The government on Friday inaugurated 10 installed automatic weather stations (AWS) for the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) through the Ministry of communications under its e-transform project.
The Agency until the installation of these 10 stations had 22 synoptic ones, seven of which were not automatic.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony at the Tema District Met office where one of the AWS was installed, Communications Minister Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful said the automation of GMet weather stations was part of the digitization drive of the Agency and the country as a whole.
The rest were installed at Big-Ada, Akuse, Sefwi-Bekwai, Axim, Akim-Oda, Abetifi, Tarkwa, Enchi and Akosombo.
The sites for the installation of these Ten AWS were strategically selected for the maximum benefit to those particular communities and the country as a whole said Mrs Owusu Ekuful.
She said government was very much concerned about the challenges GMet faces in carrying out its mandate, therefore, the government in line with that provided funding of $450,000.00 through the e-Transform Project sponsored by the World Bank, $350,000.00 of which was used to procure and install the Ten AWS for GMet to aid the measuring of meteorological parameters within the country.
The remaining $100,000.00 is budgeted for a two-year maintenance programme of the equipment.
“The benefits to be derived from these Automatic Weather Stations are enormous; automatic weather observation allows converting measurements of meteorological elements into electrical signals through sensors, processing and transforming these signals into meteorological data, and transmitting the resulting information by wire or radio or automatically storing it on a recording medium. This instrument (AWS) is able to transmit data every 15 minutes and its data quality is very high and reliable, thus improving data collection and eliminating completely human errors associated with conventional instruments,” she said.
She added: “Standardized observation techniques enable the homogenization of observed data in regions where automatic weather observation is adopted across the globe. In addition, new observation elements can be added relatively easily by installing new instruments and sensors. Optimal measuring instruments with the appropriate level of measurement accuracy for the required observation can be chosen, and the need for observer training will be eliminated."
The observed data collected can now be transmitted into GMet database in real time. This will enable GMet to provide prompt, accurate data to its numerous clients and stakeholders. Since there is no human interface with the data collection and transmission, human errors are eliminated making the data of very high quality. Collection and transmitting the data in real time will enable the GMet Forecasters to issue a prompt and accurate forecast to the Public and GMet Clients.
GMet can now boast of 25 synoptic stations that can measure all the weather parameters needed for the Agency’s operations.