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Dubai Municipality launches first Sandstorm Forecasting System in the UAE

The Geodesy and Hydrographic Survey Section of Dubai Municipality in collaboration with Unique System FZE, a Maritime Group Company and one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution provider, has launched the Sandstorm Forecasting/Prediction system in the emirate of Dubai. The official launching of the system came during the first day of Gitex Technology Week 2013. Having launched the project at DM ’s Stand in Gitex 2013, Eng. Mohammed Mahmoud Mashroom, Director of Survey Department of Dubai Municipality said: while sand storms are of natural occurrence, they can pose a great problem for human societies living near the desert regions. For example Arabian Peninsula experiences more frequent sand storms as compared to the other regions . ’Therefore, Dubai Municipality started the sandstorm prediction project. It will be an extension to the existing Dubai Municipality ’s Fog Monitoring and Forecasting System which runs at Dubai Municipality since 2010,’ Mashroom said. ’We are very proud with the results of this project which is useful to the whole nation and for the people living here’ he said. ’Dubai Municipality’s Geodesy and Hydrographic Survey Section of Dubai Municipality has several components comprising of various sub-systems that provide real time monitoring, alerts, warnings and timely dissemination of information to concerned departments,’ he explained. Eman Ahmed Al khatibi Al Falasi Head of Geodesy and Hydrographic Survey Section said: After studying satellite imagery, areas in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia have been identified as large sources of dust affecting the UAE. There are also source areas in Pakistan and locally in the UAE. The dust storms are driven by current meteorological situations, e.g. strong winds favoring their occurrence but recent rainfall acting against them. ’The system will be based on the state of the art 3D weather prediction model with which Dubai Municipality has several years of experience and integrated with the model for sand source areas, transport by wind and settling, she said. ’It will be verified against geostationary and polar orbiting satellites, lidar and aerodrome reports. Dust storm system will also present real time satellite images because they can display coming dust storm quite accurately,’ she explained. ’First results of the Dust storm prediction system are very promising and indicate that system will help prepare public for dust storm events,’ she added. Earlier Dubai Municipality had only 5 coastal stations, then in 2010 +8 inland stations, 3-D weather model and 1D Fog Model were launched , then in 2012 satellite imagery and remote metrologist services were available and now in 2013 new buoys , new cameras , rain gauges and sandstorm monitoring systems will be available.

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