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Weather Data for All

A project mobilizing public and private partners to ensure availability of reliable weather information to vulnerable communities affected by climate change.


Changing weather and rainfall patterns, a major effect of climate change, also mean that traditional knowledge – reliable for centuries – can no longer be depended upon for farming and the protection of people and their communities.

The value of accurate weather information today is clear: seasonal, monthly and shorter-term weather predictions are a crucial early warning tool capable of averting disaster and saving lives and livelihoods. While improving the quality and availability of weather-related information promotes development by facilitating agricultural decision-making, the supply of insurance, as well as commercial operations in a number of business sectors, such as energy and transport. Moreover, better local knowledge of the changing climate also enables more effective adaptation to that change.

Yet reliable weather data and forecasts are simply not available for many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. Despite the existence of sophisticated satellite imagery, standard meteorological data collected on the ground still forms the basis of weather forecasting. And developing countries – those who suffer the brunt of climate change – have the least number of ground-level weather data collection stations to form this basis, with some 8,000 basic stations lacking on the African continent alone. While on the delivery side, many remote communities or, for example, fishermen are not receiving existing weather forecasts and warnings in good time, if at all.


The Weather Data for All project aims to fill the existing weather information gap for those worst affected and most vulnerable to climate change.

Harnessing the opportunities of the recent spread of wireless communication in Africa, the project will promote the mass deployment of standard automated weather stations at cellular network antenna sites across the continent (and later to other regions) – ideal locations with all the necessary security, energy and connectivity required. Local cellular network service providers will offer sponsored bandwidth to cover additional communication burdens on national meteorological services, some thirty percent or more of whose budgets are often consumed by telecommunications costs.

Bringing the information to the grassroots level, the project will also involve local cellular network service providers to convey precise weather predictions to remote locations via cellular messaging (sms).
In a number of small island developing states (SIDSs), where for communication reasons certain available meteorological ground data goes untapped, the project will work with partners to provide satellite uplinks and bandwidth for improving access of weather data to national, regional and international forecasting services.