Timely Upgrade of Weather Information Systems
The United States Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with funding support from the U.S. State Department and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), has been upgrading Emergency Managers Weather Information Systems (EMWINs) in the Pacific to ensure that local officials and decision makers receive timely warning for better Disaster Management planning and awareness. A team of communications consultants – hired by the Secretariat for the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) – replaced and upgraded EMWINs at the Nadi Forecast Center and SOPAC, and are installing the same at the National Disaster Management Office and offices of the Mineral Resources Department this month. These systems bring essential satellite imagery and products for weather forecasting, and provide critical, time sensitive multi-hazard information to national meteorological and disaster management offices on flooding, typhoons, tsunami, and other high impact events. Funding and support for this particular project has been a coordinated effort between NOAA’s National Weather Service, SOPAC Division of SPC, the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional environment Programme (SPREP), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Similar upgrades and installations have already been completed in the Solomon Islands, the Republic of Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea.