The SASSCAL WeatherNet, a regional network of more than 140 Automatic Weather Stations, has been established as a central service facility that feeds weather data in close to real time via the cell phone or satellite network into the OADC that hosts a website (SASSCAL WeatherNet Website) providing weather information without time delay and free of charge. In addition, a number of statistics and other information is made available on the webpage at no cost.
The German Government has pledged to back the operation and maintenance of the network until October 2017. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the SASSCAL WeatherNet, a 3-day workshop was held in Windhoek from 4 to 6 April 2017 to review the current operational status of the network and to develop a strategy for its long-term sustainability. More than 30 representatives from the meteorological services of the SASSCAL member countries and collaborating southern African and German universities, technicians and SASSCAL staff participated in the deliberations.
The representatives confirmed that, in addition to the improvement of the national weather observation efforts, the regional network and its online system are well received in the region and beyond. With the commitment of all delegates to ensure the stability of the network beyond October 2017, and implementing agreed upon models for the future maintenance and operation of the WeatherNet, SASSCAL is optimistic that the network will continue to provide real time regional weather information to the public and to the early warning systems operated by the national weather authorities in southern Africa.