SA Weather Services launches RainWatch app as El Niño bites

NOVEMBER 25, 2015

On 19 November 2015, over 75 professionals from weather sensitive industries gathered at the Turbine Hall, Newtown, Johannesburg, where an online rainfall management platform was launched.

Drought-prone South Africa is unlikely to get substantial rain in the months ahead, with local and international climate experts predicting one of the strongest El Niño weather events in more than half a century.

For this reason, the product launch also included an El Niño seminar, with expert presentations on the expected weather for the months to come and possible solutions to help reducing the impacts of El Niño. 

Modern technology makes real-time monitoring and the prediction of rainfall as well as water availability easily accessible.

During this seminar, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) and Dutch Company Hydrologic officially launched RainWatch, a set of web-applications that make historical and real-time weather information from SAWS easily accessible via a web portal – thereby enabling better decisions for the sustainable management of South-African water resources.

Under the theme 'Because every raindrop counts', HydroNET RainWatch consists of three applications, namely Weather Stations, RainMap and Weather Forecast.

“Weather Stations” provides historical and actual (real-time) rainfall information for specified rain gauge points in the SAWS observations network; RainMap provides the best available rainfall information from a blend of SAWS rain gauges, satellites and radars; the Weather Forecast application provides forecast data against a stipulated time frame (1 – 10 days ahead of time).

RainWatch is suitable for use by water sensitive industries such as agriculture, catchment management agencies, insurance, mining and construction companies. Additional information can be found on the website www.hydronet.co.za.

Dr. Linda Mukeleni, CEO from the South African Weather Service, remarked that “is clear that El Niño hits many industries like farming, insurance or water resource management. At our organisation we have a lot of valuable data available. By linking this data to the award winning HydroNET portal from HydroLogic we are now able to share this valuable information via the web, empowering weather sensitive industries to make WeatherSmart decisions - because every raindrop counts.”

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