The Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has handed over a weather machine to the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services (SIMS) on Thursday this week.
The machine ‘HimawariCast Receiving and Processing System’ was made available under a project “JICA Follow-up Cooperation for Meteorology Training”.
Nowadays, utulising Meteorological Satellite Data is crucial for every National Meteorological Hydrological Services (NMHS) such as SIMS, not only to operate daily weather forecasting but also to issue early warnings for tropical depressions and cyclones.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) launched a new Meteorological Satellite named Himawari 8 and has been in operation since July 2015.
The Himawari 8 has alot of advanced functions among many Meteorological Satellites such as high resolution images and very short observation time interval of 10 minutes.
The HimawariCast System is a Satellite Broadcasting System for receiving Himawari 8 data and other weather related data including Numerical Weather Prediction with free of charge via Communication Satellite.
Once HimawariCast Receiving and Processing System is installed, data is updated automatically every 10 (ten) minutes. In addition, a software named SATAID developed by JMA was also installed.
The Senior Advisor (Meteorology) of JICA, Mr. Kunio Akatsu explained that “SATAID is a powerful tool for forecasters of NMHSs among Himawari series Satellite users.
“JICA is ready to dispatch specialists from JMA to conduct further training for SIMS on the use of Satellite data and SATAID software,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Dr. Melchior Mataki expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of the Government and the people of Solomon Islands to JICA for providing the equipment.
“Solomon Islands is very prone to tropical cyclones and flooding and in the absence of a weather radar, high resolution satellite images from this system will play a very important role in our early warning system.”
The Director of Meteorology David Hiriasia said the equipment will be very useful for the Solomon Islands.
“For a country such as the Solomon Islands which has a lot of isolated and scattered Islands, monitoring of meteorological phenomena such as tropical cyclones generated in wider area can be very difficult but with the New HimawariCast Receiving System, such life-saving information will now be available on timely basis.”
He thanked JICA for funding the equipment and allowing the Solomon Islands to access data from Himawari 8.