Pakistan to set up climate centre in Saudi Arabia

Published: July 12, 2017
 Climate change PHOTO: REUTERS

Climate change PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is all set to send its two climate change experts to Saudi Arabia to help it establish a climate change centre and numerical model of predictions of severe weather.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed exemplary working relationships in the field of weather and climate. A lot of manpower has served in the past as weather observers and forecaster in the Gulf country.

“However, it is for the first time that climate change experts from Pakistan will serve in the Saudi Meteorological Agency. Saudi Arabia is a potential candidate to be the Regional Climate Centre for West Asia for WMO,” said Pakistan Meteorological Department chief Dr Ghulam Rasul, while talking to The Express Tribune.

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The Met Office has nominated Dr Muhammad Afzaal, Deputy Director (Research & Development Division, Islamabad) and Dr Syed Faisal Saeed, Deputy Director at the Met Office for the job.

“The two senior Met officials are going to help the Saudi government in upgrading its weather forecast system by establishing the two centres,” he said,

He said earlier in a meeting the Saudi government had requested Pakistan to send its experts for capacity building of its officials in its meteorological department.

Later, the Pakistan Meteorological Department had sent the proposal to higher authorities in the federal government who fully endorsed the request.

“Now they are waiting for their visa process to be completed by the Saudi government and as soon as this formality is done they will leave for Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Dr Rasul added that Pakistan is blessed with experts on climate change and it is an honour for the country to send its experts to other countries for capacity building and upgrading the weather forecast system.

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Meanwhile, talking about upgrading of Pakistan’s weather forecast system, he said, though the project has come under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) earlier this year, so far there has been no progress in this regard.

“The government has taken the upgrade of the weather forecast system as its top priority, therefore, we are hoping that soon we will hear some good news in this regard,” he said.

About the current weather situation, he said, monsoon is in a very active phase in Pakistan, producing widespread rains associated with occasional downpour in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and AJK which is expected to trigger flash flooding in the Suleman Range, Kashmir, Hazara and Malakand division.

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The prevailing weather system is moving southward and likely to yield moderate to heavy rain during the next three days in Sindh and Balochistan.

After a short break of two days, another monsoon spell will take charge over Pakistan, giving less rain in northern half of the country than the south. Karachi will also receive moderate to heavy rains from both the spells.

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