Science, Tech & Environment

Developing countries and weather forecasts

If you tune around 9:00 PM into Ethiopia's main news channel, you can hear the weather report, but most Ethiopians don't have a TV so they guess. This Ethiopian weatherman says Ethiopians believe their guess is better than the news's. Why no trust? Weather services and in much of the developing world tend to be located near the airport to help planes land so people who don't live near the airport don't pay attention to the forecast. The weather man has a credibility problem says this analyst. He says the tropics also have fewer resources and a harder to predict weather system. Weather forecasts in any world location really depend on forecasts from around the world, but there are gaping holes in that network in Africa and the developing world and that could affect the weather forecast across the world, says this analyst. Patching the network is all for naught if you're not getting the information out to people, says this analyst. The analyst organizes a project to get weather info out to developing countries and is funded by the US government, and more organizations like his may pop up. But climatologists fear some countries don't realize how badly their people need networks like this.

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