SMHI heads Baltic Sea Region's new weather radar network project

SMHI is leading a major collaboration project to develop the next generation weather radar network for the Baltic Sea Region. Around 15 representatives for the meteorological institutes around the Baltic gathered in Norrköping to kick off the BALTRAD project.

The kickoff meeting for BALTRAD brought together representatives from the national meteorological services in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Denmark, as well as STUK, Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. Belarus is also involved in the project but no representative was able to attend. The meeting took place on 4-5 February in Norrköping, Sweden.
“It was an enthusiastic team of experts who met up for the first time. The participants come from different countries, and each country contributes its own areas of expertise, but everyone’s sights are set on the same goal: developing the next generation weather radar network. Our mandate is to produce a common standard for the Baltic Sea Region, which in the longer term could apply to the whole of Europe,” says project manager Daniel Michelson of SMHI.

Common standards

The BALTRAD project is now formulating common standards and starting to develop a technical platform for the weather radar network. The platform is planned to be based on the same technology currently being developed for the WMO Information System (WIS), which is the next generation global standard for exchanging meteorological data.

“The idea is that countries should be able to share weather radar data simply and generate the information they need locally based on a set of common production methods. The results of the work in BALTRAD will also be available free of charge to the rest of Europe, in line with Baltic Sea Region and EU regulations,” Daniel Michelson explains.

Higher quality

BALTRAD will result in higher quality radar-based information, which means forecasts and the basis for decision-making will also be clearer and better.

BALTRAD not only encompasses weather monitoring. The project will also look at how the radar network can be used for various other relevant scenarios, such as emergency planning in the event of flooding in southern Poland, aviation activities in Latvia, and nuclear emergency preparedness in Finland.

The EU programme for the Baltic Sea Region (INTERREG IV B) is investing EUR 2.1 million in BALTRAD, which will run for three years.

Deltagare i projektet Baltrad som deltog i ett planeringsmöte i Norrköping 4-5 februari 2009.

The BALTRAD project brings together national weather services around the Baltic Sea with the aim of developing the next generation weather radar network. The initial planning meeting took place on 4-5 February in Norrköping, Sweden.