Tonga: Meteorology and coastal monitoring data dissemination system
A team of four from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, a New Zealand based Crown Research Institute, is currently upgrading the Tonga Meteorological Observation network through installing new meteorology and coastal automatic weather stations throughout Tonga, aiming to enhance data collection; weather, tsunami and climate data monitoring; and severe weather watches and warnings, including for tropical cyclones, across Tonga's land areas and all of its coastal waters.
The new system is part of the activities of the Asian Development Bank's Climate Resilience Sector Project that is currently implemented MEIDECC’s Department of Climate Change. A total of US$1.8 million have been designated to fund this activity.
The system includes:
- 22 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS);
- two permanent sea level recorders; and
- eight temporary wave and water level recorders.
A few of the AWS have been installed in October last year in Niuafo'ou and Niuatoputapu, together with eight temporary wave and water recorders throughout Tonga's waters. Data from these eight temporary recorders will be used to model waves and swells, especially in Tonga's harbours.
Some of the AWS are located at schools' compounds to boost and promote the importance of studying weather, weather monitoring and research.
The AWS are all telemetered and reporting in near real time. The permanent sea level recorders are also telemetered and reporting in real time, which will assist tsunami early warning. One of the permanent sea level recorders has been deployed. The temporary wave and water level recorders have all been deployed.
Part of the activity is a consultation with maritime stakeholders set for next week. The discussion is expected to verify the sector's needs in order to strengthen the development of relevant and useful information products at the Tonga Met Service.