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14 April 2024

Dubai gets sandstorm forecasting system

A satellite image showing developing sandstorms in pink.

By Wam

Dubai Municipality, in collaboration with Unique System FZE, a maritime group company and subsea and offshore solutions 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, 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 desert regions. The Arabian Peninsula experiences more frequent sand storms as compared to the other regions.

“Dubai Municipality's sandstorm prediction project will be an extension to the existing Dubai Municipality’s Fog Monitoring and Forecasting System which has been running at Dubai Municipality since 2010,” Mashroom 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, for example, strong winds favouring 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 the public for dust storms,” she added.

Earlier Dubai Municipality had only five coastal stations . Eight inland stations were added and 3-D weather model and 1D fog model were launched in 2010, then in 2012 satellite imagery and remote meteorology services were available and now in 2013 new buoys , new cameras , rain gauges and sandstorm monitoring systems will be available.

Ian Huggins, General Manager, Unique System FZE, said:''We are proud to be working with Dubai Municipality so closely on such innovative projects and being a part of this progressive set up for a safer and secure environment.''