The Bhutan Department of Hydro Met Services can now process satellite images from the new Himawari-8 satellite thanks to a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) project. The Capacity Development for Glacier Lake Outburst Flood and Rainstorm Flood Forecasting and Early Warning in the Kingdom of Bhutan Project has also been able to link the Hydro Met Services to WMO Global Telecommunication System (GTS). The Project installed a satellite receiving station and built the capacity of local forecasters to use the system for daily monitoring in order to enhance weather forecasting, especially for severe events in Bhutan.
Monitoring weather through surface stations is a challenge for mountainous countries like Bhutan. With the Himawari-8 satellite images, local forecasters can monitor in real time and improve weather predictions. The 16-band/channel capability of Himawari-8 is also expected to improve the performance of the Hydro Met Services in climate monitoring, disaster risk reduction and transportation safety. Capacity development training on the analysis and use of the Himawari-8 satellite images was provided by the Japan Meteorological Association (JMA).