Understanding Clouds: The job of a Moscow meteorologist

Understanding Clouds: The job of a Moscow meteorologist
Meteorologists help Moscow communal services deal with nasty weather conditions.

23 March is World Meteorological Day. This year its theme is Understanding Clouds.

It is not surprising to learn that meteorologists play a key role in the lives of   Muscovites. This is because most of them are desperate to find out what tomorrow’s weather is going to be like. Weather is also a top priority for the communal services working for  the Russian Highways state budgetary institution. For this reason, a special meteorological research department was set up within it in 2015 to provide first-hand accurate weather information for Moscow.

Snow depth sensors and raindrop counters

Experts at the department use innovative equipment. For example, they register precipitation by means of a disdrometer that measures the drop size distribution. Ultrasonic sensors are used to measure the wind speed and direction, while special laser sensors estimate the depth of snow during heavy snowfalls every 20 minutes. Weather stations across the city measure the temperature of air and also humidity.

“Apart from data collected by these unique devices, our department uses traditional methods of analyzing synoptic processes in the city,” Galina Maksimova, head of the meteorological research department, said. “These include dynamic maps of mass air flows, diagrams and graphics of temperature and humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction and other data that pops up on special monitors installed at the Russian Highways meteocentre.”

Once experts have processed the massive data, they release recommendations for the city’s communal services.

Presently, Moscow has at least 50 stations which carry out round-the-clock weather monitoring . The Russian Highways weather experts have filed a total of 15,500 reports for communal services since they began work in 2015.