Meteorological Services in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are currently faced with high demand for timely and quality information, services and products. However, inadequate observational station network due to lack of instruments, shortage of trained personnel, telecommunications systems, data processing and information dissemination facilities are major drawbacks. The infrastructure and facilities have continued to deteriorate leading to great difficulties in giving weather and climate services in the region to meet national and regional needs.
The climate data processing is the main component of the production of weather and climate information. SADC Climate Services Centre (SADC-CSC) is setting-up a Climate Data Processing Centre that will consist of four main subcomponents:
- Climate Data Management System (CLIDAM);
- Climate Data Processing and Production System (CLIDAP);
- Extreme Weather and Climate Monitoring (MONIS);
- Integrated Climate Information Dissemination and Early Warning System (IDIS);
The Climate Data Management System (CLIDAM) acts as a regional Centre for Climate Data Management System and stores a variety of climate data for Southern Africa. CLIDAM system will integrate real-time data through telecommunication systems and historical data made available through bilateral agreements between the Climate Services Centre and each SADC Member State.
The Climate Data Processing and Production System (CLIDAP) comprises two parts: the Data Centre and the Task Centre.
The Data Centre stores (up to 100 TB) of meteorological data including:
- Monthly forecast
- Long Rang Forecast data
- Climate scenario
- Satellite data
- A reanalysis data set (gridded data set representing the state of the Earth's atmosphere over a few decades) if conditions for data transfer are met.
The Task Centre runs specific tasks/processes within a secure and monitored operational environment, including: elementary tasks (e.g. cropping of global model fields, pre-views, etc); and satellite data processing.
Integrated and powerful tool for weather and climate monitoring will be installed at SADC Climate Services Centre to gather, visualize, interact and add value to all meteorological data on a single workstation.
The Integrated Dissemination System (IDIS) provides the SADC Climate Service Centre in Gaborone with the tools to generate and disseminate productions to end-users. This system will answer to Public Weather System (PWS) requirements; and Early Warning System (EWS) requirements.
Automatic dissemination of Early Warnings message (awareness map and reports) to defined public (authorities, Medias, civil security, general public) under the adequate format (fax, email...) are the main characteristic of the system.
Some of the products being developed include:
- Seasonal prediction;
- Dry spell;
- Onset of rainy season;
- Monthly Rainfall prediction for 3 months ahead;
- Flood potential prediction;
- Drought potential analysis;
- Suitability Agro climatic maps;
- Climate classification analysis; and
- Climate advisories and information.
Other Operational Data Processing Centres
There are three operational climate data processing centres in the Southern Africa Region. Two dedicated to extreme weather monitoring - Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres, and a third devoted to satellite data processing for monitoring agricultural and environmental status.
SADC Thematic Action on African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) provides satellite data processing information outputs for crop monitoring, drought prevention and fire alert to Member States in the Region.
The African Centre of Meteorological Application for the Development (ACMAD) also provides weather and climate information relevant to the SADC Region at a continental scale.