Digitization of 150 years of hydrometeorological data in Uzbekistan advances

The recovery of climate records from paper and obsolete electronic media is an important and ongoing task for WMO, national meteorological and hydrological services and other institutions. Those observations bolster the climate record and allow a better understanding of climate variability and change.

The Uzbek National Meteorological and Hydrological Service, Uzhydromet, has a valuable paper archive of hydrometeorological data with significant historical value going back more than 150 years to 1867. WMO has now photographed more than 7 million pages from 19 categories of valuable historical data, as part of phase one of the Climate Data Rescue in Uzbekistan project. This has been made possible through funding from the Korea Meteorological Administration and technical support from the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO) as well as data rescue expertise from Bulgaria.

The project is now working to digitize the imaged climatological and hydrological data sets as part of its phase two. This will be done through a combination of both data recognition software and manual keying. The rescued data and existing electronic data will then be migrated to a modern climate data management system (CDMS).

Experts from WMO, IEDRO, Bulgaria and Uzhydromet met in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in November 2019 to map out the priorities and timeline for phase two. They concluded that the digitization would begin with the monthly summary data with daily records for all available meteorological variables for 87 synoptic stations, for the entire observational period. In conjunction with this, will be the digitization of the monthly summary hydrological data with water level and water discharge starting from 1960. The Uzhydromet team will also begin reviewing different CDMS solution options.

This project will importantly serve to facilitate CDMS implementation to underpin climate services with high-quality long-term data sets.

More information is available here.

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