7/20/2009

New Automatic Weather Stations system in Sri Lanka meteorological Depatment malfunctioning

(Lanka Polity - July 20, 2009) Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) system provided to the Department of Meteorological by Japan (JICA) following the tsunami in 2004 is reportedly malfunctioning and giving out wrong weather data, reliable sources say.This system was handed over to the Ministry of Disaster Management officially on July 13 in a grand ceremony attended by the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and the Japanese Ambassador of Sri Lanka. .

This system provides data such as air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, rainfall etc. These data are proved erroneous and the Department is not currently using them for forecasts, sources say.

However, the department pays a satellite bill of millions of rupees monthly, in addition to the high  maintaining costs for this Automatic Weather Stations system .

This project was worth Rs. 650 million. The project bore a large cost as the expenses like five star hotel bills etc. for the Japanese staff that came for installation. Some equipment imported for this system under investigation and the experts say that some equipment imported from China are low quality and cause much of the errors in data.

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