How temperatures are accurately measured in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Although Kuwait is one of the countries that witnesses the most noticeable rise in temperatures, even exceeding the 50-degree mark in the Jahra station, the forecasts for these days as well as the upcoming days remain open for other regions. As the summer gets hotter, questions are being raised about the distinction between their officially approved degrees or those seen in vehicles and other measuring instruments.

In an interview with KUNA Wednesday, climate observer at the Meteorology Department of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Dr Hassan Dashti said that the department is keen to provide all accurate and reliable information on weather conditions and temperatures with internationally accredited scientific measuring devices through 27 land and sea surface monitoring stations in various regions of the country.

These stations measure temperatures transparently and in a scientific way, according to the standards approved by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and through monitoring stations that are followed up 24 hours a day, monitoring their readings and analyzing them using advanced computers in a scientific way, Dashti added.

He pointed out the administration’s keenness to provide all accurate and reliable information and data on weather phenomena and its elements such as temperatures, atmospheric pressure, wind speeds and direction, and rainfall amounts through internationally accredited scientific measurement devices through these stations, noting that all these centers and stations are subject to international standards that must be met so that the desired degree can be calculated and based on it.

A technician examines the recorded readings made by a mobile weather monitoring station.

Accurate temperature measurements are the main concern of meteorological centers and departments through those stations, with each station having special sensors that depend on the nature of its use, he stated. He stressed the need to differentiate between measuring the temperature in the shade and measuring it under direct sunlight and in the open air, indicating that temperatures are affected by the surrounding environment, in addition to the accuracy and sensitivity of the thermometer used.

Regarding the confusion about what the temperature indicator reads in some cars and what is circulated on social media, for example, the rise in temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius in the past days, he explained that the thermometer in the car is affected by several factors, including the temperature of the engine, the intensity of traffic congestion, as well as the factor of dark colors and other influences. Dashti said: “the method and conditions that must be met to measure temperatures is through a special device, which is a wooden box of a special type with openings that allow air to enter to ensure that the temperature measured inside the box is not affected by direct sunlight or reflected from the surface of the earth.”

“The device is isolated from direct sunlight and heat radiating from the ground, so the observed and declared temperature is the actual temperature,” he added. Dashti pointed out that the administration also measures the temperature of the soil and at different depths, as well as the temperature of the grass, indicating that measuring the duration and intensity of sunshine during the day are two important elements for understanding and predicting the weather for the purposes of agriculture.

A mobile land meteorological station.

Regarding the measurement of wind speed and direction at the main meteorological station, Dashti said that this is done by an anemometer, as the stations contain an electronic device to measure wind speed and direction automatically and send data to the database on an up-to-date basis. He explained that the department supervises the operation and maintenance of meteorological stations, whether fixed or on platforms distributed on lands and offshore islands and follows up on then in a timely basis through its trained professional national cadres. “All these stations are linked to an integrated network to collect data around the clock before sending it via cellular communication lines to the (main server) at the Meteorological Department building.

The data is then extracted, audited, and sorted to use in the weather forecasting process or for climate studies. They are also provided to the authorities according to the stipulated systems and regulations,” he added. Dashti said there is international cooperation between all meteorological departments and centers across the world under the umbrella of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) regarding the conditions for collecting information on the weather at specific and globally agreed on times.

The information is distributed through the organization’s network to enable the issuing of weather forecast bulletins around the clock. He added that the department obtained approval to start the project of renewing the entire network of meteorological stations in Kuwait according to the latest systems and technology. It’s also got approval for a project to manage data after auditing them according to the latest internationally approved quality control and assurance programs. “Upgrading the meteorological stations is a qualitative leap in the field of land and sea weather observations and the upper atmosphere,” he said, noting that the first meteorological station in Kuwait was established in 1953 in the Shuwaikh area, specifically to record daily observations.

He pointed out that at the end of 1957, the first meteorological station was established at Kuwait International Airport to serve the take-off and landing operations of aircraft, while the first radio bulletin for the weather was issued on the State of Kuwait Radio in 1958. He stated that the air monitoring station at Kuwait International Airport operates around the clock to ensure the safety of air traffic from weather fluctuations, especially during the take-off and landing operations. – KUNA

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