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Friday, May 16, 2008

Pictures of Weather Studio

Just a quick update on my end: Things are going well here but very very pressured to meet deadlines. Our 24-hour channel is scheduled to air June 1st. This continues to be the most difficult task I have even been given, but am balancing it with the fact that it is a great opportunity. It’s really stretching my knowledge of meteorology and IT. I am learning a lot about networking computers. How raw data is fed into meteorological work stations. What file formats work where. Developing graphics interfaces for meteorological work stations. How to schedule a department. Spending someone else’s money on equipment ;-). How to forecast in the Southern Hemisphere. Ect. Ect. It’s a lot to take in at once.

I have hired a recent meteorology PhD grad from University of Witwatersrand located in Johannesburg. She is a blonde is very intelligent and should be a good hire.

I was able to spend time at the Headquarters of the South African Weather Service in Pretoria. That is quite the operation. Think of it as the NSSL (National Severe Storms Laboratory) in Norman, but for South Africa. They have smaller offices (similar to the U.S.) throughout the country. I have also spent some operational time at the Cape Town S.A.W.S. Weather systems develop very differently here. There is so much to think about. Full on desert 100 km to the northwest; rainforest 150 km to the east/northeast; an escarpment that covers the eastern half of the country (this is currently providing a large fire danger with foehn winds (they call it a “berg wind” here) coming off the mountain; and of course, 2 ocean currents (warm and cool) colliding at the tip of the continent. How fun!

The biggest challenge has been the pronunciations of the different cities and provinces. I am getting there however!

Will update more when the time permits. Hope you are all well!

Derek Van Dam


  1. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Van dam it.....Leave it to you to hire a blonde which number is she?

    Glad to hear you are doin in touch


  2. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Hey Derek,
    We are all missing our favorite weather man back here in Michigan. Glad to hear that all is well with you just very busy. They are really putting you to work over there. That is good, so it is not all fun and games.LOL You are still in our prayers stay safe and look forward to hearing more from you soon. Take care and don't worry they will love you like we all did when you were our weatherman in Michigan.


  3. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Derek, Amazing pictures of the studio, that is the largest tv screen I have ever seen. I hope the station is available on the internet so we can see you in action.
    Love ya, DAD

  4. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Hi derek,

    Awesome!!!! You amaze me!! Heck, you tired me out just reading your latest blog entry...When do you Sleep??? So good to get your updates regularly...It is always a joy to read, and I look forward to the next, and the next, and the next!!! Thank You!

    Your friend,
    Bill Pavlov

  5. Anonymous8:20 PM


    Loved the debut....true marketing genius! Brad and Jen are looking forward to their trip to Cape Town.
    Have a blast and keep smiling!
    It looks like you are fitting in really well!

    Ray, Dana, Brad, Jen and Luke!


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