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Qatar Qatar to launch TV channel for weather forecasts.

Documentaries, other programmes will be added during its expansion

Manama Qatar will launch a satellite television channel for weather forecasts next year, a Qatari official has said.

"The Meteorology Department will launch a satellite channel for weather forecast by mid-2011. It will telecast weather forecast reports and bulletins throughout the day," Ahmad Abdullah Mohammad, head of the Department of Meteorology, said. "Later, the line up will be expanded to documentaries and other programmes," he said, quoted by Qatari daily The Peninsula.

The channel staff is being trained on the latest technology and developments in weather forecasting to provide the best services, according to the official.

The department has granted 24 people scholarships for training and education in meteorology in Qatar, the United States and the United Kingdom.

"I cannot say we are the best in the region. But we want to assure you that Qatar Meteorology Department has been among the best for the last two years. We have the most advanced technology and continue to train our staff at workshops held in Qatar and abroad," he said. "We are working to get the ISO certificate for our weather forecast, he added."

According to the official, 95 per cent of weather forecasts done by Qatar's Meteorology Department are accurate. He attributed the high accuracy rate to "advanced technology and staff competence".

The department had an agreement with France to enhance its technology and now has one with the US meteorology research centre to upgrade its services, he said. It is also looking into setting up a research centre by next year.

"We are trying to work with the latest developments. Students are learning meteorology to support many fields like agriculture, fishing and navigation," Mohammad said.

The official ruled out natural disaster threats to Qatar and other GCC states, saying that the geographical location was not within the danger zone for earthquakes and other disasters.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Dec 29, 2010
Words:332
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