Expert clarifies on forecasting water spouts


By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA

Kampala, Uganda –  A communication expert has clarified that though water spouts are very dangerous to aviation and marine transport, he is not aware of any procurement plans by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) in the next year or two to acquire equipment to forecast water spouts.

“As far as I know, no procurement  of equipment to help detect water spouts is  under way at present and the HIGHWAY Project is definitely not providing water temperature monitoring equipment through its current funding of UNMA activities,” Robert Powell

A Humanitarian Communications and Media Consultant with the HIGHWAY project told this website.

HIGHWAY, which stands for High Impact Weather lAke sYstem, is being funded by the British government through its development aid arm the DFID and implemented by the Weather Information Servicers (WISER) project of the UK Met Office working with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with main aim of improving marine safety on Lake Victoria by providing timely weather forecasts.

Powell had been quoted in an earlier article saying that UNMA was going to acquire equipment to forecast water spouts.

 “What is required to forecast water spouts is real time water surface temperature monitoring equipment. When the water surface temperatures reaches 26.5 or 27.0 degrees Celsius, water spouts become more likely. Ideally such equipment would be fitted to a ferry that runs a regular route in Lake Victoria and would transmit its temperature readings and its GPS coordinates by mobile data to UNMA, Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) or Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA). That real time monitoring of water surface temperatures would help all three met agencies to calibrate satellite imagery of water temperatures right across the lake more accurately,” said Powell.

Powell explained that there have been several attempts to install such equipment in Uganda and Tanzania over the last four or five years, but it has never become fully operational.

He also pointed out that knowing the real time water surface temperatures in Lake Victoria would not necessarily enable UNMA to forecast water spouts in any of Uganda’s other likes, such as Kyoga and Albert.


The first water tornado in Uganda on Lake Bunyonyi in kabale district south western Uganda. A tornado is a violent wind storm consisting of a tall column of air which spins round very fast and cause a lot of damage. Tornadoes end up with massive destruction to homes, property, infrastructure and cause many deaths as well.

Posted by Climate News Africa on Tuesday, January 22, 2019


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