CJTF-HOA METOC and U.S. Department of State Work Hand-in-Hand to Get Deployable Weather Sensors to Ethiopia
A Meteorology and Oceanographic Center (METOC) team arrived at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to conduct a site visit with U.S. Department of State and the Ethiopian National Meteorological Agency (ENMA) July 19, 2010.
The visit is the final step in a series of engagements conducted by Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa METOC to determine suitable locations for weather sensor deployment. The team members observed operations at the ENMA, and shared insights and best practices gathered from their experiences with other Meteorological agencies throughout the Horn of Africa and insight to better understand synoptic weather patterns in a region of the world where there are several different climate regimes.
"Planning for the visit began during METOC's Theater Sensing Strategy development in March," said U.S. Navy Chief Aerographer's Mate Tori Moffitt. "Operating in the Horn of Africa presents unique weather forecasting challenges, in a region of the world that is larger than the United States but contains less than two percent of the weather observation stations."
The initiative was to develop a plan to increase relations with host nation Meteorological agencies throughout HOA in an effort to establish a weather sensor network that will provide climatology data for the region, said Moffitt. It will also help develop forecast models that could better predict adverse meteorological events that contribute to flooding, drought, malaria epidemics and severe weather, she said. "It feels great to meet with fellow forecasters to discuss regional synoptic weather patterns and what tools they use so we can better understand and forecast for our downrange units," Moffit said.
Further coordination is ongoing with several countries in HOA and the METOC team is excited to lay the groundwork for future host nation relationships. CJTF-HOA METOC has deployed six weather sensors throughout the HOA and has plans to deploy more sensors in the future.