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Interview with trainees on application of meteorological satellite products

13-07-2017Source:China Meteorological News Press

Recently, the tenth international training course on the application of meteorological satellite products was held in CMA. During the training, meteorological workers from Iraq, Pakistan and Kenya accepted the interview from China Meteorological News Press to talk about satellites application and training.

Interviewee: Ali Waleed Salman Altameemi, Observer from Iraqi Meteorological Organization and Seismology

Muhammad Younus Khan, Meteorologist from Meteorological Office, Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan

Wycliffe Kengere, Metrological Officer from Kenya Meteorological Department

Reporter Liu Shuqiao and Hao Jing

Three international trainees accepted the interview.

Q: What have you learned from this course and do you have any suggestions?

Ali Waleed Salman Altameemi: I would like to thank CMA for this training course. Before I come to China, I don't have any information about satellite of FY-2 or FY-4. Now I think I have learned of the background information about FY satellites and SWAP application. I think this training course is very valuable. I think it's better if the teachers can point out how the systems and software of satellites work, and how to download and apply them, for example, how I can download the images of the clouds, fog and dust from satellites.

Muhammad Younus Khan: The training is very useful for me. I have learned a lot from this training, such as the application of satellite products. I suggest that more technical classes be added, especially in terms of the application on the SMART and SWAP. 

Wycliffe Kengere: The training course is well-organized and very important. This is my first time to China. Before I came to China, I knew China's technology was quite advanced, but I did not know the level had reached so advanced as well as satellite meteorology. I’ve learned a lot from the training. Before, I learned some knowledge with the satellite of FY-2 and FY-4 last year. I think there is a lot of knowledge in this training that we can learn the ways to access. And I also learned a lot about SMART and SWAP. They are two sets of advanced software that can analyze satellite images. We can use them to get more information from satellite observation. They’re useful for weather forecast. But, in my opinions, there were so much information and in such a short training period that we can’t input more contents in our heads.

Q: Are there any extreme weather and climate disasters in your country and how do meteorological departments in your country respond under these circumstances?

On June 29, Iraq got high temperature.

Ali Waleed Salman Altameemi:We have many extreme weather events in my country, such as flooding in the north, strong storms in the south and high temperature in the whole country. In 2015, floods caused by heavy rainstorm hit Iraq. Many people were killed by this disaster. In this year, high temperature of 51℃-52℃ affected my country. Meteorological departments and other risk prevention and reduction departments all work hard to prevent from disasters.

Muhammad Younus Khan: There are disasters such as severe heat wave, flooding, and tropical cyclone in Pakistan. For example, in June of 2015, severe heat wave raged Pakistan with 49℃ which claimed the lives of thousands of people. Meteorological departments and governments of Pakistan issued weather warnings to the public by media, newspaper, TV, radio, etc.

Flood hit Kenya in May of this year.

Wycliffe Kengere: Kenya is located in tropical monsoon region and experiences extreme weather and climate disasters like flooding. March to June and October to December are our rainy season. Kenya is often hit by floods during this period. Especially in May of 2017, continuous and long-time rainstorm fell in Kenya, causing lives  and affecting food security. Sometimes, wind storms exert impact on us, especially as regards the aviation industry. Meteorological departments offer warnings and advices for the government, ministries of planning, departments of agriculture and disasters management, and the public. In addition, we also issue seasonal forecast to provide season weather information. Governments and other departments could adopt measures to prevent potential risks. In some local places, the radio stations are installed there. If floods and other disasters happen, we give warnings and broadcast to people to evacuate dangerous places.

Q: Can you make a brief introduction of the satellite application in your country? After the training, do you think there is a good expectation of meteorological satellite application in your country?

Ali Waleed Salman Altameemi:Satellite application in my country is very limited. We have a receiving station in our capital. We use satellites from EUMETSAT and NOAA. We use Meteosat to get images of the clouds. Besides, we also derive images of the fog. We do not have CMACast and MICAPS system in my country.

Heat wave battered Pakistan in June of 2015.

Muhammad Younus Khan: Satellites are used in weather forecasting, tropical cyclones, monitoring floods, and aviation forecasting etc. CMA has provided us with CMACast and MICAPS systems. They are running very smoothly in Pakistan. We use them on a daily basis. We also download satellite imageries from our websites every day. Through this training, we can be more equipped to use those satellite products and radars.

Wycliffe Kengere: In Kenya, we use satellites mainly for forecasting. The satellite can access images and conduct weather forecasting. There are many perimeters. The main one we use is from EUMETSAT, and also augmented with NOAA. Except forecasting, we use them for the observation of cyclones, clouds, and so on. We also use satellites to monitor certain synoptic scale systems. Whenever there is a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean, we can use satellites to monitor its movement. We can also make relevant forecasts. We also use satellites in airports. They can be applied to monitor fogs through this channel, which really exert an impact on airport operations.

Q: Satellite data and observation are of vital significance. Do you have any idea of the collaboration between CMA and meteorological departments in your country in this regard?

Ali Waleed Salman Altameemi: According to my information, there is a meeting recently between CMA and meteorological departments in my country. And I hope this kind of relationship and interaction will continue and develop. Personnel from Iraq have the chance to come to China to participate in these training courses, which also signifies our developing collaboration and exchanges in this field. Last year, only two personnel came to China to take part in training courses, while this year this figure climbed to 4.

Muhammad Younus Khan: Satellite data and observation play a significant role in forecasting tropical cyclones, natural disasters, and monsoons and so on. CMA provides us with CMACast every year and also invites personnel in my country to participate in trainings in various disciplines. Some people from our country have come to China for their master or doctoral degrees in meteorology or other relevant majors.

Wycliffe Kengere: Our collaboration is mainly through training. Many staff in my country has come to Beijing or Nanjing to take part in the training courses. According to my knowledge, CMA has possessed a sea of information and valuable knowledge. We really hope that we can have more opportunities to reinforce collaboration in satellite application and other fields.

Q: In which fields do you think CMA and meteorological departments of your country can reinforce cooperation?

Ali Waleed Salman Altameemi: I think it is very necessary for CMA and meteorological departments in my country to solidify cooperation and exchange experience, especially in forecasting and prediction areas. The training courses organized by CMA are a good case in point. There can be more training programs, no matter online ones or face-to-face trainings.

Muhammad Younus Khan: I think CMA and meteorological departments in my country has enjoyed cooperation for a certain period of time. From my perspective, Pakistan can conduct more collaboration with China and CMA and derive more support from CMA in areas such as radars, satellite, or other hardware and software technologies, capacity building, and aviation meteorology.

Wycliffe Kengere: From my perspective, we can strengthen collaboration in all fields of meteorology, such as hydrometeorology, agro-meteorology, aviation meteorology, and marine meteorology. And we do stand to benefit a lot thanks to these training courses. Personally speaking, we can gain a lot if we can receive more training in terms of satellite meteorology. Satellite meteorology is a new method of weather observation. If we can conduct more observations of those weather systems impacting our country or certain regions, they will lend a hand in making better forecasts, no matter long term or short term forecasts. Those forecasts will be more accurate. We hope we can reinforce collaboration with CMA, which will facilitate our forecasting operation and better observations. Now in Kenya, there are a multitude of infrastructure or construction projects, some of which are supported by China. I do anticipate our collaboration in meteorological sphere, especially in satellite meteorology.(July. 14)

Editor: Wu Peng