With the Croatian economy relying heavily on tourism and given that sunny days on the coast outshine the cultural and heritage offer of the country, meteorology, the science of predicting the weather, is vital during tourist season. But it is also vital for traffic, agriculture, and many more, so good weather measuring infrastructure is always a good investment.
In that light, the “Modernisation of the National Weather Observation Network in Croatia”, also known as METMONIC, is a valuable project.
As explained by the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ), METMONIC has a goal of establishing a modern and high-quality system of automatic surface meteorological stations, meteorological-oceanographic buoys, and remote measurement systems, including meteorological radars.
„In total, 450 modern automatic meteorological systems will provide traceable, reliable, high quality, and timely information on the state of the atmosphere and the sea throughout the territory of the Republic of Croatia. This will allow continuous monitoring of weather, climate, and climate change and will improve early-warnings of hazardous weather in order to support adaptation systems to climate change and natural disasters, thus providing direct support to sustainable development, increasing security, and preserving human lives and goods“, says DHMZ.
They add that upon reviewing the current meteorological network, they have recognized a need to increase the availability of measured climate variables and the analyses of climate conditions for „the needs of different economic branches and public activities“. Croatian national documents, such as the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Environment and Energy from 2017 – 2019 (MZOE, 2016), Sixth National Communication, and First Biennial Report of the Republic of Croatia under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (NN 18/2014), as well as the Law on National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NN 56/13), also recognized the issues that METMONIC can fix.
Development of human, technical, and scientific capacities, improvement of early warnings to severe weather and natural disasters, developing products tailored to users’ needs to achieve sustainable development, and increased international exchange of information are the end-product of the project.
„Current and archived data will be publicly available on the DHMZ website and will serve research institutions, non-governmental organizations, and interested users, especially in the research related to climate change and its impact on vulnerable sectors“, promises DHMZ.
METMONIC started in October 2017, and it is predicted to be completed by June 30, 2023. The project’s total estimated value is €45.251.908,75 and is led by Stjepan Ivatek-Šahdan and his deputy, Vesna Đuričić.
From the first weather station in Hvar to the current network of warning systems, forecast models, and laboratories, the METMONIC will hopefully bring further development to the respected, exciting, and challenging scientific field of meteorology.
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