12 October 2011
Developments in radar technology which will improve weather forecasts are the focus of a conference being held in Jersey this week.
A total of 32 delegates from 16 member countries will be attending the OPERA (Operational European Group for Radar) meeting which aims to increase knowledge and public safety through European co-operation.
The programme of work which the OPERA group will be looking at includes work to harmonise weather radar data, investigate new technology and provide a forum for exchanging information.
Twice yearly meetings of the group have been held in venues across Europe, including Dubrovnik, Zurich and Uppsala. The two-day conference is being held in St Helier on 12 and 13 October.
Principal Meteorological Officer at Jersey Met Tony Pallot said that the ultimate goal of the work and discussions was to provide more accurate weather forecasting and weather-related applications. ‘Much work is currently being undertaken to explore the potential for new radar technologies which will, for instance, feed models for wind data and the early identification of differing types of precipitation. This kind of information will help us continue to improve flight safety by identifying potential hazards, such as significant turbulence and thunderstorms.
Mr Pallot said that Jersey Met worked closely with their partners in the UK and also exchanged data directly with Meteo-France as an essential way of monitoring and predicting weather over Northern France.
‘Jersey benefits from the working relationships which have developed from being a participating member of the OPERA group, such as access to the European composite radar developed by the group,’ he said.