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Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s meteorology office plans to issue licences for individuals allowing them to practise weather monitoring and forecasts, an official has said.

Spokesman for the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM) Hussain Al Qahtani added that professional permits and licences, to be issued by the centre, will be granted according to regulations that will be announced later.

“We will initiate an education phase to highlight these conditions and the nature of violations entailed in the regulations,” Al Qahtani said on X, a platform formerly known as Twitter, without giving details.

Saudi authorities have repeatedly warned against unlicensed weather predictions and self-styled forecasters.

In February, the kingdom’s public prosecution said that weather services linked to national security are confined to the competent agency, i.e. NCM and vowed tough penalties against violators. This offence is considered a major crime that warrants arrest, the prosecution said.

“The meteorology system refers to monitoring or watching of the status of the weather, climate, air and maritime phenomena affecting the atmospheric status,” it said at the time.

Prosecution authorities pointed out that a violator of the meteorology system related to national security faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of SR2 million.

A fine will be further levied on the violator for each day of continuing violations after he/she is notified of a final penalty ruling. The fine will double in the event of a repeated violation along with confiscating the tools used in the offence.