Weather forecasts are now more accurate thanks to the new satellite

Weather forecasts are now more accurate thanks to the new satellite

The satellite will be launched from South America around 21:00 (Dutch time): from a launch pad in French Guiana, east of Suriname. The satellite will replace another weather satellite that has been in space since 1977. Meteosat-12 will give us a more complete picture of weather conditions in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. According to experts, it is not yet clear when this will happen.

The new satellite can send an image of the atmosphere back to Earth every ten minutes. This is five minutes faster than its predecessor.

better expectation

Moreover, Meteosat-12 has a sharper eye. The satellite can zoom in on the sky in more detail. This will save a huge amount of weather data.

Thanks to the satellite — which has been in operation since 2006 — more reliable and accurate weather forecasts can be obtained, says Raymond Slueter of the Netherlands National Space Agency (formally the Netherlands Space Office), the organization responsible for national space policy. “Because we get more images from space, we can better understand the evolution of extreme weather events, even on a small geographic scale, such as cities.”

“Fall winds, for example, are associated with violent thunderstorms that develop locally. With Meteosat-12 we can monitor them early,” Sluiter says. This makes it easier to expect dangerous storms such as Eunice, which killed four people in the Netherlands earlier this year.

The satellite is also equipped with a camera that can detect lightning. Since lightning is an indicator of strong winds, precipitation and hail, the satellite will accurately warn about these weather conditions in advance.

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The new satellite will make it possible to observe lightning more clearly, says Joris Melkert, an aeronautical engineering expert at TU Delft, “The new satellite can detect 100 percent of lightning. So far, we can only detect lightning that has hit the ground here, about 10 per cent.” cent of all.”

More satellites

After Meteosat-12, another satellite will be sent into space in 2024. This will measure the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere. Another satellite will be launched in 2026. This could take pictures of Europe every 2.5 minutes. In total, six similar satellites will be launched until 2040.

Meteosat-12 will be launched tonight It can be watched live on the European Space Agency website.

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