Zimbabwe: Met Dept prepares new radar system
The Department of Meteorological Services is in an advanced stage of setting up a radar network to improve the accuracy of weather information.
Five radars, purchased at a cost of $6.3 million, will enable the country to provide information about tropical cyclones and storms as they occur, rather than making predictions.
MSD Director Ms. Rebecca Manzou, presenting at the National Climate Outlook Forum (NACOF) Review 2021/2022, which was conducted virtually, said the country’s first radar is expected by the end of March.
“The construction work for all three locations has been completed. The radars will be able to select events over a short period of time and can indicate the expected cumulative amounts of storms. The radars should be able to cover the whole country.
“We are grateful that the project has received full government coverage. The radars will be deployed at MSD headquarters in Harare, at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport in Bulawayo, at Buffalo Range Airport, Victoria Falls Airport and Kariba Airport,” she said.
Ms. Manzou said through her technical and financial partners; World Food Program and UNESCO, the Met Department planned to install additional automatic weather stations and rain gauges and see the launch of an SMS weather update platform, starting with the Mudzi district.
“I am also pleased to report that we are now at an advanced stage in the implementation of the national framework for weather and climate services.
“We worked with a consultant who was hired as part of the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund and has since finalized the National Frameworks for Climate Services strategy and action plans.
“We are now planning to host a validation workshop this first quarter,” she said.
Using radar, the department will be able to scale information down to four kilometer resolution and we will also be able to get sector-specific forecasts that are more accurate.
The software can give us the approximate amount of rain from a cloud or hurricane, which is a helpful tool in forecasting.
The software can also deliver weather displays on television and can also be used in aviation.”