Sunday, 17 July 2022

Croatian Adriatic Now Totally Covered by Meteorological-Oceanographic Buoys

July the 17th, 2022 - The Croatian Adriatic is now totally covered in the sense of measuring by meterological-oceanographic buoys, from up north in Kvarner, all the way down to the extreme south of Dalmatia in Molunat (Konavle).

As Morski writes, the final (more precisely the fifth) meteorological-oceanographic buoy from the State Hydrometeorological Institute (DHMZ) was placed recently at a location near the Blitvenica lighthouse, not far from the island of Zirje in the Sibenik archipelago. This completes the construction of the state network of meteorological-oceanographic buoys in the Croatian Adriatic, which represents an important segment of the DHMZ's strategic project called METMONIC, which works to modernise the meteorological observation network in the Republic of Croatia.

A total of five meteorological-oceanographic buoys are now anchored in various locations in the Croatian Adriatic, which will provide reliable data on the state of the atmosphere and the sea. This, they say from the aforementioned institute, will significantly contribute to the safety of life, maritime traffic and all sorts of activities at sea, and will be an important support for the timely warning system for potentially dangerous weather conditions.

''Our sea measurement network is currently the most modern system for measuring meteorological and oceanographic conditions in the entire Adriatic. The value of all five meteorological-oceanographic buoys with their integration IT platform, modular software packages for remote control and their anchor lines, stands at 12,345 million kuna, and is part of a strategic project whose total value exceeds the four-year budget of the DHMZ.

The METMONIC project will significantly modernise and improve our work through the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. Meteorological and oceanographic data from these buoys placed in the Croatian Adriatic will enable the development of an operational prognostic oceanographic-meteorological system in the coming period. Its establishment and continuous maintenance will improve the safety of maritime navigation, support adaptation to climate change, offer protection against the pollution of the Croatian Adriatic, aid search and rescue operations at sea, and potentially help with other activities as well,'' pointed out the head director of the DHMZ, Branka Ivancan-Picek, PhD.

After Vis, Palagruza, Molunat and Kvarner, the last buoy was placed at the aforementioned Blitvenica lighthouse location, which was also one of the most demanding locations to place a buoy due to having to anchor it on a steep area and at the greatest depth of 211 metres, which represents a record for anchoring in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea. After the anchoring of these buoys, there will be a period of test work (which will last around twelve months), after which the established network of buoys will enable the DHMZ to collect all kinds of important meteorological and oceanographic data from out in the open sea.

Data from the buoys will be available to users through the Central Integration Platform, which is also being developed within the METMONIC project. The buoys, which represent an independent object at sea, carry systems for measuring meteorological parameters, surface and deep sea oceanographic parameters, as well as maritime navigation, electrical supply and telecommunications. The buoys are equipped with dual meteorological sensors, surface wave gauges and current metres that probe sea currents up to a depth of 150 metres.

All this will enable the continuous collection of data such as air and sea temperatures, relative humidity levels, air pressure, wind speed and direction, as well as solar radiation and surface waves at locations where only occasional measurements have been made so far.

''All of the measurement data from the buoys will be sent in hourly and three-hourly messages via GSM or satellite communication to the reception centre in the Service Regional Centre for the Croatian Adriatic, at the DHMZ's Regional Meteorological Office in the City of Split. This will enable the provision of timely and detailed meteorological and oceanographic information to seafarers, boaters and all interested users, and for the first time in Croatian history, measurement data from the buoys will be transmitted in real time to all ships with AIS radio systems near the buoys. Light signaling and passive radar reflectors on the buoys will also contribute to safety at sea,'' explained the head of the METMONIC project, Stjepan Ivatek-Sahdan.

The installation of meteorological-oceanographic buoys is part of the Project to Modernise the Meteorological Monitoring Network in Croatia - METMONIC, which the DHMZ has been implementing since back in October 2017, and whose completion is scheduled for the end of June 2023.

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Saturday, 28 August 2021

METMONIC Project: Updating Croatia Weather Tracking System

August 28, 2021 - The METMONIC Project aims to update and make the Croatian weather measuring network more efficient by 2023, providing many benefits for the country.

With the Croatian economy relying heavily on tourism and given that sunny days on the coast outshine the cultural and heritage offer of the country, meteorology, the science of predicting the weather, is vital during tourist season. But it is also vital for traffic, agriculture, and many more, so good weather measuring infrastructure is always a good investment.

In that light, the "Modernisation of the National Weather Observation Network in Croatia", also known as METMONIC, is a valuable project.

As explained by the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ), METMONIC has a goal of establishing a modern and high-quality system of automatic surface meteorological stations, meteorological-oceanographic buoys, and remote measurement systems, including meteorological radars.

„In total, 450 modern automatic meteorological systems will provide traceable, reliable, high quality, and timely information on the state of the atmosphere and the sea throughout the territory of the Republic of Croatia. This will allow continuous monitoring of weather, climate, and climate change and will improve early-warnings of hazardous weather in order to support adaptation systems to climate change and natural disasters, thus providing direct support to sustainable development, increasing security, and preserving human lives and goods“, says DHMZ.

They add that upon reviewing the current meteorological network, they have recognized a need to increase the availability of measured climate variables and the analyses of climate conditions for „the needs of different economic branches and public activities“. Croatian national documents, such as the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Environment and Energy from 2017 - 2019 (MZOE, 2016), Sixth National Communication, and First Biennial Report of the Republic of Croatia under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (NN 18/2014), as well as the Law on National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NN 56/13), also recognized the issues that METMONIC can fix.

Development of human, technical, and scientific capacities, improvement of early warnings to severe weather and natural disasters, developing products tailored to users' needs to achieve sustainable development, and increased international exchange of information are the end-product of the project.

„Current and archived data will be publicly available on the DHMZ website and will serve research institutions, non-governmental organizations, and interested users, especially in the research related to climate change and its impact on vulnerable sectors“, promises DHMZ.

METMONIC started in October 2017, and it is predicted to be completed by June 30, 2023. The project's total estimated value is €45.251.908,75 and is led by Stjepan Ivatek-Šahdan and his deputy, Vesna Đuričić.

From the first weather station in Hvar to the current network of warning systems, forecast models, and laboratories, the METMONIC will hopefully bring further development to the respected, exciting, and challenging scientific field of meteorology.

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