Modernizing Weather and Climate Services in Uganda
This underfunding of the weather enterprise has become a more and more obvious deficiency as other areas of the Ugandan economy have advanced in recent years. For example, in a country with very extensive cell-phone networks, it is shocking to see synoptic weather stations with only the most minimal ability to communicate with the central forecast office. However, the development of a new generation of low-cost observation and communication technologies over the last decade provides an opportunity for rapid improvements in the level and sophistication of meteorological services offered to the Ugandan people. The present interest of the international donor community in climate change early warning and adaptation presents an opportunity to dramatically improve the state of knowledge of the Uganda climate and its variability, and to improve the accuracy and specificity of weather and climate forecasting from short-term watches and warnings to seasonal agricultural forecasts.
This presentation will review the current state of the Uganda observational network and of weather data and prediction services to the aviation and agricultural sectors and to the general population, and then describe a proposed modernized structure, that builds on recent efforts by the WMO, GIZ and the Uganda Department of Meteorology to develop cell-phone mediated forecasting and volunteer observation services, and results in a rigorously maintained observation system, an up-to-date bias-adjusted numerical weather prediction capacity, and a comprehensive and fine-grained delivery of weather and forecasts that meets the needs of Uganda's citizens.