DOST installs 8 weather trackers in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 September) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has installed eight weather tracking devices in Southwestern Mindanao (Region 12) as part of its efforts to improve the area’s weather monitoring systems.

Dr. Zenaida Hadji Raof Laidan, DOST-12 regional director, said the installation of the weather devices is in support of the national government’s initiative to help improve the capability of local governments in the region in addressing weather-related concerns.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

She said the weather devices, which were installed starting early last year in strategic areas of the region, comprised four automated weather stations (AWS) and four automated rain gauges (ARG).

“These are modern devices that provide real-time weather data,” Laidan said.

She said three AWS units were installed last year at the city airport complex here, People’s Palace (City Hall) compound in Cotabato City and in Barangay Badyangon, Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat province.

Last April, the fourth AWS system was installed at the North Cotabato provincial capitol compound in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City, she said.

Laidan said ARGs were installed earlier this year in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat, Carmen in North Cotabato and Kiamba in Sarangani.

She said another ARG was set up late last month at the city hall complex of Koronadal City in South Cotabato.

A DOST-12 statement described the AWS as a “modern weather tracking device that can do remote meteorological measurements and send data on real-time basis.”

It said each AWS is equipped with sensors capable of measuring weather parameters, wind speed and directions, air temperature, air humidity, air pressure as well as rain volume, duration and intensity.

The agency said the ARGs were developed to gather and record the amount of rainfall over a set period of time.

“Weather and rainfall data are sent wirelessly through a cellular network as a short message system (SMS) or text message. Each station is equipped with the data-logger platform (GSM) Data Acquisition Terminal (GDAT), which serves as a mini-computer or brain that
intelligently controls all the functions and data communications of the station,” it said.

The GDAT technology was developed by the  DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI).

“The deployment of these modern weather tracking equipment would eliminate subjective weather forecasting. It would facilitate real-time monitoring of weather disturbances and eventually help keep our communities alert to possible calamities brought about by heavy
rains and typhoons,” Laidan said.

The installation of the weather devices is being done by DOST as part of an ongoing nationwide project that provides for the “development of hybrid weather monitoring system and production of weather and rain automated stations.”

It is implemented in coordination with ASTI, which helped develop theneeded instruments to assist the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in its weather monitoring and forecasting functions. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)