re to mitigate the threat of meteorological and hydrological hazards.

Improving the accuracy of weather forecasts through the use of mobile sensing systems can not only save lives but also help cities and communities build resilience against climate change.

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Author: Michael Irvin, TriSonica Marketing Specialist Fixed-Wing Censys Sentaero VLOS configured for Monsoon Research

Superior Technology to Power Your Early Warning System

When critical decisions need to be made quickly, Baron’s meteorological tools supersede the industry standard. Protect your communities, improve safety, and provide earlier warnings with our powerful, comprehensive weather solutions.

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View/analyze and distribute from a single system integrating data from your entire meteorological network.

Relying on insufficient, inferior, or outdated weather detection and forecasting technology can have unintended consequences. Baron can solve your weather challenges. | +1-256-881-8811 | Talk to Our Experts
©2022 Baron Weather, Inc. All rights reserved. Baron, the Baron logo, are registered trademarks of Baron Weather, Inc. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Introducing ARC’s early warning system

The early warning system (EWS) from Advanced Radar Company (ARC) will make intensive use of weather radar precipitation information and a dynamic flood modelling system to produce several high-resolution real-time precipitation and flood warning products.

Weather radar information will be combined with all existing instrumentation, such as rain gauge stations to obtain a combined product in order to provide the best-observed precipitation field.

These will then be integrated into an advanced, high resolution flood prediction model called WRF-Hydro.


• The generation of short-term precipitation radarforecasts (nowcasting) up to three hours.

• Two warning products at the scale of the radar cell:

1. Warnings related to exceedance of precipitation accumulation at each cell in a certain time period. The purpose of this warning will be to provide very rapid information about potential flooding conditions due to the accumulation of water in a certain area, usually in short time periods. This type of warning can be very useful to anticipate flooding due to intense localised storms, and it has very practical application in urbanised areas and small catchments with short response times.

2. Warnings related to the aggregated precipitation over the contributing basin of each cell and for different aggregation periods. This product provides another very rapid indicator of potential flooding conditions.

• Mapped flood inundation warnings that are developed by a hyper-resolution, physics-based hydrologic model (WRF-Hydro) which ingests radar-derived precipitation estimates and nowcasts. The WRF-Hydro model is also used as the NOAA National Water Model.

• Warnings calculated based on both measured and forecasted data, which will allow for the intersection of flood risks and sensitive infrastructure in advance and help to activate mitigation actions.

• Deployed as a web-based platform that will include all the basic aspects: data acquisition, processing of products

and warnings, monitoring, configuration and display.

• Platform will include dissemination tools, with email and SMS dissemination capabilities in order to facilitate the maximum distribution of warnings among potential users.

• Linked to available pre-existing information: associated flooding maps, protection protocols, etc.

• Platform will include dissemination tools, with email and SMS dissemination capabilities in order to facilitate the maximum distribution of warnings among potential users.

• Linked to available pre-existing information: associated flooding maps, protection protocols, etc.

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The early warning system (EWS) from Advanced Radar Company (ARC) will make intensive use of weather radar precipitation information and a dynamic flood modelling system

Globally recognized system deployment on all continents with sustainable system integration since 1987

Our team

Advanced Radar Company (ARC) was founded in 2006 by the UCAR Foundation to commercialise a new generation of advanced weather radars and solutions.

The Radiometrics Corporation was founded in 1987 by the UCAR Foundation to commercialise radiometer technology for its significant improvement in modelling, forecasting and weather predictive tools.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) is one of five laboratories within NCAR. Its mission is to conduct directed research that contributes to fundamental understanding of the atmosphere and related physical, biological, and social systems; to support, enhance and extend the capabilities of the scientific community and to develop and transfer knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth.

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Author: Morgan Brackin, Marketing Associate, Radiometrics

Compact and maintenance-free

Innovations and future are key words at Sommer Messtechnik in Austria, where our engineers work constantly on developing unique non-contact discharge sensors for the hydrological monitoring sector to improve water and flood management.

Our unique, high-quality flowmeters and technology support our customers to work more efficiently against the effects of climate change.

Based on the climatic change, the increasing number of heavy rain events and floods brings more and more frequent destruction to buildings, industries, infrastructure and hydropower plants.

These climatic changes generate either floods or water scarcities depending on the geographic area. Therefore, these events are affecting agriculture and local communities, creating riverbed changes which have an impact on fauna and flora and much, much more.

At the beginning of 2022 the tropical cyclone ANA hit the east coast of Africa and caused an enormous flood which brought devastation to the African continent. As an example, hydropower plants were damaged due to a lack of monitoring equipment in their discharge network that would have quickly detected the flow increase and warned plant engineers in time.

Reliable discharge meters could have avoided damage to aspects of the plants such as their turbines, which caused power issues for both industry and the population, something that is still negatively affecting economies today.

All damages and losses generated by ANA will require millions of investments and take many years to recover from.

RQ-30 all-in-one flow station

Almost 20 years ago, Sommer Messtechnik brought a substantial innovation to the hydrological market by introducing a new way of flow monitoring and measuring technology, the RQ discharge sensor.

These instruments monitor the discharge of rivers 24/7 with high accuracy and reliability using non-contact radar technology that doesn’t even need to touch the water.

Due to its user-friendly software the RQ is easy to configure in any river. This solution not only provides the discharge of the rivers (m3/s, l/s …) but also delivers important hydraulic parameters like velocity, water level and riverbed changes.

Based on this information our customers are constantly updated about the condition of the water bodies in their river basins and can react promptly with corrective decisions and measures in case of floods or water scarcity.

In some applications in Africa, the new RQ-30 sensor is used as an all-in-one (AIO) hydrological station which measures (velocity, level, discharge), stores and transmits data.

Small batteries can be included in the sensor to guarantee the power autonomy for months, with an optional connection to a small solar panel further extending this time. The all-in-one RQ-30 station can transmit the hydrological data to different servers simultaneously via modem 2G/3G/4G or via satellite in case there is no mobile network in the area.

Since many stations are installed in areas that are difficult to reach, our customers can remotely access their stations, check the different quality parameters and modify the different parameters from their office without sending technicians into the field.

We at Sommer Messtechnik know how important it is to save time, especially when a flood is imminent. The RQ-30 is not only a high-quality solution but also maintenance free. Due to lack of funds for maintenance or service networks around the world are often neglected. This will not happen in RQ-30 networks because maintenance is very rarely, if ever, needed. Installed above water, the deployment in the field is safe and quick for technicians as there is no specific civil works required. The sensor can be installed easily on a bracket over a bridge, on the riverbanks or on a cable pulled over the river.

Thanks to the RQ, customers in more than 110 countries have control over their rivers and river basins. The RQ-30 can be connected to existing hydrological stations and can upgrade water level networks in flow monitoring networks too. SOMMER offers cutting edge support, including an online

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Compact early warning flood station with maintenance-free operation: the capabilities of Sommer’s RQ-30 non-contact discharge, velocity and level sensor Compact discharge RQ-30 station measuring hydropower plant´s inlet in Central Africa

support centre with documentation and videos that enables customers to learn and adjust the sensors themselves in a few minutes.

Is vandalism a concern in your area?

Many stations – after installation – are victims of vandalism. Customers in Africa and South America are mostly concerned about vandalism actions and damages on their stations during the first year, which leads to a lack of data transmission and loss of information.

The number one targets for theft are battery and solar panels at these types of stations. These can be protected in different ways including but not limited to theft-proof screws.

Thanks to our AIO version the batteries are hidden and protected inside the sensor. Due to its compact design, where the whole station is just one sensor, vandals are less attracted to damage it as there isn’t any switch cabinet where data logger, batteries and data transmission are installed.

Additionally, due to the small size of the sensor, it’s easy for our customers to install it in a position difficult to reach and hidden from the eyes of vandals or thieves.

Flexible for any river in the world

Agencies around the world, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have proven that monitoring only the water level in your river isn’t enough to detect early warning flood events.

Studies prove that there are better indicators to detect a flood coming promptly and save lives and avoid disasters, such as velocity.

Equipped with a dynamic and refined hydraulic model, the discharge sensors made by SOMMER Messtechnik can be installed in big rivers as well as small ones.

The RQ series, certified by Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Meteorology (METAS), can provide data in both turbulent and slow water, important when rivers are dynamic systems that can change quite quickly in a short period of time.

As innovators in hydrological monitoring equipment, our technology is equipped with machine learning (ML) technology in order to guarantee trustable data in any conditions.

Our customers will always have the highest quality of the discharge data in any possible condition, including floods.

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Author: Luca Bovo, International Sales Manager at Sommer Messtechnik RQ-30 station vandalism proof installed in Africa SADC area All-in-one discharge stations installed on a cable

Surface weather observations

Surface weather observations are the backbone of weather forecasting, providing the fundamental data necessary for forecasting and warnings.

The technology for automated weather observations has evolved considerably in recent years to become more accurate and reliable than ever.

The challenges for today’s meteorological organisations go far beyond pinpoint accuracy, however. Tightening budgets and our changing climate make it necessary to do more with less. At the same time, network security weaknesses have revealed vulnerabilities that organisations are just beginning to address.

Vaisala has a long history of meeting the needs of national meteorological institutes and other organisations that depend on accurate forecasting. Through collaboration, research and rigorous testing, we develop the most accurate, reliable and advanced weather measurement solutions – for today and the future.

Next-generation weather observation sensors and network solutions take observational efficiency, security, accuracy and sustainability to new heights. Sensors, automatic weather stations and other solutions are designed to operate in all weather conditions. Future-compatible features include modular expansion capability, unmatched accuracy and reliability, and network integration for increased security.

Today’s challenges: global and local coverage Met institutes face many challenges producing effective and accurate weather forecasts. Climate change is causing more extreme weather events, adding pressure to the goals of protecting lives and assets.

In addition, urbanisation and increased economic and transportation activities increase vulnerability to prevailing weather conditions. Cost efficiency measures are increasingly high priorities, even with these factors. With today’s weather forecasting challenges, one thing remains: the need for accurate and reliable surface weather observations 24/7. Together, national observation networks and international exchange of observational data enable high-quality weather forecasts and help improve the safety and well-being of people.

The Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) strives to provide comprehensive and consistent global observational data availability, which in turn results in better weather products and services, not only globally and regionally, but also on national and local levels.

However, there are large geographical gaps in data availability. In some parts of the world observations are either not made or not exchanged internationally, and in other parts they are not made or exchanged frequently enough.

Focused on network security

Most weather observation networks are expected to perform for ten years or more – long enough to necessitate ways of meeting current and future needs.

As met institutes and other organisations assess their surface weather observation networks, it’s important to consider improvements that ensure accurate and dependable performance in the future.

The newest technology advancements will help organisations in their assessment and integration plans. This includes:

• Edge computing

• Hybrid networks

• Optical observation instruments

• Smart, connected sensors

• Cybersecurity

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Availability of the surface pressure data globally on September 26, 2022 as compiled and illustrated by WMO and ECMWF. Photo credit: The next evolution of surface weather observations, and the technologies behind them

Edge computing

At the forefront of innovation, edge computing will bring greater value and advancements for local observations. Observation pre-processing can be based on algorithms, machine learning, quality control procedures and other factors. Local monitoring and alerting can be based not just on system status changes, but also on observation changes. Edge computing can be used, for example, to pre-process images. Open interfaces with possibilities to include customers own solutions provides limitless capabilities for customers to enhance their own systems.

Hybrid network models

The hybrid network model combines high-end climatological and synoptic weather stations, supplementary multiparameter and possibly single parameter smart connected sensors.

Hybrid networks includes edge computing and a centralised management system, which can be operated through the cloud or on premises. This model provides customisable flexibility, modular expansion, network security and robust architecture.

The hardware used in a hybrid network should be commercial and off-the-shelf with at least a 10-year lifespan. For full flexibility and customisability, sensors and edge-computing device software should easily customisable and secure with easy-to-use software architecture.

With these building blocks, implementing an entire observation network could take just weeks, not month or years.

Optical observation instruments

Innovative optical observation technology sets a new standard in precipitation identification, quantification and visibility determination accuracy.

One single sensor can potentially replace multiple sensors by providing very accurate information about visibility and present weather (visibility and present weather sensor), droplet size distribution and reflectivity (disdrometer), freezing rain type (freezing rain sensor) and rain accumulation (rain gauge).

Wind lidars are already proven for their exceptional accuracy in cloud height measurement and backscatter profiling. In the future lidars will profile many new parameters.

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Vaisala’s new Automatic Weather Station AWS810 enables secure, and integrated network architecture, that makes modern observation networks easy to create, manage and maintain. Edge computing is a distributed computing method that brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to improve response times and save bandwidth.

Smart, connected sensors

What makes a sensor smart? First, it has enough processing power to handle more sophisticated functionalities like device management and monitoring, and to generate alerts based on monitored parameters.

Second, it has enough memory to perform observation, event and data logging. Third, a smart sensor should have intelligent capabilities like diagnostics and software updates, and to store, process and share metadata such as device, site and observation quality information.

A smart, connected sensor has internet access for smart features and uses a secure, standard machine-to-machine interface.


Information security breaches are one of the top issues facing businesses today.

Perhaps one of the most alarming statistics is that 62% of global organisations cannot claim that they’re equipped to handle a cyberattack. This void will lead the charge for improved cybersecurity in the future.

World leader

Vaisala is the world leader in producing weather observation sensors that provide the best accuracy and reliability for meteorological institutions and other organisations.

We have built our expertise on more than 85 years of highly accurate observations.

Current top sources of security breaches include:

• Weak passwords and default settings

• Insecure network services and ecosystem interfaces

• Insecure update mechanisms

• Outdated or insecure components

• Poor privacy protection

• Lack of secure data transfer and storage

• Inadequate device management and physical hardening.

Any new device with network access should be protected against these vulnerabilities to avoid becoming a breaching point in the network. To be ready for current and future cyberattacks, Vaisala is aggressively seeking ways to test new products.

Vaisala’s computing platform has passed an ultimate test at the hands of by 100 hackers in Nokia’s annual HackAthon. Despite attempts, the platform wasn’t compromised and proved that our security design is prepared for cyberattacks. The computing platform also includes the mechanism for future security updates.

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The Vaisala Automatic Weather Station AWS810 enables modern, high-quality surface weather observation networks anywhere in the world. With sensors, equipment, and analysis conveniently bundled, the AWS810 makes surface observation networks easy to create and manage. Author: Jorma Islander, Product Manager, Infrastructure Weather Stations, Vaisala

C-Band Solid-State

5 kW Solid State C-band Radar


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Radars from the true disruptors in the weather radar industry. Meteopress is proud to present field proven Solid-State radars.

Built from scratch with no legacy, our agile development allows us to build and deliver radars rapidly. Current lead time on radars is 6 months with some versions of radars on stock.

Entire radio-frequency chain

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Meeting aviation weather needs

At Campbell Scientific, we’re committed to supporting the measurement instrumentation needs of our customers as they advance science and technology for the benefit of humankind. With innovation at our core, we’re focused on providing cutting-edge environmental measurement sensors and systems. We design systems with modularity and compatibility in mind to enable ongoing modernisation and expansion.

Our rugged systems are designed and proven in the most extreme environments with simple and error-proof installation and maintenance procedures.

Aviation is a key medium for travel around the world, allowing us to conduct global business, transport goods and discover more of our amazing planet. As airlines and airports continue to take advantage of technological advancements, air travel is becoming accessible to more people every day.

Just as airports are using modern technologies to solve capacity, security and baggage challenges, they must also consider modern technologies that will address their specific everyday weather needs for safe aircraft arrival and departure. Each airport has a unique set of weather, capacity and safety challenges that must be met by a flexible and reliable solution that can grow with the airport for years to come.

Campbell Scientific AWOS solutions

Think of the last time you travelled in an airplane. You may have been travelling for business, visiting family, or possibly going on a long-planned vacation. Weather conditions may not have crossed your mind, but behind the scenes, hardware

and software combine to provide meteorological information that ensures passenger safety and minimises travel disruptions.

Accurate and reliable data provides air traffic controllers and meteorological observers with the information they need to support pilots during airport departures and arrivals. Campbell Scientific’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO)-compliant solution is built upon Customer-in-Control Technologies designed to accommodate a diverse set of needs.

Campbell Scientific weather stations have been put to the test in some of the most extreme conditions around the globe. The experience gained from installing weather stations able to withstand the snow and wind on Mount Everest and the extreme heat of Death Valley, has been used in the design of Campbell Scientific Aviation Weather Observing System (AWOS) stations. Campbell Scientific AWOS stations have provided critical, continuous data for safe and efficient aircraft operations in weather conditions ranging from the extreme cold and snow of northern Canada to the heat and humidity of Indonesia.

The SkyVUE, CS125 and CS120A families of optical sensors provide simple and cost-effective technologies for accurately measuring and reporting cloud height, visibility and present weather. The AeroX Stream 200 field station bridges the gap between sensors and Campbell Aero data management and decision support software.

All these system components are designed with maximum flexibility to keep you in control of your network.

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Campbell Aero Aviation Weather Observing System (AWOS), built on customer-in-control technologies

Powerful, flexible software

At the heart of Campbell Scientific’s AWOS solution is the powerful and flexible Campbell Aero software. We will work with air traffic controllers to customise displays that meet local requirements. Beyond the initial AWOS installation, Campbell Aero software puts the user in control of modifying these displays as needs evolve, avoiding unnecessary extra project costs. Campbell Aero provides an open platform capable of integrating any manufacturer’s sensors, ensuring decision makers can choose the sensors that are most suitable for their airport environments and requirements.

For air navigation service providers (ANSP), Campbell Aero provides regional and country-wide status views of all AWOS installations with easy access to maintenance, meteorological observer and air traffic controller screens with only one mouse click. Drill down to the sensor and component level to troubleshoot potential issues from any location with access to the ANSP network.

As the world of aviation advances, airports are expanding and becoming ever more complicated. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), air travel will continue to grow in the range of 1.5–3.8% in the next 20 years. To accommodate this growth, systems should not only be safe, but also efficient. That’s why our software automatically produces routine weather reports, making it easier for air traffic controllers and weather observers to relay vital data to pilots.

Campbell Aero software was built with the user in mind, infused with the flexibility and efficiency required of today’s advanced aviation technology.

Hardware as the backbone of your station

Empowering software allows hardware to work at its highest potential performance. Building or upgrading a network or station can cause headaches and many aren’t sure where to start. In the past, adding a new sensor, data logger, or component was painful because newer equipment did not always interface easily with the existing infrastructure. Campbell Scientific components can easily interface with existing sensors, meaning a network operator can keep using what they trust and upgrade only when appropriate. This is done to keep the operators in control of their system while maximising the quality of their data.

When designing a station, simple weather conditions shouldn’t be the basis of consideration. As climate change continues to present unstable and unpredictable weather events, networks should be prepared for the worst.

At Campbell Scientific, hardware design is based upon

components that are proven to operate reliably in the harshest of environments for decades. Powerful sensors allow for the most precise and accurate measurements to be collected. Campbell Scientific offers an array of sensors to accommodate aviation weather needs. From visibility and present weather sensors to the SkyVUE family of optical cloud sensors, the first step to building a station is ensuring the quality of your measurements are strong. While sensors are important for data quality, proper data management is crucial to ensure network managers are receiving correct measurements. Campbell Scientific’s AeroX Stream 200 field station is built around the flexible CR1000X datalogger to ensure data is properly distributed.

Keeping your system operating at peak performance

Sustainability is a growing concern for many industries around the world. Investing in stations that last the test of time is an important concern when considering waste, budgets and hassle. Even stations that are constructed with durable and rugged components can encounter issues. Sensor wear or obstruction can greatly impede a station’s data quality. Campbell Scientific has been performing application consultations for over 40 years and continues to increase its service offerings to minimise downtime.

From project management to calibration, configuration and more, our services can remove many of the unknowns of managing a network. All systems and components offered by Campbell Scientific are designed with compatibility and flexibility in mind. This means stations are simple to modify, fortify or upgrade. Many times, site visits are greatly simplified thanks to training and technical resources available to all Campbell Scientific customers. Our global team can respond and act quickly to assist in the needs of networks around the world.

Campbell Scientific is one of the world leaders in environmental measurement sensors and systems. We provide accurate data to researchers, scientists and governments. Our durable and flexible equipment plays a crucial role in monitoring weather conditions in a range of aviation applications. The actionable insights Campbell Scientific’s software and equipment provide are the key to making a difference in the quality of life and safety that we often take for granted as a society.

With innovation at our core, Campbell Scientific is focused on providing cutting-edge, rugged and reliable environmental measurement sensors and systems to our clients.

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Yes, we scan!

As solid-state weather radars are slowly gaining ground in the traditional market, it might be useful for customers, who’re yet to understand the full potential of this technology, to sum up their advantages and also explain how we deal with possible disadvantages.

What are solid-state weather radars?

In solid-state radars, the signal is amplified using a solidstate power amplifier (SSPA) compared to magnetron or klystron usage in traditional radars.

SSPA use in general significantly less electricity, are much less expensive to purchase, safer for operators, less fragile so less prone to breakage, and are lighter and much more compact.

Simply put, mastering this technology opens completely new possibilities, making radars agile, significantly cheaper and therefore available to a wider spectrum of customers.

Backpack radar

A long-lasting dream has come true. Meteopress is the only C-band radar on the market where the entire technology is incorporated into the pedestal of the radar eliminating thus the need to build dedicated radar rooms.

Meteopress has incorporated the entire radar chain including signal processing into the electrical box on the back of the antenna. It is the only C-band radar currently on the market that doesn’t require additional space for any technology such as racks, waveguide dehydration, etc. Therefore, no space is needed below the radome floor or on the ground nearby. The radar can thus be installed onto a rooftop of an existing building without the need for a technical room, or onto a lattice mast.

There’s also no need for a high-speed data connection of the pedestal to any dedicated signal processing equipment; all the products are generated inside the radar and the finished files are uploaded via a standard internet connection.

Another major advantage is the minimum length of waveguides. Meteopress C-band radar has about 1-5 meters of the waveguide in total in the radar. Usually, large C-band or S-band radars have up to 40-75 meters of the waveguide, which can cause signal loss of up to 3dB.

Having the technology on the back of the reflector also enables us to omit rotary joints, multi-channel slip rings, and other fragile and expensive technology. This limits the need for maintenance and spare parts.

Immortal radar

In Meteopress solid-state radars there are no consumables. Magnetrons and klystrons are expensive parts with a limited lifetime. SSPA are immortal – as they don’t degrade over time, they can last for decades.

In traditional radars, there’s a high need for regular maintenance. There was limited maintenance with Meteopress radars to start with, but there’s now an option to change the gearing in the azimuthal motor for a direct drive motor. This eliminates the last maintainable part, enabling you to have a completely maintenance-free radar.

With great power comes a great electricity bill

With the current energy situation and, of course, climate change concerns, we’re proud that the Meteopress C-band radar is the most ecological on the market and has by far the lowest power consumption on the market.

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The advantages of solid-state radars Meteopress C-band weather radar with entire technology incorporated into the pedestal

Below is a comparison of the power consumption of different radar types:

• Conventional klystron C-band radar: maximum power consumption of 8850W, typical 8000W

• Conventional magnetron C-band radar: maximum power consumption of 3500W, typical 2200W

• Conventional solid-state C-band radar: maximum power consumption of 4000W typical 2000W.

• Meteopress solid-state C-band radar: maximum power consumption of 2200W, typical 1500W.

• Meteopress ECO solid-state C-band radar: maximum power consumption of 700W, Typical 500W.

Meteopress solid-state C-band radar can save between 50-95% of the power consumption of conventional radar. Regular household electricity is enough to power the radar, reducing the necessary infrastructure and operational costs. With the power consumption of our entry-level 2.4m 1.7degree beam solid state radar at 500W, it’s possible to even build zero-infrastructure C-band radar in an off-grid version. The power is supplied by solar panels or wind turbines and energy is stored in batteries, making it the first zero-infrastructure radar on the market.

It’s all about money

The radar is built in a completely new, innovative way so we could eliminate many of the traditional high costs. We don’t purchase ready-made traditional parts, we manufacture our own where possible, this includes signal processing, pedestals and radomes and use a lot of commercial off-the-

shelf components when possible.

All that brings the price of Meteopress C-band radars to previously unseen levels. The acquisition price of C-band solid-state radars matches the price market expected in X-band radar levels and is at about 50-70% of conventional magnetron C-band radars. However, acquisition price is only one component of the total cost of ownership in the radar project.

Infrastructure-light radar

As previously mentioned, we have eliminated the need for expensive infrastructure with our current product. Radar power consumption is very low, so you can make do with a basic household electricity connection – or even solar. This eliminates the need for high-voltage power lines that traditional radars can require. This can add millions of dollars to the budget, as radars are usually built on high mountains with no electricity present.

Another pleasant characteristic of the Meteopress radar line is that it is one of the lightest in the market.

By shedding weight, we can bring our 1degree beam C-band radar to below 750kg or 1500 pounds in weight. The 2.4m ECO super light version weighs below 500kg. This allows both of these radars to be installed on conventional roofs or other lighter structures.

Instead of a heavy concrete tower with a dedicated radar room nearby, you can build a light lattice tower at approximately 20% of the price again saving significantly on the whole project. Meteopress also offers semi-permanent or mobile C-band solutions which use the advantage of low weight, compact design and low power consumption.

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Tower RadarCrate - weather radar off-grid solution with solar panels and battery backup


Unlocking the impossible

Because of the low pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of most coherent pulsed radars, which maximises the coverage in range, the amount of Doppler processing is limited. The doppler processor can only process velocities up to ±1/2 the PRF of the radar, sampling restricts measurements to about 75 miles per hour.

Meteopress’ innovative approach to radar technology allows for an unlimited doppler by measuring phase shift at the beginning versus end of the pulse.

We can obtain a coarse velocity estimate with Nyquist velocity exceeding 1,000 kilometres or 623 miles per hour, then compute the precise value using the standard doppler way by measuring the phase shift of two consecutive pulses.

Another technique is implemented for second-trip echo suppression. The radar can transmit multiple pulses in a round-robin fashion and these pulses are designed in a way that cross-correlation between them is zero (for example, one can transmit an ‘up-chirp’ and then a ‘down-chirp’ in the next pulse). With this, the radar can run at the maximum 1000 Hz PRF the whole time, providing the maximum total transmitted energy, while covering the standard 300km range.

Peak power equivalent

Thanks to the technological shift towards solidstate, much less power is needed to achieve the same level of quality of received data. When comparing to classical magnetron radar with an output power of 250kW, solid-state radars usually exhibit about 50 times lower peak pulse power than their magnetron counterparts (for example, Meteopress C-band has a 5kW transmitter output, compared to commonly used 250kW magnetron radars).

However, their pulse is 50 times longer than the pulse of magnetron radars (Meteopress C-band has a 100μs long pulse, compared to the commonly used 2μs pulse in magnetron radars), so the total transmitted energy is equivalent. The pulse is internally modulated by a pseudorandom sequence, so the range resolution is the same in relation to radio bandwidth as with magnetron radars. This paper provides a detailed analysis of the pulse length/energy equation.

Is your cone half empty?

With the 100μs pulse of a solid-state radar, the pulse is 30 km ‘long’, so it takes the first 15 km of the observed range to come back and forth. At distances below 15km, only part (the end) of the pulse is received, and the sensitivity and range resolution suffers. The range problem is mitigated by using a shorter filling pulse, which has a shorter blind range because of its shortness (for example 10μs = 1.5km), combining this with partial pulse recovery (e.g. approximately 1/3 of the resolution in 1/3 of the range = 500m) to obtain data even in the short pulse blind range.

The short pulse has lower energy (in this example, 100μs long pulse compared to 10μs short pulse = 1/10 of the energy) and thus lower absolute sensitivity. However, the targets in the short-range have much stronger echo as they are near.

In meteorology, the targets fade with the second power of the distance, and the common range of the radars used is at least 100km. Therefore, a target at 10km has 100x stronger echo than a target at 100km and is thus easy to discern with 10x less energy. Although Meteopress’s precise solution is regarded as a company secret, we have used a combination of several techniques to solve it.

In the image attached on the next page you can see a Meteopress C-band radar image without the blind range mitigation, b) a fully cleaned measured image with the blind range mitigation applied. Our coverage limit is now 600 meters from the radar.

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Left - a Meteopress C-band radar image without the blind range mitigation, Right - a fully cleaned measured image with the blind range mitigation applied


Software-based radar

The design of Meteopress radars can be called software-based. The signals to be transmitted are generated in a conventional computer inside the radar and then transmitted by a software defined radio through the radio chain.

This concept allows greater flexibility in signal generation and signal processing. You can run multiple signal processes simultaneously. One can be used for operational data generation and the other for research, calibration, and/or other uses. The possibilities are limitless and the Meteopress team is here to help explore the full potential of this technology.

Here you are not bound by the hardware, which generates a signal that is unchangeable. Each transmitted pulse can be different from the previous one, making the experiments easy.

Radar also generates and stores I/Q data in an easily accessible format so you can re-run your experiments later and see the results immediately.

Noise channel

Interference is a challenge for meteorological radars, especially in the C-band, where various Wi-Fi and other data links operate. And even in bands where interference from man-made sources is rarely seen, one would still like to get monitoring of noise floor level, signal-to-noise ratio and overall performance of the system.

As Meteopress processes the wideband signal from the software-defined radio entirely in a standard computer, it was easy to split it into two channels: one that precisely matches the channel where the radar transmits, and one that covers the immediately adjacent frequencies.

As the interference rarely perfectly aligns with the exact radar frequencies, we obtain an estimate of the noise level for each data sample by observing energy received in the noise channel.

This allows us to, for example, selectively remove individual Wi-Fi packets that contaminated the data, recover the data from in-between them, or identify and blank any new interference source immediately as it occurs.

Fastest delivery in the business

Meteopress’ innovation doesn’t end with the radars themselves, but includes the way radars are manufactured as we want to serve our customers in the quickest, most efficient way.

Our average delivery time is currently four months and we’re keeping one radar in stock including power amplifiers, so we can ship the radar immediately.

This means that the guaranteed delivery time for most Meteopress radar models is now six to nine months, with radars being shipped – on average –in four months.

The packing is arranged in two different ways - the compact model can be packed so it can be transported as air cargo, so it can be delivered in three to four weeks.

The second packing option is the economical one, where the radar is packed into a standard shipping container for slower, but more economical transportation.

Two-day installation

Once the radar reaches its destination, Meteopress’ deployment team arrives and assists the customer’s team with the installation. The radar is very modular, so we have been able to deploy them within two days. From assembly on the ground to radar rotation it takes less than five hours. Quick installations also mean another significant saving on the deployment budget. As less time is spent, lower costs are incurred.

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Meteopress light-weight radar can be installed on an existing roof or lattice tower

AI-REN SW - award winning and world’s most advanced use of AI in radar technology and weather nowcasting

Bringing AI into meteorological science effectively has been a long-term dream of many in meteorology. Meteopress’ dedicated AI team, in collaboration with research institutions, has successfully achieved this.

The software package: Artificial Intelligence - Radar Enhancing and Nowcasting Software, is one of the most advanced in the industry. It can be supplied as part of the radar delivery or as a self-standing package as it works with industry-standard radar data formats and can bring unparalleled precision to currently existing weather networks.

We are now using neural networks to help solve many challenges. Our software modules can help with solving the location issue by

AI-REN ensemble nowcasting

To be released in 2023 - the world’s most precise nowcasting using ensemble numerical weather prediction models in combination with neural networks.

We have trained a deep CNN on historical ENS data in combination with ERA5 ground truth. Neural networks are used for post-processing ENS NWP forecasts to create a solid data source for seamless integration with our AI Radar Nowcasting. The network decreases the bias of the NWP predictions and reduces the number of ENS members necessary for the computation of forecast spread.

Our AI-REN ensemble nowcasting software outperforms the ensemble main run typically by 20% in accuracy. We then ingest the measured data, such as radar imagery, satellite imagery and AWS data. And we can recalculate the forecast at every moment they are collected and further increase the accuracy of the forecasted event.

AI-REN radar nowcasting

The world’s most precise radar nowcasting using the potential of neural networks to directly forecast radar echo. The Meteopress team, in collaboration with researchers from Czech Technical University, has developed a state-of-the-art 90-minute radar nowcasting building on the deep physics-constrained recurrent convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and GANs.

Increased precision of the radar forecast by 52% compared to COTREC, and by 25% compared to pySTEPS SPROG.

The output is the same standard radar format image or user-friendly animation. The system can be delivered as a plug-in or retrained locally on historical data, which further increases the precision by about 5-10%.

filling the beam blockages and replacing distorting pieces of radar imagery by wind farms (AI-REN beam blockage).

Once the radar images are cleaned and filled, we can then use our in-house state-of-the-art neural network to nowcast the radar measurements into the future. Currently, we offer 90-120 minutes of precise nowcasting, with unparalleled accuracy. Our system can outperform Cotrec by more than 50%, and pySteps by over 25%. We then use the AI tools to track storms and other convective events and effectively replace or empower the old-fashioned software tools. (AI-REN Radar Nowcasting and AI-REN Severe). The individual modules currently available in AI-REN software are:

AI-REN beam blockage

Radar images are frequently incomplete due to physical blockage of radar measurement caused by nearby hills, trees and other obstacles. Sometimes, parts of the images are badly damaged by wind farms or other kinds of clutter and need to be cut out. Gaps below 41% of the image can be filled using Meteopress AI-REN beam blockage software, which uses deep neural networks to fill in the missing data with high precision.

The system can be delivered as a plug-in or retrained locally on historical data, which further increases the precision by about 5-10%.

Meteopress severe AI software

Proprietary software based on neural networks detects and tracks storm cells and predicts their movement, growth and decay. The system’s output is a GUI or API connector. GUI is designed to provide a tool and additional source of information for forecasters to issue a severe weather warning. API can connect to other applications, such as iOS or Android apps to deliver precise warnings directly to end users.

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Left: uncleaned image with two significant blockages Right: AI-REN Beam blockage filled the image to perfection

Satellite AI nowcasting

Our experiments show that Meteopress Weather Net can work well with other spatiotemporal meteorological data than just the radar echo images. The satellite AI nowcasting solution uses data from MSG3 channels HRV and IR10.8 to compute accurate cloud cover predictions for 90–120 minutes.

AI weather sensing calibration, analysis and gap filling software

It’s often infeasible to cover the domain of interest with weather sensing instruments, such as radars or AWS, to 100%. We offer a solution to perfect coverage based on our knowledge of AI. Statistical methods alongside training of the neural networks with available data allow for analysis and identification of the most critical sensing locations. After the examination, we train a model that fill gaps in the coverage, combining interpolation between covered areas and extrapolation from the previous time steps.

Custom artificial intelligence development services

Do you have a specific need or as yet unsolved meteorological problem?

Our experienced team of senior researchers in AI can analyse the problem and available data and identify the best AI-based approach. The predictions are generated by customised neural networks incorporated in a proprietary software running on the cloud or your computers.

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Predicted satellite image from Meteopress AI nowcasting software
Funding 04 78 Evan Thompson, RA IV President 82 SOFF

Evan Thompson, RA IV President

Evan Thompson, Principal Director of the Jamaican Meteorological Service and President of WMO Regional Association IV recently spent some time with Varysian CEO Tom Copping, discussing the region’s biggest challenges and priorities…

ET: Different countries and territories are at very different stages of development. Some are advanced, while others are really just getting to the starting block. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.

We’re moving towards the establishment – or reestablishment – of these centres though, but we do need to move a little more efficiently in that respect.

TC: What’s holding you back?

Tom Copping: So, Evan, what would you say are the hot topics in your region right now?

Evan Thompson: Well, one of the WMO RA IV priorities is ensuring we’re able to implement the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) throughout the Caribbean region.

This means establishing four WIGOS centres, in America, Canada, Costa Rica and Trinidad, and making sure our observation networks and the data we gather can be shared. We have to make sure we have everything in place for the data to get into our modelling processes and allow for better forecasting throughout the region.

This is a massive programme, one which links to another; the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON). This is a set of global standards that will identify and address major observational data gaps, in turn dramatically enhancing the global real-time weather observing system.

In order to support these programmes, we’ve also seen the creation of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) [See page 82]. There are a number of countries in the region that are hoping to benefit from some of this financing in order to ensure they’re able to meet the requirements of the other WMO programme.

TC: So how are you currently progressing with these programmes, how are things coming along?

ET: Well, some of it is really just needing assistance to build the capacity to move forward. Not so much in terms of equipment, but more in understanding exactly what’s required and how we go about achieving this while ensuring that the right processes are followed.

Nationally, it’s about more guidance and assistance to accomplish a task. Where the regional centres are concerned it also means developing some kind of protocols in terms of how we interact with the centres. So, all this will be part of the centres’ development, setting the boundaries and establishing protocols.

TC: With regards to the first and last mile, how do you think the region is or isn’t set up, when it comes to getting that key information out to civilians?

We’ve got the monitoring and forecasting, we’re now getting SOFF to actually be able to get a financing facility together so that the networks can be created, but more and more conversations I’m having with national met directors point to the fact we’ve never really got a hold of the last mile properly. Where is RA IV currently, and where does it need to get to?

ET: Well, stepping away from WIGOS a little bit, another one of our priorities is the establishment of early warning systems throughout the region. This priority has been reinforced by the United Nations, as the Secretary General has issued a call to the WMO to ensure that all countries have access to, and are protected by, early warning systems.

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Evan Thompson is Principal Director of the Jamaican Meteorological Service and President of WMO Regional Association IV (North America, Central America and the Caribbean) Evan Thompson, RA IV President

This was also the focus of January’s Hydromet CARIBBEAN 2023 Symposium.

There are a number of projects that are in operation throughout RA IV and these are really part of that last mile initiative; getting the warning out to people in real time. There will be a move to rationalise early warning systems through the region: understanding where some gaps exist and how to ensure we’re reaching everyone, but also having some kind of synthesis throughout the region.

Impact-based forecasting is part of that, because it’s all well and good producing forecasts, but if people aren’t getting, or able to act on, that information then there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

So, impact-based forecasting is looking at our processes, at how meteorological services interact with disaster management professionals to ensure that the information not only goes out, but is able to be acted on by people. Do they understand what the information is about, what the impact will be for their area or industry? This is another focus for the region.

TC: From what you’re saying, I think there are three gaps. One is education – does the public understand the information you’re sharing with them? Two is translating the data from something a meteorologist understands to something a layperson can understand. Three, we need to partner with telecoms companies, as they’ve got what we need to get that information out there.

ET: Yes, we do. And that’s part of the challenge – how do we get the information out to the public? Many of us don’t control the media, so we need to establish a means of communication, whether that’s social media, websites, mobile devices. We need to look at how we share that information.

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“It’s all well and good producing forecasts, but if people aren’t getting or able to act on that information, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed”
Costa Rica

And how do we reach every person? The concentration of mobile devices in areas really determines whether that’s the solution, as there may be more effective means for different areas, especially when we talk about rural regions or indigenous communities. We really need to identify what are the best strategies to reach people with these warnings.

TC: I find there’s a massive disconnect in our industry at the moment when we talk about the last mile. No one seems to be talking closely with the telecommunications companies and they, to me, seem key.

ET: That’s actually something I raised at a recent RA III conference, when we were discussing what could be the next big project we collaborate on across the two regions.

Telecommunications companies – mobile and internet service providers in particular – require a lot from us, particularly around lightning detection, but we also rely heavily on them to send our messages out.

Sadly, not many of us send out SMS warnings because there’s not the ready cooperation from some of these companies currently. Maybe this is the time to establish a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the telecoms companies to facilitate the communication of early warnings more effectively. Who knows, maybe this idea could move things along, but we definitely do need to establish better cooperation.

This is the kind of thing the WMO is pushing for in terms of public private engagement (PPE). It’s important we engage with the private sector because it’s able to assist us in comunicating with the public and reaching that last mile.

TC: When it comes to PPE in general, are you beginning to see more happening in your region?

ET: I believe a lot’s happening, but we’re not gathering information about these projects. We need to address this, as its important to find out what people are doing. I’d like to hold a webinar/seminar to exchange information as this will allow us to see what’s going on across RA IV and learn from each other as many still aren’t sure exactly what it means to engage in this way.

There’s still uncertainty and concerns and the WMO has a somewhat lopsided view on PPE. We always think about the same companies, and sometimes they’re the right ones, but in certain situations it’s not the instrument or equipment manufacturers we want to reach but rather the utility companies – the power or telecoms organisations.

We need to recognise the strength in engaging more widely across the private sector.

TC: Moving on, I wondered if you could tell me what regional initiatives are exciting you currently?

ET: Speaking from the Jamaica side, I’m seeing a lot of interest from the donor community, which is interested in helping us achieve our goals around climate change and early warning systems.

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“We really need to identify what are the best strategies to reach people with these early warnings.”

Many of the countries in RA IV may be considered ‘developing’, but at the same time there’s so much strength in our members that’s not being tapped. We need to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of all territories and by helping each other we can move forward as one. That’s what I’m most looking forward to over the next five years.

An issue however, is whether we have the resources and capacity in terms of our structures. This is an area we definitely must develop.

Also, when it comes to attracting these projects, we need assistance in writing concept notes and project proposals, as we have little experience in this area. I’m also very interested in improving communication. Not in terms of speaking other languages, but rather improving how we communicate with the public so they better understand our messages and engage with us more. I find that sometimes the information we put out doesn’t get the kind of response it should, simply because of the way it was communicated.

TC: Our time is coming to an end, so I wanted to finish with this final question. Where do you see the region in five years’ time and how do you see it getting there?

ET: We’re on a positive path. I see that we’re engaging a lot more, WMO reforms are reaching our regional associations and this is enabling us to be more bottom-up in terms of how we operate. There’s a lot more inclusion, which is helping us to advance.

I look forward to seeing a lot more engagement and knowledge-sharing across borders, which will help us all advance together.

There’s that mantra ‘no one left behind’. That’s still so important and applicable. There are some members in the region that aren’t as advanced with many of the things we’re moving ahead with, so we need to make sure they have a voice and a place at the table at all times.

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“Sometimes the information we put out doesn’t get the kind of response it should, simply because of the way it was communicated”
“We need to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of all territories and by helping each other we can move forward as one”
Toronto, ON, Canada Author: Keri Allan, Senior Content Manager, Varysian

Supporting the Development of Early Warning Systems - SOFF

The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) is now operational. The facility was legally established at COP26 as a UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund by WMO, UNEP and UNDP, and became operational in July 2022 after the first steering committee meeting that June.

SOFF is a building block of the Early Warnings for All initiative launched by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, which aims at having everyone on the planet covered by early warning systems.

The facility will close the data gaps of basic weather and climate observations which are the basis of all weather and climate services.

What does SOFF do?

SOFF provides long-term grants and technical assistance, with a focus on the small island developing states (SIDS) and the least developed countries (LDCs), to enable sustained compliance with the WMO Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) requirements.

It does this by:

• Deploying a global approach with sustained international data exchange as a measure of success.

• Providing long-term finance toward sustained data sharing results.

• Enhancing technical competency through peer-topeer advisory, harnessing the operational experience of the most advanced national meteorological services around the globe.

• Leveraging partners’ knowledge and resources.

SOFF focuses exclusively on the initial part of the meteorological value chain, while working in partnership with other development agencies that focus on other links in the chain to help ensure that its investments ultimately translate into end-user benefits.

SOFF funding will be embedded within larger hydromet/ climate projects. This will ensure that countries are further supported in developing the capacity to effectively use improved forecast and climate products to create adaptation and resilience development benefits.

The first three years

In the first three-year implementation period, SOFF aims at supporting up to 55 countries to close the weather and climate observation gap, including rehabilitation or establishment of up to 400 data-gathering stations, enabling them to generate and internationally exchange data that is missing today.

SOFF operational partners met in Vienna on 29 August – 2 September 2022 to discuss implementation modalities and SOFF programming priorities in order to get ready to speedily deliver SOFF support to the beneficiary countries.

In November, the SOFF steering committee approved the first round of countries programmed to access readiness support.

Further details related to SOFF can be found at

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The WMO presents the latest information on the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) Constructing seawalls. Photo: Lauren Day / World Bank Author: Serena Odianose, the World Meteorological Organisation
Private Public Partnership 05 84 Daouda Konate, WMO Regional Association I Past President 86 No business as usual 89 Individual lightning preparedness solutions

Daouda Konate, WMO Regional Association I Past President

Daouda Konate, Director of Meteorology at SODEXAM: the NMHS for Cote d’Ivoire, and Past President of WMO Regional Association I, recently spoke with Varysian CEO, Tom Copping, about African NMHS’ biggest challenges, the programmes that currently excite him and the importance of public private partnerships for building capacity.

Tom Copping: What do you see as the main challenges for African meteorology and hydrology services right now Daouda?

Daouda Konate: There are three main priorities right now, the first being capacity development – we need to reinforce the capacities of PR’s NMHS.

The second is to close the gap in Africa’s observation system capabilities – we need to provide more services and products.

Working on these areas will help us to be able to develop an early warning system that can communicate potential risks to our end users – priority number three.

But to do this I know we must build partnerships, particularly public private partnerships (PPP). These will enable us to gain the capacity to provide reliable forecasts and meteorological products and services to African governments, authorities, businesses and communities.

TC: How are you approaching these priorities? What challenges do you need to overcome and how do you plan to do so?

DK: It all starts by making good partnerships between governments and the private sector.

This will help us overcome the challenges we have in Africa around capacity gaps. We can then start to develop our infrastructure, making the most of the funding sources available to help us close these gaps.

We need these funding agencies in order to develop a development policy operation (DPO) so Africa’s NMHS can improve their capacity in this regard.

TC: Have you got a specific timeline you’re working to regarding these priorities? For example, how do you see African hydromet services in 10 years’ time?

DK: Our goal, at the African Regional Association of the WMO, is to develop our African members’ NMHS in many, many ways.

Some need much more help than others; for example, some of the African NMHS are well developed – including Morocco,South Africa and Egypt.

Others, however, need help in different areas; that could be forecasting, climatology, infrastructure, skills shortage, staff retention… My objective as RA I President is to ensure NMHS across Africa become better developed within the next 10 years.

TC: You mentioned public private partnerships – what are the views on these from the NMHS – are they positive or are there still concerns around PPP?

DK: Views are definitely becoming more positive about PPP in Africa. In our last RA I session, we discussed the opportunities related to PPP and the response was positive. But the problem is how to go about analysing PPP in each of the members’ countries, how to work with the private sector as partners. There are still fears that if PPPs are in their country, they could replace the NMHS.

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“To close the gap in Africa’s observation system capabilities, we need to provide more services and products”
Daouda Konate is Director of Meteorology at SODEXAM: the NMHS for Cote d’Ivoire, and Past President of WMO Regional Association I (Africa). Daouda Konate, WMO Regional Association I President

But we’re saying national regulations can be developed to remove this fear, MoUs can be signed to ensure all parties are happy with how the work will be undertaken, paid for and owned, as well as agree how revenue will be shared.

I want to say to the private sector, we need them to support NMHS with all our activities in Africa. But this must be a fair relationship. However, I truly think we – the public and private sector – can work together and there’s many reasons we should.

What would you say is exciting you must regarding initiatives/projects planned or currently underway?

DK: It has to be the implementation of the WMO projects including the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON), the Earning Warnings for All initiative and the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF). These are the main focus for us, as they will support capacity building.

I also want to add that working with Varysian on this year’s HydrometAFRICA symposium was a highlight. Great discussions were held around capacity development and public private engagement (PPE) and partnerships. I want to thank you and your team for this initiative, which supports NMHS in Africa.

Lack of NMHS budgets limit our abilities to grow and improve – we need PPPs to close the gap in order to build capacity and at the end of the day we can share the profits together.

NMHS in Africa are ready to work with the private sector in order to boost our development – and we already are. I’m seeing examples of partnerships in countries including Nigeria and Morocco to mobilise resources and improve capacity.

At the moment, in Cote d’Ivoire, we’re working with three or four private sector companies across a variety of industries including agriculture.

TC: Clearly there’s lots afoot in Africa at the moment.

TC: Ah, so your PPP initiatives aren’t just focused on hydrometeorology, it’s a wider thing? And how long have you been developing these public private partnerships in Cote d’Ivoire? Is this a very recent thing?

DK: Indeed, we’re working across different sectors and industries where there are benefits to be gained from PPPs. But, yes, it is quite new for us. Our first PPP MoU was signed just two years ago. PPP is a new thing for Africa, so I think the aim now is to push the idea and benefits as a vehicle to mobilise more resources, become more technologically advanced, improve our capacities and therefore our services and products.

TC: Thank you, it continues to be our pleasure to support NMHS in the region.

Author: Keri Allan, Senior Content Manager, Varysian

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“We need the private sector to support NMHS with all our activities in Africa. But this must be a fair relationship“
Adjamé Market, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

No business as usual

Meteorological and hydrological (hydromet) hazards jointly cause more economic damage and loss of life than any other disaster. Improving weather, climate and hydrological services is therefore essential to increasing the world’s weather and climate resilience.

Hydromet services play an essential role in countries facing extreme weather and climate events, allowing them to improve the protection of lives and property and securing socio-economic benefits.

Challenging demands

Against this backdrop, demands for more elaborate hydromet services have been increasing, also in low and middle-income countries, not least as a cost-effective approach to mitigating the impact of climate change. However, public sector entities, often mandated to provide these services, are facing severe challenges in responding to all the increasing demands.

The reasons for this are manifold. In addition to the welldocumented lack of financial, technological and human resources in many low and middle-income countries, other factors play an increasingly decisive role as well. In order to be effective, hydromet services need to become more multi-disciplinary, user-specific and increasingly coupled

A strategic shift towards more inter-sectoral collaboration and public private engagement (PPE) is needed to provide more sophisticated, data-driven and user-oriented hydrological and meteorological services.

with other information into bundles of actionable advice for specific target groups. Autonomously developing, producing and disseminating such services is exceedingly challenging for public entities.

While the private and academic sectors have been part of the hydromet value chain for a long time, their capability and role have grown in recent years. Key drivers like the development of information, measurement and telecommunication technologies have led to established companies developing new services and more tech-focused companies entering the hydromet market.

As a result, the dynamics between the public, private and academic sectors are evolving rapidly, creating opportunities for countries to leverage cooperative approaches.

Public private engagement is vitalConsequently, a strategic collaboration between the sectors is critical to leverage the specific capabilities of all sectors in the hydromet domain. Simply put, public private engagement (PPE) – often used to refer to all forms of collaboration between the sectors – is becoming vital.

This is because PPE helps countries to maximise socioeconomic value by sparking innovation and facilitating the adoption of new technology, foster the sustainability and efficacy of public entities and the provision of public

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Farmers working in their fields - Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

services, facilitate the provision and delivery of high value services close to the user’s needs, and promote positive spillover effects that enable the development of the entire hydromet value chain.

There are many models of PPE, and there is no one size fits all approach. However, the principal goal should be to leverage the benefits of collaboration without jeopardising the provision of essential public services.

Even if the concept of PPE encourages public entities to review their role, the intention is to allow public institutions to focus on the core mandate, namely ensuring the sustainable provision of essential public services, and not to threaten the public sector, which is often a common myth on PPE.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), World Bank and many national and regional stakeholders recognise the growing importance of PPE in providing effective and efficient services critical to protecting lives and property. At the same time, past experiences remind us that substantial efforts are needed to break through existing patterns and translate abstract concepts into tangible changes.

How to develop successful PPE

So, what can be done? Following the results of recent studies financed by the World Bank, we consider the below actions to be on the top of the list:

• Ensure an enabling policy environment. Particularly significant are a clear definition of the role of public entities, data and digitalisation policies, supportive taxation schemes and a level playing field between the public and private sectors.

• Develop a holistic strategy and guidelines for collaboration at national and regional levels, guiding investment planning and capacity building.

• Establish an open dialogue between the public, private and academic sectors to promote trust, disseminate knowledge and share experiences.

• Implement practices maximising the usage and sharing of hydromet data, ideally based on some form of open data regulation.

• Sustainably strengthen and fund public sector entities in the hydromet value chain, focusing on ensuring the provision of public services such as local hydromet data, forecasting and early warnings.

• Empower the local private sector within the hydromet value chain.

• Do concrete, small-sized pilot projects with the potential to scale, showcasing the opportunities of PPE, building trust and enabling the community to learn.

For more insights into PPE, see

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A Cambodian farmer - Photo: Chor Sokunthea / World Bank

For over a decade, the World Bank and other development partners have supported low and middle-income countries in their effort to modernise their hydromet services.

Considering the above, it becomes clear that development projects now need to be more than traditional public sector investments and must also focus on fostering sectoral collaboration and whole value chains.

The Food System Resilience Program

Since 2014, West Africa’s food security situation has continuously deteriorated. In addition to recent developments such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, worsening food insecurity is driven by multiple structural causes, including climate change and increasing weather variability.

To address these challenges, the World Bank has approved the West Africa Food System Resilience Program (FSRP), a multi-year program targeting at least seven countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo) and three regional organisations (ECOWAS, CORAF, and CILSS /AGRHYMET).

Component 1 of the FSRP aims at building regional

capacity to manage agricultural risks by strengthening digital hydromet and agro-advisory services for farmers to meet the demand for more sophisticated and data-driven hydromet services, and to increase the food system’s resilience and adapt to climate change.

Providing and disseminating integrated hydromet and agro-advisory services will need closer collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors, both at the national and regional levels – a goal also reflected in the agreed project targets.

Following the established basic principles (see No Business as Usual), the FSRP aims to support beneficiaries to develop PPE along the whole hydromet value chain.

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The Food System Resilience Program (see below) is a prime example of such efforts. Authors: Stefan von Grünigen, Consultant on Public Policy and PPE, and Makoto Suwa, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank. Farmers working in their fields| Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank Please visit the World Bank project site for
more information on the FSRP, or contact Makoto Suwa at for questions related to component 1.

Individual lightning preparedness solutions

When lightning strikes, lives as well as investments are in acute danger. Even though the exact position of a lightning strike cannot be predicted, a thunderstorm can be detected with precision, tracked and short-term forecasted in terms of position and severity. This allows for confident and solid decision making, public warning and best possible damage containment.

Real-time as well as historical lightning data is vital for a vast number of industries including aviation, energy providers, infrastructure operators, mining, military or insurance sector.

The high precision delivered by nowcast’s LINET technology is key to the value of its lightning data, which is accurate enough even for the most demanding use cases. However, not every use case requires the same approach. Therefore, nowcast is known for its individual approaches to craft the best specific solution for every customer.

In order to create the optimum lightning detection system, nowcast offers different procurement models and technologies.


1.1 High-precision lightning detection networks nowcast’s LINET system is known for its excellent precision and reliability alongside vital features such as cell-tracking and 60-minute nowcasting of thunderstorm cells in terms of position and arrival time. This precision technology is based on a local set of LINET sensors distributed within the zone that required coverage at sensor-baselines of approximately 300 km.

nowcast can provide tailored-made, customised solutions for any country, customer, geographical situation, use case, quality requirement and commercial condition

The complete process from lightning strike to final data is delivered in real-time and therefore optimises decisionmaking for a variety of lightning-affected users.

With a LINET high-precision lightning detection network, customers can get best-in-class data, including:

• Average location accuracy (mean value): 75m

• Detection efficiency: down to 2kA strokes

• Measured stroke types: intra-cloud/cloud-toground-discrimination

• IC-emission height: delivered in km

• Operation mode: near real-time (less than 30 seconds on average)

1.2 Global lightning data

Lightning data is derived from a global set of nowcast sensors distributed at vast distances across the globe, which provides lightning information for every place on the planet.

This data is a vital starting point if no high precision local lightning detection network is in place for a required region or if it is not feasible to install sensors – for example over the ocean, in deserted areas or in very remote regions.

The beauty of this global lightning network is the fact that customers can receive the lightning data immediately without the need for their own hardware.

Understandably, this technology delivers lower precision and fewer detail-stroke-parameters as a local high precision network, but the accuracy and efficiency of this nowcast technology can still be considered high quality, with an average location accuracy < 1km.

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It’s the perfect data source for a wide range of customers and use-cases, including:

• As an intermediate solution, before a high-precision network is deployed locally.

• As an additional data source to enhance a local precision lightning detection network cross-border, over open waters or into remote parts of a country.

• For small countries or islands that cannot comply with the baselines required to deploy a high-precision lightning detection network

• For applications or customer groups requiring global coverage.

1.3 Hybrid-technology model

A hybrid model allows users to combine the advantages of the single approaches into a both powerful as well as financially attractive overall solution. This is particularly beneficial for countries with densely populated areas but also very large deserts, forest or water areas, or to cover the wider surrounding of the country including ocean areas. A locally deployed high-precision network can be installed with a particular focus on the populated areas. The density of the sensors will follow the quality needs and additional data from nowcast’s global lightning detection network, which can enhance the capabilities to detect thunderstorm systems approaching from the ocean or neighbouring countries.


2.1 Network procurement with full ownership

The classic way would be a procurement process with complete ownership of the hardware as well as the produced data. This approach is associated with a one-off investment (CAPEX) and lower ongoing servicing costs (OPEX).

nowcast is known for its customer focus and excellent long-term total cost of ownership due to highly reliable equipment. Long-term component support is also a given, we never put customers into a position where they need to buy new hardware because their older model is ‘no longer supported’.

Any version of nowcast’s lightning detection sensors (the first ones were deployed more than 20 years ago) are still

supported by our latest software.

This is how nowcast builds trust and customer satisfaction, resulting in an excellent value for money solution for all customers demanding the full ownership and maximum independency.


Partnership (public-private)

A private public partnership (PPP) approach can also form the basis for a new lightning detection system for a country. This way, both the public organisation, such as the national weather service, nowcast, and in some cases further local companies, act as partners and jointly operate the technology. Even though this model is quite different from classic supplier-customer relationship, it provides a win-win scenario for all involved.

2.3. Service-based solution

A third possible approach is a pure data-service procurement, which uses data from either an existing nowcast local high-precision network (existing for Europe, Africa, US and several other areas of the world) or from our global network.

nowcast can also set up the required technology together with a local business partner and is therefore able to offer lightning data and solutions as a service. This option normally frees the customer from any investment (CAPEX) and the need to take care of hardware installations and servicing as it is purely based on a monthly fee.


Lightning detection is a fundamental cornerstone for sophisticated weather analysis, for any early warning system and for improved operation of many industry sectors all over the world. Key to an advanced system is precision, reliability and stability, which enable it to work in locations with weaker infrastructure and extreme conditions.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

At nowcast, we can offer our extensive experience across different climate zones, topologies and infrastructure situations.

Find out more at

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Anemoment, now


4647 Superior St., Lincoln Nebraska 68504 USA +1 800-447-3576

LI-COR Environmental is a leading technology innovator for ecosystem measurements, including plant physiology, eddy covariance, soil gas flux, light, and wind. Our TriSonica sensors are both lightweight and powerful allowing researchers to capture essential data with precision and placement previously unobtainable.

LI-COR Environmental now produces the world’s smallest and lightest 3-dimensional ultrasonic anemometer, the TriSonica Mini Wind and Weather Sensor, and the TriSonica Sphere Wind Flux Sensor, the industry’s smallest and lightest 3D sensor engineered from inception to deliver more precise vertical wind measurements.

Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the TriSonica Mini is a highly accurate, powerful tool for anyone involved in atmospheric monitoring, weather reporting, and ecosystem research. Its size makes it well suited for portable, temporary deployments, while the fact it has no moving parts, thus eliminating maintenance issues, makes the TriSonica Mini perfect for permanent installations.

The TriSonica Sphere’s unique patented spherical implementation dramatically reduces the effects of wind shadowing and increases the accuracy of vertical wind measurements. Its fast sampling rates (up to 100 Hz) make the TriSonica Sphere ideal for UAS-based atmospheric flux and turbulence research, including eddy covariance studies. The TriSonica sensors truly give users the power to “Know the Wind.”

acquisition of Radiometrics Corporation allows customers to access the leading wind radar and radiometer product line in the world in order to stay ‘Ahead of the Weather’. In addition to these reliable and globally recognised systems, we provide engineering and scientific services for network design and multi-sensor integration. Our team is experienced in the development and implementation of early warning systems and can bring innovative solutions via public-private-partnership models to assure a sustainable solution for our customers. We are proud of our support to a diverse client base that reaches all seven continents including offshore and maritime installed systems.

Building on our scientific and research-based history, ARC and Radiometrics remain committed to bring innovative solutions to the market and have a strong history of longterm collaboration with our partners and customers.

4930 Research Dr. Huntsville, AL 35805, USA

+001 256 881 8811

Baron Weather Inc. knows how difficult it can be to integrate and use weather data and technology in a way that benefits your organisation.

We believe you deserve to be optimally equipped to make informed decisions for your organisation that will protect your assets and improve safety. That’s why we’re passionate about helping you prepare for the challenges weather brings to your operation.

Baron Weather provides best-in-class critical weather intelligence to businesses, government agencies, and consumers across the globe.

With a history of continuous innovation, we develop lifesaving meteorological tools that have set the industry standard for radar engineering, hydrological modelling, data integration, storm tracking and early warning systems.

3771 Eureka Way, Fredrick, CO 80516 USA

+1 303-449-9192

Advanced Radar Company was founded in 2006 by the UCAR Foundation to bring a new generation of radar hardware and software technology to the market. Our scientific and application background brings the user perspective to our collaboration with customers. In 2021, our

Baron radars feature exclusive calibration and clutter suppression technology. Our forecast modelling demonstrates weather conditions like precipitation, wind, winter weather, flooding and air quality with robust accuracy.

From the detection of dangerous weather to the communication of alerts and warnings to the public, Baron can help you transform your meteorological organisation into a more efficient and effective operation with the most actionable and accurate displayed weather data. We ensure you’re treated as a partner, not a data point.

To learn more, contact

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a part of LI-COR
Radar Company (ARC)
Baron Weather Advanced

Campbell Scientific Meteopress

815 West 1800 North Logan, Utah 84321, USA


Providing dependable instrumentation since 1974, Campbell Scientific has been globally recognised as a leading producer of measurement solutions for mitigating severe weather casualties, gathering data to understand climate change and environmental impacts and helping organisations, institutions and national agencies provide hydromet and aviation services to their communities. We offer world-class instrumentation hardware and software with unrivalled levels of insight and end-to-end project delivery solutions.

With innovation at our core, Campbell Scientific is focused on providing cutting-edge measurement sensors and systems to our clients. Our aviation systems have been deployed at local and international airports to provide continuous data for safe and efficient aircraft operations in all weather conditions.

Campbell Scientific Aviation Weather Observing System (AWOS) stations have provided critical, continuous data for safe and efficient aircraft operations in conditions ranging from the extreme cold and snow to intense heat and humidity. At the heart of Campbell Scientific’s AWOS solution is the powerful and flexible Campbell Aero software. We work with air traffic controllers to customise displays that meet local requirements, allowing users to modify these displays as their project needs evolve.

Delnicka 27 170 00 Prague, Czech Republic

Meteopress’s mission is to protect the people around the world against the effects of climate change and dangerous weather. A disruptor in the radar industry, C-band, S-band, and X-band Dual-polarisation doppler weather radars are the most important division of the company with more than 35 radars deployed in the last seven years.

Meteopress’s radars have the lowest carbon footprint on the market. With a lightweight construction design and very low power consumption, they can be powered by solar. That all brings the costs of radar deployment to the minimum. Thanks to agile development, we can offer virtually unlimited capacity and very short delivery times.

A strong in-house AI team is bringing previously impossible products, with super-precise precipitation nowcasting, satellite nowcasting, ENS NWP AI forecasting. Meteopress AI-REN SW can solve other issues as well, fill the gaps in radar composites, fill the blockages by physical obstacles in radar coverage, and solve the wind turbine disturbances.

Trusted by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, ZAMG, Austrian weather service, the Czech government, and dozens of other clients from diverse fields of insurance, media, government meteorology, and energetics. Meteopress is based in the Czech Republic and has a 30 years history of reliable operations.

Leonardo Météorage

LEONARDO Germany GmbH, Raiffeisenstrasse 10, 41470 Neuss, Germany

+49 (0)2137 782-0

LEONARDO Germany GmbH occupies a worldwide leading position in the design, manufacture, sales and service of weather radar systems, sensors and system solutions for meteorology, hydrology and aviation.

With our METEOR product line, featuring state-of-theart S-, C- and X-Band weather radar technology, we spearhead the weather radar industry, serving a wide base of international customers including aviation authorities, national weather services, military services, hydrological institutions and research agencies. With the introduction of SKIRON3D®, our proprietary Doppler lidar system, we are further enhancing our outstanding meteorological portfolio.

LEONARDO Germany GmbH focuses on providing customised system and turnkey solutions that reflect a deep concern for the individual customer.

Technopole Hélioparc CS 8011

64053 PAU cedex 9 – France

+33 5 24 98 71 77

Météorage is a subsidiary of Météo France and Vaisala. Since 1987, Météorage has been dedicated to lightning and thunderstorms.

Thanks to this unique specialisation, the company developed an in-depth know-how across the entire lightning information chain: design and management of lightning detection networks, collection and exploitation of lightning data, develop opment of packaged lightning services to meet the specific needs of various lightning-sensitive end-users.

The expertise of Météorage is based on the deployment and operation of its own lightning detection network in Europe, the management of lightning detection network installation projects delivered on a turnkey basis to national meteorological services, and the sales of end-user services using lightning data.

Using its own dedicated production software called CATS,

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Météorage provides lightning risk mitigation services to thousands of end-users worldwide. These services are fed by data from the Météorage network in Europe and Vaisala’s GLD360 network everywhere else in the world. Data from other existing local networks can also be used to feed the CATS software platform.

Météorage meets the needs of lightning information in many fields: national meteorological services, civil security, air traffic control, electrical networks, gas networks, wind and solar power plants, telecommunications, industrial sites, and insurance.


Fürstenrieder Str. 279a

D 81377 Munich

+49 89 552 97 13 70

nowcast is a German-based organisation fully focused on lightning research, detection, warning technologies and associated risk profiles.

The exceptional quality of nowcast’s commercial data and solutions, which enable ultra-precise detection of lightning strokes, is regularly confirmed both by scientific research and customer’s satisfaction.

Those high precision lightning data help national weather services and as well as many different industry sectors to protect lives and assets and are a perfect enabler for increasing operational efficiency and financial performance.


Spartis 32 & Filikis Eterias, Metamorfosis, Greece, GR14452

+30 210 6655860

Raymetrics is the global leader and most experienced atmospheric LIDAR manufacturer in the world, with more than 20 years in the industry.

Raymetrics produces backscatter, depolarization, and Raman LIDARs for atmospheric applications, as well as LIDAR components such as telescopes. Through a combination of experience and expertise, Raymetrics can offer some of the most powerful systems available commercially.

Anchored in Athens but with global reach and ambition, Raymetrics is a company founded by scientists and engi neers to develop state-of-the-art lidar systems appropriate for scientists and non- experts alike. Developed through a long-term collaboration with the EARLINET community, Raymetrics lidars perform state-of-the-art measurements robustly and in a fully automatic way. Raymetrics lidars are guaranteed to follow all ACTRIS Quality Assurance protocols, will fill the requirements for ACTRIS National Facility for

Aerosol Remote Sensing, and minimise the operation and maintenance costs.

Raymetrics’ client portfolio includes such prestigious organisations as the British, French, German, Chinese and Dutch Meteorological agencies, European Space Agency, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Ternium Steel, Vale and the National Environment Agency of Singapore.


Strassenhaeuser 27

A-6842 Koblach, Austria


Sommer Messtechnik is the leading developer and manufacturer of innovative radar discharge sensors and systems for natural rivers, open channels and sewage waters. Thanks to its non-contact technology, it provides reliable and high-quality flow data maintenance free. With 20 years’ experience in flowmeters and flow measurements worldwide, it’s been developing unique solutions that support customers in early flood detection and improve their water management. As innovators in the hydrological monitoring equipment, Sommer’s technology guarantees the customer the highest reliability and quality of the discharge data in any possible condition, including floods.

In addition to this, Sommer is a true specialist in ice and snow monitoring too. Those advanced sensors provide important information regarding the snow pack or the ice growth and they help the end user to make better decision.

In other words, Sommer offers a unique and complete solution for monitoring the whole water cycle: water, snow and ice, including hail and rain.


Trusted weather observations for a sustainable future. Vaisala’s industry-leading weather observation technologies, instruments and solutions lay the foundation for you to improve your ability to measure and forecast weather. Futureproof effective and accurate weather observations and forecasts.

Get superior weather data quality and availability through industry-leading data processing and hardware, designed to meet even the most demanding requirements. For more information, please visit

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