x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New technology predicts upcoming sandstorms in UAE

The Sandstorm Forecasting/Prediction system, the first of its kind in the UAE, is based on a 3D weather prediction model that uses satellite imagery to forecast storms.

DUBAI // Officials can now predict when a sandstorm will sweep across the country thanks to new technology unveiled in Dubai.

The Sandstorm Forecasting/Prediction system, the first of its kind in the UAE, was launched on Sunday as part of Gitex Technology Week. It is based on a 3D weather prediction model that uses satellite imagery to forecast storms.

“First results of the dust storm prediction system are very promising and indicate that the system will help prepare the public for dust storm events,” said Eman Al Falasi, head of Dubai Municipality’s Geodesy and Hydrographic Survey section.

The project is a joint venture between the Geodesy and Hydrographic Survey Section of the Dubai Municipality and Unique System FZE, a maritime group company.

The system uses geostationary and orbiting satellites, lidar and aerodrome reports to present real-time satellite images of upcoming dust storms, Ms Al Falasi said.

Previously, Dubai had five coastal stations. In 2010, eight inland stations, a 3D weather model and 1D fog model were launched. Satellite imagery and remote meteorologist services were added in 2012. New buoys, cameras, rain gauges and sandstorm monitoring systems will be available soon.

Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are significant sources of dust affecting the UAE, according to a Dubai Government news release.

“We are very proud with the results of this project which is useful to the whole nation and for the people living here,” said Eng Mohammed Mashroom, director of the survey department of the municipality.

newsdesk@thenational.ae