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Quality of our forecasts – how we add value

Weather works differently near the equator. African rainstorms are very erratic, develop fast and on a small scale. It is therefore important to use models and algorithms that can predict these weather patterns. Weather Impacts’ high-quality forecasts are based on three sources of data: (1) the ensemble prediction system of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), which is considered the best global weather model, (2) local weather stations, (3) high quality satellite observations. Read more ›

The exceptionally long “short rains” in East Africa

Kenya experiences a bimodal rainy season, with long rains occurring in the period March-June, and short rains in October-December. The short rains of 2019 started already early September and have not completely seized yet. This resulted very high total precipitation amounts, flooding and mudslides in East Africa.

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Weather Impact welcomes Pleun Bonekamp

Weather Impact welcomes Pleun Bonekamp as our new specialist in meteorology and climate change. Pleun has a master degree in meteorology, physical oceanography and climate and is currently finishing her PhD in mountain meteorology and climate change at Utrecht University. She has experience with different (atmospheric) models and big data.

We are very happy Pleun is joining our team, and we are looking forward to work together in various projects where she will be involved. Read more ›

Celebrating the 5th anniversary of Weather Impact

Founded in 2014 by Gerrit Hiemstra and Arnold Lobbrecht, Weather Impact has grown into a company that creates local impact by providing reliable weather information and agricultural advisory to small-scale farmers in developing countries.

Over the past 5 years;
• we have served over 153.000 farmers with our weather forecasts
• we have delivered our services in 10 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe
• we participated in more than 30 projects
• we shared our knowledge in numerous workshops, presentations and conferences

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Geodata Innovations for Agriculture in Myanmar

Weather Impact presented how weather information can support farmers in their daily business at the “Geodata innovation in Myanmar Agriculture” event. In Myanmar, Weather Impact has developed a real-time agrometeorological advisory service for farmers and extension officers. Our forecasts are combined with agronomic knowledge on cropping cycles and farm activities, and in this way a real-time, weather-based advisory can be provided, unique for the location and crop of the farmer. For example:

  • “the monsoon will start next week, it is a good time to buy your seeds”, or
  • “heavy rain is expected the day after tomorrow, consider protecting your crops and check the drainage channels”.

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How seasonal forecasting reaches African farmers

Seasonal forecasts are issued by various centres worldwide, including the ECMWF. Weather Impact is experienced in bringing this state-of-the-art weather and climate knowledge to smallholder farmers. Currently we are working on operational services on the seasonal time scale. Because of these developments, our colleague Bob Ammerlaan visited the ECMWF annual seminar last month in Reading (UK) to learn more about the current status of seasonal forecasting and to share our expertise. The annual seminar’s theme was “Subseasonal to seasonal forecasting: recent progress and future prospects”. Read more ›

Workshop Extreme Precipitation

On September 20th, Weather Impact organised a workshop in our office in Amersfoort about the extreme precipitation project. In this project, Weather Impact and KNMI combine to develop a prototype of an improved warning system for extreme precipitation events. KNMI, the Dutch national meteorological institute, focusses in their part on improving the stochastic forecasts of the radar product (0 till +2 hours) and HARMONIE model output (0 till +48 hours). Read more ›

Invitation to the CropMon Project Closure Workshop in Nairobi

Crop Monitoring Service-Kenya (CROPMON) is a four-year project funded by the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) facility. The CROPMON project has developed an affordable decision supporting information service for smallholder to medium-sized farmers in Kenya. CROPMON provides information services to the farmers on the actual crop condition, farm management advisory and a local 7-day forecast of temperatures and rainfall. Today, about 200,000 farmers (growing coffee, sugarcane, maize, wheat and grass) in Kenya benefit on a weekly basis from the CROPMON service.

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Fall Armyworm early-warning system operational in Ghana

Together with Satelligence, Weather Impact has developed an early-warning system for the fall armyworm (FAW). Every Monday, a weekly FAW risk map for Ghana (Fig. 1) is calculated based on a combination of observational data, weather forecasts and satellite imagery. Our model highlights the regions in Ghana where FAW are likely to land and lay their eggs next, thereby infesting new crop fields. The risk is calculated per Ghanaian district and given in 4 classes: “low risk”, “medium risk”, “high risk”, and “very high risk”.

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From Rain4Africa project to AgriCloud service

At the 31st of May, Weather Impact successfully ended the Rain4Africa project. Together with 8 partners more than 125.000 small scale South African farmers were targeted with the best available weather and climate services, to increase their food production and reduce weather and climate related risks. After 4 years of project, Rain4Africa has now resulted in an operational service called “AgriCloud”. 

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