(Tetum) Seeds of Life has successfully identified the locations of 63 old weather stations as part of its ongoing work to track down historical climate data and make it readily available.
The discovery means MAF-SoL can now make comparisons between the historical and current climate across the country to further inform other research and planning work.
Cropping Systems Advisor Sam Bacon said that SoL has been steadily collecting more accurate information about the location of weather stations for the last two years.
“We had data available from old weather stations but didn’t know where they were located,” he said. “Previous research had estimated locations but with a lot of errors.”
A number of sources were used to identify the 63 previous sites. These include:
- Research by T. Santika
- Australian National University
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- Manuscripts in the National Archives
- Government of Timor-Leste location data
- Solo E O Clima De Timor
- Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries staff
- On-site visits by MAF-SoL staff
Sam explains that the high accuracy of the location data means that many of the existing weather stations installed by SoL and others are within 100 metres of original locations.
“In a few instances we met local people who either collected the data during the Portuguese period or knew exactly where the station was previously located.”
“In Fazenda Algarve, Liquica, we found the remains of an old weather station,” Sam said.
MAF-SoL is calling for anyone living or working near any of these sites that knows the exact location of other weather stations to contact MAF-SoL to help this work continue.
- Locations of the weather stations including their coordinates
- You can download the data as a layer on Google Earth that will plot all the points and give you the historical average monthly rainfall at each location (you need to have already downloaded Google Earth to your computer)
- Data currently available for the historical weather stations