Meteorological Office Gets SmartMet

Meteorological Office Gets SmartMetAntigua St. John's - The Antigua & Barbuda Meteorological Office will be able to give more accurate forecasts with the addition of a new information system called Smart Met.

The system worth approximately €100,000 was donated by Finland.

Eight forecasters and four IT personnel are taking part in the two-week Smart Met training programme with Finnish experts Paulinha Kuokka, Joonas Moilanen and Mikko Rauhala on island to facilitate the course.

Met Office Director Keithley Meade said the system would improve forecasting not only for Antigua and Barbuda, but the Eastern Caribbean.

The SmartMet technology was developed during the years since 1999 by the Finland Meteorological Institute(FMI) for use by professional meteorologists. It enables the meteorologist to interactively collate, view, analyze, control and edit meteorological data, to interpret hydrometeorological conditions. Separate post processing software can be used to draw data from the database and to automatically prepare tailored customer products.

SmartMet will be beneficial to service offices having adequate number of skilled forecasters, a need to provide tailored products and near 24/7 operational capacity.

SmartMet provides an excellent tool to analyze weather conditions in general, but especially to demonstrate and assess risks associated with severe phenomena. Two types of installations of SmartMet are proposed, a Main site and a Remote site.

At a Main site the collection of hydro-meteorological data from different sources is configured for storage into a dedicated real-time data-base and to allow for interactive post-processing with the inbuilt tools. Main Sites have full functionality in terms of data viewing, building Macros, editing and tools for post processing data into service products. Main sites serve the remote sites by automatically sharing the data base online. By doubling servers, the systems are secured for continuous operation.

Installations completed in previous projects in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago Meteorological services have been configured as Main Sites, but without a support function to Remote sites. The main site being set up at the Meteorological Services, Antigua and Barbuda offers such capabilities.

The Remote Sites rely on the data collected and processed at the Main site from which the data is continuously mirrored to the Remote Site via land line. Since no raw data input is configured, Remote sites cannot function without the Main sites. The forecasters at the Remote site can view the same data residing at the Main site, use Macro’s and the Editor, however, the processing of the products needs to be done at the Main site using its data processing tools.

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