Information from weather radar can significantly improve the management of transport, public safety and recreation facilities in the Baltic Sea Region. This was one of the findings of a recent workshop held in Denmark, which focused on the BALTRAD project, funded under the Baltic Sea Region Programme.
BALTRAD aims to create a weather radar network across the Baltic Sea Region, involving the national weather and hydrological institutes in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, and Belarus, along with the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland.
This network would be capable of monitoring rain, snow, hail, and wind over large geographical areas with high resolution in both time and space. Several weather radar systems can be networked to cover countries, regions, and even continents, providing early warnings that can save lives and property.
The BALTRAD project is specifically designed to support regional transport infrastructure (road, rail, aviation, sea) and sectors such as recreation where weather is an important consideration.
Participants in the workshop were informed about enhanced weather forecasting and its use in customised applications. Interactions between experts on radar-based weather forecasts and end-user communities helped to stimulate ideas about possible research areas the project could explore.
Some ideas included the development of customised applications to improve services such as road and railway management, the forecasting of flash flooding in urban areas, local rescue services, agriculture and the management of nuclear- and chemical accidents.
The EUR2.1 million BALTRAD project is part-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (?1.6 million) and, for the involvement of the Belarusian partners, the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument - ENPI - (?43,020).
The European Union's Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 promotes regional development through transnational cooperation. The Programme provides funding to projects fostering innovations, improving accessibility, managing environmental resources and strengthening cities and regions in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Project partners from eleven countries - Belarus, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden - are working together in transnational projec