SA Weather Service to get major tech upgrades post-KZN flooding

Pippa Hudson speaks to Dr Peter Johnston, climate scientist at the University of Cape Town, about the South African weather Service technology upgrades.

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, announced a R100 million budget allocation over three years to help the South African Weather Service to upgrade its technological capacity.

This comes on the heels of the KwaZulu-Natal floods that devastated the province in April.

Many criticised the weather service for not warning people in time to vacate from dangerous areas that would be affected by the flood.

However, Creecy said warnings were issued but there will be a greater focus for the improvement of modern radar systems used to detect severe storms.

Pippa Hudson speaks to Dr Peter Johnston, climate scientist at the University of Cape Town, about the South African weather Service technology upgrades. (Scroll up for audio.)

To look at big systems that bring extreme weather, you need two things - one of them is satellite and that is available, although it has some delays, and the satellite can look from above and detect certain things about cloud situations, such as thunderstorms, even lightning strikes.

Dr Peter Johnston - Climate scientist at the University of Cape Town

Because the radar takes 30 minutes to process, by the time it's gone through the system, it might actually be too late. Updating this is not child's play and it's going to cost money.

Dr Peter Johnston - Climate scientist at the University of Cape Town

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