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Advanced European satellites to benefit African weather and climate forecasting

By Eric Van Rees - 28th September 2021 - 15:37

African nations’ capacity to significantly improve weather and climate forecasting through access to data from Europe’s next-generation meteorological satellites will be the key focus of a two-week online forum.

Covid travel restrictions have forced Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, to move its two-yearly Africa User Forum online, but also have made it possible for more participants to attend.

“EUMETSAT’s Meteosat satellites have a continuous view of Africa, as well as Europe,” the organisation’s Director-General Phil Evans said.

“For more than 20 years, EUMETSAT has partnered with African policy and decision makers, weather and climate experts, the World Meteorological Organisation and the European Union to make our data more easily available in Africa and to build capacity for their best use.

“The first of the more advanced Meteosat Third Generation satellites will be launched at the end of next year and will provide significantly more and better weather and climate information.

“EUMETSAT is committed to making the data from this satellite system readily available to African weather and climate services, to providing training for forecasters and to participating in capacity building projects on the continent.

“The use of this data will have significant, tangible benefits for the citizens of African nations, such as enabling earlier and more accurate warnings of severe weather events and deeper understanding of climate change, through to providing information about lightning activity, to help improve aviation safety.”

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