Use weather services info to your advantage

Friday, March 23, 2018

South Africans have been encouraged to use the information provided by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) to find out what steps need to be taken during adverse weather conditions such as tropical cyclones, storm surges, heavy rains, heatwaves and droughts.

“The data, services and products produced by SAWS ensures that South Africa is able to effectively address the challenge posed by climate change. They also enable stakeholders to make climate smart decisions across critical sectors, from crop production outlooks to the development of early warning systems,” Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said in a statement on Friday.

She said climate change is a major concern not just in South Africa but globally and therefore every effort should be made to monitor and understand its drivers and triggers in order to develop and implement evidence-based mitigation and adaptation strategies. 

“Because the monitoring and forecasting of the climate and weather monitoring has huge implications for a number of sectors including agriculture and water resources, the results from the Lekwena Radar Climate Change Monitoring Programme launched on Thursday at the North West University are expected to have real world socio-economic impact on issues such as flash flooding, drought and other weather-related events,” Minister Molewa said.

The Department of Environmental Affairs has affirmed its commitment to improving air and atmospheric quality, inform, monitor and report on efficient and effective international, national, provincial and local responses to climate change. 

Minister Molewa said South Africa supports meteorological services worldwide and is gearing up to becoming a “WeatherSMART nation.”

“The country is committed to protecting lives, livelihoods and property from the risks related to weather, climate and water events; as well as to raising awareness on the global agenda on sustainable development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” she said.

According to the department, the World Meteorological Day is celebrated on Friday under the theme: “Weather-ready, Climate-smart.

World Meteorological Day commemorates the entry into force of the convention that created the World Meteorological Organisation in 1950. – SAnews.gov.za

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