MetraWeather and TOA Systems, Inc., (TOA) the global lightning network company, will announce the expansion of a pan-ASEAN lightning network at InterMET Asia 2016.
The network is designed to improve the region’s resilience to escalating extreme weather events and mitigate the risks associated with devastating lightning strikes. The network will be expanded in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The business model is technology agnostic. It has been designed to enable the ASEAN countries’ National Meteorological Services to access the data they need to deliver enhanced public safety weather forecasting without the need to invest in costly IT infrastructure, network maintenance and software.
MetraWeather Group General Manager Sales & Delivery, Sam Donley, said from Bangkok that the network addresses two significant issues for ASEAN nations.
“Climate change is escalating the severity of extreme weather events. Scientists have predicted lightning activity will increase in parallel in a region well-known for devastating extreme weather events. The network, built by partners TOA, enables National Meteorological Services to access the data they need without investing in costly infrastructure.”
MetraWeather is a specialist weather guidance company with a strong footprint in South East Asia. It recently registered a new subsidiary company based in Bangkok. The company is backed by the meteorological expertise of parent company MetService, a National Meteorological Service certified to provide public safety and aviation weather guidance.
MetraWeather will use the lightning network to provide commercial customers exposed to lightning risk (such as energy utilities, aviation carriers, airports, offshore oil & gas operations in Asian fields and refineries) with essential data about lightning proximity.
“Lightning is an extremely destructive force. It takes lives, damages essential infrastructure, and disrupts air travel. We cannot prevent it, but we can assist communities and organisations to mitigate the risks,” said Mr Donley.
“MetraWeather lightning proximity services recently reduced stand down time at an Australian processing facility from 4 hours to 20 minutes – representing a significant productivity gain.”
TOA Systems President, Tim Bent, is at InterMET Asia 2016 for the announcement. He says the network will be built using his company’s highly-respected state-of-the-art LPS-200 sensors.
“Our lightning networks are very robust and provide highly-accurate data. They form the basis of networks trusted by The Weather Company (formerly WSI), the single largest provider of weather data to the USA aviation industry, and the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia.
“We believe that making lightning data available on relatively inexpensive commercial terms can quickly enhance the capabilities of National Metrological Services and grow their public safety guidance,” Tim Bent said.
“Worldwide, we are witnessing a transformation in weather forecasting as Government agencies and weather companies embrace public/private partnerships that not only ease economic constraints, but significantly improve the delivery of scientific-based information.”
Facts about lightning in Asia
- Lightning is killing and injuring increasing numbers of people in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand
- Lightning deaths in Cambodia jumped 42.6% year-to-year in 2015 with 107 people killed and 77 injured
- Lightning is believed to have killed more than 2,500 people in India in 2014
- It is estimated that every year, lightning is responsible for USD ½ billion worth of damage worldwide
InterMET is Asia’s only dedicated weather and climate services event and brings together the global weather and climate industry dedicated to improving weather, hydrological and climate services for the Asian, African and Pacific regions.
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