Sandstorm warning two days in advance now

Motorists and residents in Dubai will be able to know about sandstorms two days in advance with the Dubai Municipality launching an early warning system on Sunday.

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Published: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 11:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:38 PM

The online forecasting system for dusty conditions and sandstorms, which will start feeding data for the public by March 2014 after a trial run, was launched at the Dubai Municipality’s stand at the Gitex Technology Week. A mobile version of the system will be out by December, officials said.

The early warning system is expected to help prevent road accidents and people who are asthmatic and allergic to dust.

Developed by the survey department of the civic body, the system is integrated with a 3D weather forecasting model run by the Dubai Municipality.

“We have 16 monitoring stations in Dubai, including two off-shore, which are already providing the data. The public can rely on the data after the trial run which will be over by February,” Mustafa Mohammed Baqer, Principle Marine Data Analyst with the municipality told Khaleej Times.

The monitoring stations will also issue alerts on low visibility due to sandstorms in advance.

The new system is an extension of the Dubai Municipality’s existing Fog Monitoring and Forecasting System.

This system by the Geodesy and Hydrographic Survey Section of Dubai Municipality provides real time monitoring, alerts, warnings and timely dissemination of information to departments concerned.

Baqer said the website will be able to provide live updates about the weather conditions and send sms messages on them.

Users will be able to see pink dots covering up the areas which will be hit by sandstorm. The pink dots will also be seen during dusty conditions due to heavy winds.

The municipality has tied up with a private company to develop the sandstorm warning system, the first of its kind in the UAE.

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