A project jointly-implemented by WMO and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has now provided satellite data receiving and processing systems to nine countries in East Asia and the Western Pacific Region. These systems will permit the countries in question to use data from Himawari-8, the new generation geostationary JMA meteorological satellite launched in October 2014, which became operational in July 2015.
The satellite is located at around 140° east, observing East Asia and the Western Pacific. The most valuable function of geostationary meteorological satellites is their ability to monitor atmospheric phenomena continuously and uniformly over areas where surface-based observation is difficult such as seas, deserts and mountains. With the enhanced 16-band (channel) observation capability, Himawari-8 is expected to improve meteorological services by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the region for weather forecasting, climate monitoring, disaster risk reduction and safe transportation.
The imagery data derived from Himawari-8 and JMA’s numerical weather prediction products are distributed to users via an Internet cloud service and a communication satellite (HimawariCast). In order to facilitate the reception of Himawari-8 data for operational meteorological services in developing countries in the region, JMA in cooperation with WMO has implemented a project to install HimawariCast receiving and processing systems. Installation of the systems has been recently completed in nine countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Myanmar, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Tuvalu and Viet Nam.
In addition, JMA experts have started visiting the recipient meteorological services to conduct training seminars to maximize the benefits hey can derive from Himawari-8 data. It is expected that the systems installed throughout this project will further improve capability in early detection of, and responses to, severe weather events in these countries.