Thursday, 16th July 2020

Maximum Reliability in Weather Forecasting, Essential for Safety (Spain)

Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET)

Areas of Activity: Environmental Quality

Sectors of Operation: Meteorology



“The maintenance of the weather radars network of AEMET guarantees a high percentage of data, above 99%, generating the confidence that they really represent the precipitation phenomena.”

The State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) was created to contribute to the protection of life and property and to support social and economic activities in Spain through proper forecasting and monitoring of adverse weather events. To this end, it has a network of 15 weather radars distributed throughout the national territory: 13 in the Iberian Peninsula, one in the Balearic Islands and another in the Canary Islands.

The information provided by this Radar Observation System allows nowcasting and very short-term forecast of adverse weather events and their communication to the media and general public. Specifically, AEMET provides weather information for air traffic, civil protection entities, the armed forces and state, autonomous community and local security forces, the communications media and other organisations.

By way of example, precipitation estimates with high spatial and temporal resolution are key in the hydrological field and provide essential information for proper management of watersheds. Also, combining the weather radar data with data from other data sources (rays, satellite, etc.), they provide estimates of the probability of hail and extrapolation of convective structures, creating products that are helpful for nowcasting, both for warnings of a general nature and specific forecasts for aviation, maritime or mountain activities, among others.

The high level of responsibility of AEMET tasks entails the highest level of accuracy input data on which numerical forecast models and the decisions of the forecasters are based to. The forecasts will be as good as the quality level of the data that feed them, which involves a very high level of competence when carrying out preventive and corrective maintenance tasks of the 15 weather radar systems, as well as the radio links, equipment and software applications.

Maintenance of the weather radars network of AEMET ensures a valuable level of quality in the service, allowing a significant percentage of data, higher than 99%. This high rate of valid data has led forecasters to rely on this remote sensing tool, systematically including it to feed forecast models and routinely using it for consultation in real time.


· Provide an adequate and effective complement to weather satellites.
· Guarantee a full forecast service of adverse events, thanks to the powerful, high quality and reliable meteorological database, and its dissemination in real time.
· Ensure the early detection of atmospheric processes that can cause violent phenomena in a very short period of time, such as storms associated with torrential rain, severe hail storms and very strong winds that have a catastrophic effect on society.