(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. 

Historical weather station locations in Timor-Leste

Historical weather station locations in Timor-Leste

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.

‚ÄúWe had data available from old weather stations but didn‚Äôt know where they were located,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúPrevious research had estimated locations but with a lot of errors.‚ÄĚ

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.

‚ÄúIn 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.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúIn Fazenda Algarve, Liquica, we found the remains of an old weather station,‚ÄĚ Sam said.

Liquica house

The gardens at the house of Fazenda Algarve in the mountains behind Liquica, where the remains of an old weather station can be found behind the building. Seeds of Life have installed a weather station in the gardens here.

The old administrator’s house in Same.  The original weather station was located just to the right of the building.  Seeds of Life have recently installed a weather station just behind this building.

The old administrator’s house in Same. The original weather station was located just to the right of the building. Seeds of Life have recently installed a weather station just behind this building.

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.

Downloads:

A sample of historical rainfall data from Aileu showing data from 1916 to 1974:

A sample of historical rainfall data from Aileu showing data from 1916 to 1974

This screenshot shows the data available in the Google Earth layer

This screenshot shows the data available in the Google Earth layer