IMO in the Eye of a Storm

IMO in the Eye of a StormIMO in the Eye of a Storm

The Iran Meteorological Organization defended itself after several officials blamed it for failing to “correctly predict” the July 19 storm that hit several provinces and caused severe damage and losses, including the death of 20 people.

Ahad Vazifeh, head of IMO’s Early Warning Unit, responding to complaints about the organization’s inability to anticipate natural disasters said, “We should note that in any weather forecast there is a margin for error; however our forecast was very close to reality; strong winds, precipitation and the possibility of floods had all been predicted and announced earlier.”

“Unfortunately, many officials are trying to blame the IMO for the damages and losses caused by the storm. Instead, they should try to improve and update the organization’s equipment, then our predictions will be more accurate; but even in that case they shouldn’t expect 100%  accuracy, as this is not possible anywhere in the world,” ISNA quoted him as saying.

Recently, the UK spent 100 million pounds to purchase a supercomputer which supposedly has the ability to make precise forecasts; however even the ‘super’ equipment has shown errors in weather forecast, he noted.

In addition, disasters which occur in one specific spot are not foreseeable; as an example “we cannot predict that a disaster may occur on a minor road of a village and may cause great losses,” Vazifeh said.

On the road between Karaj and Kandovan Tunnel which is 80 km, no untoward incidents occurred; the disaster occurred only on Kan Road in Tehran Province due to environmental changes in the region over the construction of the Tehran-North highway. Therefore the disaster is man-made.

Also, illegal construction of buildings alongside rivers is among the factors responsible for the floods.

The IMO had warned the domestic Mehrabad Airport of the storm; therefore three planes landed at an alternative airport during the storm, he pointed out.

Earlier, head of the Construction Commission of Tehran City Council Eghbal Shakeri, had said the IMO should apologize to the people. On the day of the storm, IMO announced wind speed at 40 km per hour while actually it was 80 km per hour. “There is a big difference between strong winds and a storm,” he said.


Explaining the interference of electromagnetic waves on weather forecasts, Vazifeh said, “It is clear and undeniable that disruptive electromagnetic waves from various sources are interfering with our radar signals, and we need to identify the sources.”

The visual field of meteorological radars in Tehran and other cities in recent times have been disrupted due to electromagnetic sounds from various sources; most of the time, the images generated by the radars are often associated with noisy disruptions.