Be prepared: Myanmar to receive modern weather monitoring and severe weather alerting system
Myanmar to receive modern weather monitoring system
An agreement between U.S. technology firm Earth Networks and prominent IT solutions provider Lucky Bird in Myanmar will bring a technologically advanced, nationwide weather monitoring, forecasting, and severe weather alerting system to Myanmar according to a press release from the company on 4 August.
The system is designed to protect lives and livelihoods throughout Myanmar, a country vulnerable to lightning, as well as thunderstorms, cyclones, and heavy rains that can cause deadly and destructive flooding and landslides.
In the past 20 years, severe weather has taken an enormous toll on Myanmar, claiming more than 100,000 lives and destroying more than $1 billion (U.S.) in property.
U.S.-based Earth Networks, a company that operates a global lightning detection network and provides severe weather detection and alerting technology, and Lucky Bird Group, an established IT solutions provider based in Myanmar, are deploying a nationwide network of real-time lightning detection sensors and weather stations. Data from this network will be used with weather modelling and analysis technology. Together, the data and the analytical tools will provide critical weather monitoring, forecasting, and alerting services.
The network will help protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people throughout Myanmar, while also making it possible to provide lifesaving information using automated alerts. Real-time surface weather observations, high-resolution forecasts, and proxy weather radar can be used by public safety and emergency services officials, aviation operations, electric utilities, agricultural interests, and other key industries that can be at risk from severe weather.
“The establishment of these new weather monitoring and early warning services will help Myanmar adapt to climate change and mitigate the impact of extreme weather,” says Mr. Htin Aung Khine, managing director, Lucky Bird Group of Companies. “The partnership with Earth Networks is a major step to help ensure that Myanmar has the infrastructure and technology required to track and alert to severe weather to help save lives and protect industries. In addition, we will be making it possible to provision SMS alerts through the nation’s top mobile providers to support the agricultural community and other sectors.”
The new sensor network will provide live weather and lightning observations from carefully selected sites throughout Myanmar, and make it possible to track thunderstorms, monitor precipitation, and issue alerts for severe weather. Numerous weather stations and lightning sensors, connected via the Internet, will report a wide range of weather conditions and provide critical information on “total lightning” – which includes lightning that strikes the ground (cloud-toground) and flashes in the sky (in-cloud). In-cloud lightning has been shown to be an important, early indicator of severe weather.
Lucky Bird Group is providing operational capabilities and resources to establish and maintain the sensor network. The network in Myanmar is modelled after similar networks that have been successfully deployed by Earth Networks in Brazil, China, Guinea, India, Australia, Japan, and other countries using proprietary lightning detection, monitoring, forecasting and alerting technology from Earth Networks. Myanmar is the first country in the region to implement this advanced system. This network deployment will become part of the global Earth Networks Total Lightning Network, and will extend coverage far beyond the nation’s borders.
“When it comes to severe weather, real-time data serves as a valuable informational resource for both organizations and the public, making it possible to make better, more informed decisions for safety and business operations,” says Jim Anderson, vice president, international, Earth Networks. “We are honoured to be teaming with Lucky Bird to provide technology that will bring current weather information, forecasts and alerting to people throughout Myanmar for the first time.”
This partnership was made possible with the support from the United States Commercial Services (USCS) and the U.S. Embassy. “On behalf of the U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Embassy, we congratulate Lucky Bird and Earth Networks. We were delighted to work with Earth Networks and to help introduce them to the Myanmar market.” This type of partnership illustrates the positive and rapidly developing commercial ties between the U.S. and Myanmar, says Senior Commercial Officer James Golsen, U.S. Embassy, Yangon.