Upgrading weather stations in the Northeast Passage | Polarjournal
The new systems should make shipping safer on the Northern Sea Route. The icebreaker “Kapitan Dranitsyn” in the Northeast Passage near Severnaya Zemlya. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

The existing weather stations are aging and are to be upgraded. Roshydromet, operator of the systems, is also to receive funding to overhaul the “Sever” information system. These upgrades include integration with systems operated by Rosatom for the Northern Sea Route. This was confirmed at a conference of the Ministry of Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic last week.

Many weather stations along the Northern Sea Route are to be upgraded or modernized. The picture shows the weather station of Vise Island, a deserted island between Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya. (Image: Heiner Kubny)

By 2024, 26 meteorological stations are to be fully upgraded and a further 97 observation points are to be partially upgraded. The eastern Arctic coast will be prioritized.

“In Arctic conditions, a reliable meteorological observation system means safety. Without such a system, we cannot continue to develop shipping along the Northern Sea Route,” said Yuri Trutnev, President of the Society for the Development of the Far East to the meeting participants. “Furthermore, this leads to additional risks to people’s lives. The condition of the Arctic network of “Roshydromet stations” has deteriorated to a level consistent to the middle of the last century and it continues to decline. The President of the Russian Federation has set the task of bringing them into line with the recommendations of the World Meteorological Organization WMO. This is necessary to ensure the competitiveness of transport conditions along the Northern Sea Route,” he continued.

The big meeting of the ‘Society for the Development of the Arctic and the Russian Far East’ was held as a video conference. (Image: Ministry of Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic)

The second major project of Roshydromet is to improve the quality of hydrometeorological support for navigation along the North Sea Route. This includes the modernization of the information and ice system “Sever”. It is also planned to integrate the “Sever” system into the information systems of Rosatom . Rosatom is responsible for the safe operation of the Northern Sea Route. The projects aim at improving navigational safety in the seas of the Arctic Ocean and the efficient use of Arctic space.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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