One of AREA's early projects has been to orchestrate the installation of low-cost wireless weather stations at agricultural research centers (CRDDs) to provide researchers, agronomists and others with reliable meteorological data.
Weather stations can play an important role in the productivity of the agricultural sector by providing data that is important to anyone planning, planting, harvesting and managing crops: temperature, rainfall, dew point, wind speed and soil moisture. Yet Haiti has few functioning meteorological stations.
In mid-2017, AREA installed four solar-powered meteorological stations in rural areas outside of Port-au-Prince. These stations now provide data vital for use by the farming sector: temperature, rainfall, dew point and wind speed. (To view the data, follow the links at the top right of this page.) The information is automatically updated every hour.
As with all AREA projects, an essential component has been training Haitians -- agricultural researchers, educators and other professionals -- in all aspects of the development of low-cost, reliable weather stations. This includes siting, designing, parts purchasing, assembling, programming, installing and troubleshooting.
William Eisenstadt, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Florida and an AREA research team member, is overseeing improvements to the stations. Eisenstadt leads a group of UF electrical engineering students who are enhancing the stations with more features, including soil moisture sensors, improved wireless internet connectivity, data storage, Bluetooth and smartphone functionality. The improvements will allow the downloading of raw data for use in agricultural research, extension and education in Haiti.
A long-term goal is to jump start the development of a network hundreds of similar meteorological stations across Haiti in the years to come. Such a network would provide weather data for use by researchers, extension agents and farmers to better forecast weather patterns and manage the growing and harvesting of crops in an era of rapid climate change.
Second-generation weather stations for Haiti, Aug. 7, 2018
Training on newly upgraded meteorological stations, including information on the installation and upgrading of existing stations. View and download workshop materials.
How to use climate and weather data to reduce climate-related risks on farms, June 5-6, 2018
Marie Chrisnette St. Georges (right), a weather forecast presenter with the Haiti Hydrometeorological Unit (UHM), was among 19 meteorologists, technicians and other experts who attended a two-day workshop sponsored by AREA to analyze, interpret and communicate about weather and climate data to agronomists and farmers. The workshop focused on R-Instat, an open-source statistical software used to analyze and present weather and climate data. The event was led by Caroline Staub, Ph.D., AREA's Climate Smart Solutions leader, and Dr. Roger Stern of the University of Reading (England). Download workshop documents.
More than two dozen Haitian professionals from universities, government agencies and farming support organizations learned how to program internet-enabled weather stations during a workshop Oct. 26-27 in Port-au-Prince. The workshop was led by Will Blanc, a Haitian electrical engineer and AREA consultant.
During a weeklong training, attendees learned to assemble, install and maintain meteorological stations.
AREA-installed meteorological stations provide continuously updated data on temperature, rainfall, dew point and wind speeds at various locations in Haiti:
July 14, 2017 news on weather station installation:
• Le National article: Techniciens Haitiens Formes Installation Entretien De Stations Meteorologiques