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A Rains Radar For Piura
After the visible vulnerability during Coastal El Niño, a modern equipment gets ready for alerting us what happens in the sky real-time .

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By MSC. Rodolfo Rodríguez
University of Piura

Schematic map of a rains radar's coverage for Piura. It signs the projected location inside the University of Piura for a 70-km or 40-mi range.
Graphic provided by University of Piura.

PIURA CITY, Peru - The flood-affected towns caused by Coastal El Niño claim a never-again about such disasters.  The summoned ones to change the history are, first, the (regional and national) governments , then the technical and scientific instances  for weather, climate, and disaster management & following-up.

They all must considerthat also the lack of warning for the projected works resulting seriously affected, as well as the bad settlement and construction of public infrastructure, and precariousness of many houses at rural zones, are factors increasing the vulnerability of a country.

Regionwide, after El Niño events occured often, we must step ahead for counting with an efficient system of early alert that allows to attenuate the adverse effects. One manner to start is by using the advanced technologies those are already commonly used in other countries, like the rains radar.

It is a device that measures  instantaneously the formation of clouds and the occurency of rains into a determined range. Those devices use the characteristics of electromagnetic waves to determine the formation of rainy clouds and the falling of water drops. They are commonly used in other countries, they have many applications, bring great benefits for the population and stakeholders.

The rains radar would compplement to those working at ecuadorian Southern, forming a binational network.
Graphic provided by University of Piura.

Piura will have a rains radar
Because of Innóvate Perú'sfund supporting programme for acquisition of sscientific equipment, the University of Piura (Udep as in Spanish)  is running a project  for a rains radar implementation in Piura Region. This could have a range of 100 kilometers or 62 miles, a space resolution of 100 to 1000 meters or 328 to 3281 feet, and a time resolution of 5 minutes. This means that into a 2,5-sq-km or 1,6-sq-mi cell in the radar's coverage area, it is going to know  the precipitation magnitude. It would be like an automatic station each 500 meters or 0,31 miles length.

With a 100-km or 62-mile range, a big part of Piura Region, between Coast and Andes,  can be covered by the monitoring  of rains in Chira and Piura Basins. It will not only monitor the current status of weather but also the dynamic processes  with extreme potential in the basins.

Basically a rains radar works by sending pulses towards a location, those when are interrupted coming back like echoes. The speed and the time allows to know the distance, then the forecast.
Graphic provided by University of Piura.

Benefits to Region
The implementation of a rains radar in Piura will bring on multiple benefits: the same information of precipitations with a space-&-time high-resolution can be counted as  a benefit for Piura short-term and long-tern.

In short-term, as the forecast of an inminent rain, the formation of convective cells brings together  an adequate hourly or daily management of reservoirs and irrigation systems. In long-term, it helps to monitor the availability of water for agriculture and in floods prediction and prevention, and giving on-time alerts.

Learning about space distribution of precipitation intensity is crucial to evaluathe the land erosion for planning. Also, knowing the total of precipitation is a crucial factor to evaluate the availability of hydric resource for agriculture and human settlements.

YOUTUBE: Like an example, watch how the radar information is included into a weather report, like this one from The Weather Channel for Miami, Fla., in 2011.

According to Udep sources, the radar under installation in Piura City is similar to this located somewhere Ecuadorian southern, which it will be connected.
Photo provided by University of Piura

Compplementation to ecuadorian Southern
Piura's rains radar would compplement  to those working  since 2014 in Ecuadorian Southern Andes, so conformating  a binational network of rains radars, those would result advantageous for institutions and populations of both countries.

For our region, it is special interest watching rains  by those systems at Chira and Tumbes Upper Basins because both have nascents in Ecuador's Southern side.

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