Welcome to the TAHMO Newsletter! This is our way of bringing the TAHMO community up-to-date with our progress, and to let you know about neat opportunities to get involved with the TAHMO program.
Kick-off GroundTruth 2.0
TAHMO Kenya is partner in the ambitious GroundTruth2.0 project, led by UNESCO-IHE, and funded by the European Commission under their H2020 research and innovation program. The kick-off meeting took place in Delft from 19-21 September 2016. GT2.0, as it is usually written, seeks to build a number of citizen observatories in Africa and Europe. TAHMO´s role concerns the installation of a small number of stations in Kenya and a larger cluster of station in Zambia. These would be our first stations in Zambia, which in itself is already rather exciting. More important is what will be done with the data. First, TAHMO data will be part of what is called the explicit data, which are data collected to produce specific information. These will be compared to citizen data, that may contain implicit data, which are data derived from behavior but was not meant to produce information; think social media, for example. Our School2School will play an important role in the establishment of the citizen observatories as young citizens will be directly involved in monitoring and understanding their natural environment. To stay informed, keep an eye on the website http://gt20.eu/.
Kick-off of the GroundTruth 2.0 Project at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, the Netherlands.
The Global Resilience Challenge Project in Uganda
TAHMO is leading a team of partners which includes Earth Networks (EN), the Human Networks International (HNI), the African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics (ACLENet), the Climate Change Adaptation Innovation (CHAI) and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on a demonstration project sponsored by the Global Resilience Partnership to develop an Early Warning System to save lives and reduce socio-economic losses from severe weather events especially on Lake Victoria. The project is titled “Meteorological Early Warning System to Build Resilience to Climate-Induced Shocks” and was officially launched on 21st January, 2016. Recent achievements includes the launching of the 1-6-1 platform on 24th August, 2016 for the dissemination of UNMA approved weather information for the populace of Uganda by HNI, and the development of an efficient and robust Quality Assurance and Quality Control system for weather observations from TAHMO deployed stations. ACLENet is currently collecting and updating data on fatality and property damage due to severe weather in Uganda and has developed a Fact Sheet and posters for teachers at selected schools to raise their awareness on severe weather dangers. The team has identified 35 sites for the installation of the first 35 out of 70 Automatic Weather stations to add to the existing UNMA network of 50 stations operational in Uganda.
New Isotope Sampling Capability For TAHMO Stations
One powerful aspect of the TAHMO network is that the stations are the same, so anything you design for one station works on all stations. Sampling isotopic signatures of rainfall is conducted globally as a way to trace the origins and fate of rain – where does the rain come from, and where does it go? TAHMO has now built a 3-D printed adaptor for the station that directs the water coming out of the station into an aluminum-lined bag that keeps the samples far more accurately sampled than does the state of the art used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The technology is being tested in Costa Rica, and was developed in the OPEnS lab. The design is open-source, and will be published in the coming months.
Our sampler in the field
New 3-D Printed Bird Guard and Rainfall Calibration System for the TAHMO Stations
Accuracy is key to weather observation, and one of the most common problems for weather stations is birds resting on the rain gauge and depositing waste. The TAHMO station has a specially sharpened edge on its rain catcher, but where birds are a problem additional measures are sometimes needed. A was developed in the OPEnS lab where a ring that goes about the rain gauge holds steel spikes that keep the birds away. Also printed is a plate that holds a volumetric flask inverted above the gauge with a printed-in Marriott bottle apparatus to drip the water in at a precise rate. In this way, for just a couple of dollars, the problem of sensor calibration and sensor reliability are addressed in a single system for every TAHMO station. These will be distributed to all TAHMO field technicians in the late summer of 2016.
QA/QC for TAHMO
Quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) are the processes used to ensure data quality. QC is used specifically to detect issues in the quality of measurements which is done by running statistical tests. The purpose of QA is preventing the issues form occurring in the first place by having adequate maintenance and proper station siting. Observations from the TAHMO network are used, for example, by weather forecasting models and decision support systems which heavily rely on the data that is provided to them. If erroneous measurements would enter these systems the model output could be influenced by it, resulting in incorrect predictions and decisions. Improvement of QA/QC is a continuous process within TAHMO. Currently there's a limited quality control system running that has the traditional range and temporal checks, which will be expanded with further checks in the coming months. Meanwhile a team at the Oregon State University lead by Tom Diettrich is developing a new approach for quality control by combining non-parametric anomaly detection with probabilistic modeling.
On the 2nd of August, 2016, Professor Nick van de Giesen (TAHMO Co-Director) and Frank Annor paid a courtesy call on the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland. This meeting was to formally introduce the TAHMO Initiative to WMO. The TAHMO delegation was met by the Director and Senior Officers from the offices for Africa and Least Developed Countries, Development and Regional Activities Department, the Office for Resource Mobilization and Development Partnerships and the World Weather Research Programme. They gave their support to the TAHMO initiative and emphasized the need to continuously work with National Meteorological Agencies to improve the collection of reliable weather data for the development of useful and localized weather and climate products for Africa.
Story from the field: TAHMO Signs MoU with Benin and sets up cooperation with Burkina Faso and Cameroon
Frank Annor, CEO TAHMO - Kumasi, Ghana
The team set off for Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and met the next day with the Director General of the national meteorological service and one of his Technical Directors. By the end of the meeting it was agreed that 10 stations should be put in place as a trial project.
The team then continued the journey by road to Benin to meet with the Director of the Meteorological service and some of his top management staff. TAHMO could help resolve massive gaps in the observations of Benin. Meteo Benin had just moved to a new temporal location while they try to construct their Head Quarters at a new site given to them by the Government. The team agreed to seek 20 stations for Benin which was rewarded with a time out for celebrations.
The next meeting was in Cameroon and was not unlike the meeting in Benin. Aside from 20 agro-meteorological stations donated to the Meteorological Agency in 2013, the meteorological service has only a few manual stations in operation. TAHMO seeks to place additional stations together with the Meteorological Agency in Cameroon, and will start with 20 stations in the first round of installations. This will double the national observations of weather, and add entirely new levels of measurement to the data of the Meteorological Agency. There was a lot of enthusiasm and willingness to collaborate with TAHMO.
The team is grateful to IBM, WMO and other partners for the support offered to TAHMO to expand the network of Meteorological Observations through the National Meteorological Agencies in Africa.