Meteorological Monitoring

Agroclimatic conditions are extremely variable across the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, and microclimatescan have a major effect on the success or otherwise of plant growth and fruiting at specific sites. Farmers are well aware of this; in more isolated areas mountain farmers still use cross-breeding and seed selection to obtain different landraces of rice for use on different small parcels of their own land, for example. The results of trials at the Knowledge Park at Godavari are broadly applicable to other areas with similar agroclimatic conditions in the mid-hills of the HKH, but they are also to some extent site specific. To interpret them properly and make informed evaluations, and for ICIMOD to be able to make proper recommendations, it is necessary to have an exact record of the site and meteorological conditions at the time of trials. A meteorological monitoring station was set up at the site in 1995 at an elevation of 1,634 m. Air temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, precipitation, evaporation, solar radiation, and sunshine duration are recorded manually on a daily basis, and from an automatic weather station on a 2-hourly basis. The results highlight the variability and fluctuation of meteorological conditions over an extended period between 1995 and 2012, the mean annual temperature varied from 16.4 to 18.2ºC (1997 and 2000); the absolute maximum temperature in any one year from 33.4 to 33.8ºC (May 1995 and June 1998); the absolute minimum temperature in any one year from -0.9 to +3.0ºC (December 2003 and January 2009); the total annual rainfall from 1,299 to 2,462 mm (2009 and 2002); and the single greatest daily amount of rainfall from 57.7 to 228.6 mm (7th September 2010 and July 2002).