Tag: climate

In New Indian Express: Citizen Weather Network

The Citizen Weather Network and Know Your Climate is featured by Ashwini M Sripad in The New Indian Express today:

The project started with two stations, and now the number has gone up to seven. Five more are in the making. The idea is to have at least 30 to 40 such stations across the city.

“It is a continuous process. We need to capture real-time data for a complete year, covering summer, the rainy season and winter. We need to repeat it for some years so that we can compare the data. We get fresh insights into our climate over time,” he said.

The group is planning to link the data to Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com), which provides real-time weather information on the Internet. “They also have a mobile app through which messages can be sent to users,” he said.

Small stations could be set up at schools where kids could get to see data collection demonstrations, he explained. “There is scope to develop a mobile app showing what is happening in a neighbourhood. For instance, in Bengaluru, when it is raining in one part, the other is dry. If you know micro details, you can plan you day,” he explained.

Ashwini M. Sripad, The New Indian Express, 21 February 2015.

The New Indian Express-Bengaluru, 21 FEBRUARY 2015

Help us grow the Bangalore Citizen Weather Network

by Saurabh Chandra

An update is due since our last announcement in July. We have been making announcements on twitter and Facebook but here is a brief summary of the progress made till date.

Our technology partner Yuktix has deployed 7 automated weather stations across Bangalore. In the last 6 months or so, the automated weather station (AWS) has been running robustly since the last 4 months or so (except for a DNS issue with Airtel last week). There is a version with solar backup and a version that is directly plugged-in to power too. We have versions with institutional mountings and also with light-weight balcony mounts. Each AWS has:

  1. Temperature, Pressure and Humidity sensors mounted inside a Stevenson Screen
  2. A rain bucket with a tipping bucket sensor
  3. A control unit that beams the data reliably over the mobile network (each station comes with a pre-paid data plan for 3 years

The AWS transmits data continuously every few minutes to the cloud and the data is available in graphs or is downloadable for analysis by anyone. An Android app will be available soon to view the data.

We are excited to announce that our field trial phase is successfully closed and we are now open to taking pre-orders for stations that you can play host to. Our target is to pepper Bangalore with 25+ stations and create an open data network of the same. For this community project we have a special price from Yuktix for personal stations at 35k (without solar) + installation charges if any. The stations will take 4-5 weeks for delivery from the time of pre-order.

Fill this form for your pre-order and join the network.

Saurabh Chandra is a tech entrepreneur in Bangalore and a weather enthusiast at Know Your Climate.

Know Your Climate featured in Economic Times

Know Your Climate and the Citizen Weather Network is featured in Economic Times today in a piece by Krithika Krishnaswamy on how individuals and groups are taking the initiative to make India’s cities smart.

ET2

“Indian school education often focuses on the climate and geography of India and the world, but we never learn enough about how things work in our city or town,” said Pavan Srinath, who runs Know Your Climate, a not-for-profit that was started in 2011 to tell data-driven stories on Bengaluru’s weather and climate.

Know Your Climate has five weather stations up and running — 25 more to come up by the end of this year, to start recording high quality, granular weather data from the city.

Once the data is collected, Know Your Climate aims to build apps that tell people when to commute or when to bring with them an umbrella or a jacket. The group also wants to set up stations on schools in the future, such that students learn geography and climate by understanding the weather in their in own schools. 

Yuktix, a Bengaluru-based startup, has developed these weather stations at Rs 50,000, a fraction of the cost it takes to import the equipment. “The idea is to show government organisations a model for both deploying weather stations and for making data public,” said Srinath. “It is my hope that the India Meteorological Department also modernises and serves the public much better in the coming years.”

[Full Article — Economic Times, Jan 22, 2015]

Urban Weather Impacts – A Snapshot of Bangalore

Here is a graphic on how the weather affected the city of Bangalore over a 6 week period during the 2011 monsoon season. In most Indian cities, we have a very limited quantitative understanding of how rains, storms and various weather phenomena affect city life. This is a quick attempt to get a preliminary understanding of the relationship of between the quantity of daily rainfall in Bangalore and and the various impacts it has on the city – from traffic jams and fallen trees, to flooded houses and lost lives.

Weather impacts were obtained from newspaper articles and reports, and were overlaid on daily rainfall data to get a sense of what happens when. Not only do we need to understand what impact weather has on the physical infrastructure of a city or on the lives of its residents, but also about how everyone, including the city administration and media, respond to weather events.

If you wish to help us make something similar (or better!) for the year 2012 and its weather, contact us at know.your.climate (at) gmail (dot) com!

Climate of Bangalore – A Prelude

The posts on this blog so far have focused mostly on weather and not really on climate. (Not counting the talk at Open Data Camp). Today’s post seeks to rectify that.

When people talk of climate, it usually refers to averages and numbers from long periods. “How long?” is a fairly nebulous question, but the convention today is that it ought to be for at least about 30 years.

Below you’ll find a monthly rainfall profile of Bangalore, which is a result of averaging monthly rainfall amounts from a 100 years of data, from 1901-2000. This monthly data is actually publicly available at an old IMD page which was discovered with the help of Anand, so feel free to use it yourselves as well. Unlike other sources, this is a 100 years of station data, not gridded, not massaged, so it’s a valuable resource. I know that I’ve made strong statements in favour of looking at daily data, but monthly numbers do have their uses, and climate information straight from the weather stations is ideal, if you can get your hands on them.

I’ve chosen the full 1901-2000 period above in order to capture whatever long-term patterns exist, and the graph that you see above can change a little when you take an average over say the more recent period.

The hundred year span of data, however, is quite a luxury most of the times. Bangalore was a seat of a British cantonment and also a prominent city in the Kingdom of Mysore and was fortunate enough to have a weather station that was set up late in the 19th century. Thus, for standardization, meteorological departments choose a common 30 year period during which they have continuous data for the most number of weather stations and rain gauges across the country. One standard followed by the Indian Met Department is the period 1951-80. The graph from then is below.

Note that there is only minimal deviation from the previous graph here. Rainfall in March, May, September, October, and November are a bit higher, the rest barely changed. What would happen if we instead try to look at the climate of the most recent 30 years for which we have data, 1971-2000?

Turns out that things change quite a bit! September rains are way higher at 233mm, small increases in June and August, losses in October, May and November. The line graph below has all three together.

Now what does this mean? Does it mean that Bangalore’s climate is changing?  The annual totals for the three periods (1901-2000; 51-80; 71-00) come up to 930mm, 963mm and 968mm. Since the annual totals are not very different, does it mean that the distribution of rainfall in Bangalore is changing rapidly?

The questions can be asked rather easily, but answers are harder to find. The short answer is: no, not quite. A lot of things change when you look at only averages, but these don’t necessarily imply underlying trends. Or even if they do, whatever is changing is not always obvious. Over the next few posts, I’ll be taking a closer look Bangalore’s rains and try to examine how it might be changing.

Written by Pavan Srinath. This post was a result of conversations on twitter and email with @zenrainman. The monthly rainfall data is taken from an old page on the IMD website.

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