Project Spotlight: BMKG Indonesia

History of BMKG

Indonesia has a long-standing passion for knowing and understanding the weather with the earliest meteorological and geophysical observations beginning in 1841. However, it wasn’t until 1866 that these individual observations were brought under a government agency by the Dutch East Indies. These observations remained largely unchanged until in 1879 a rain gauge network with 74 observation stations was constructed. The expansion of observations continued with a second network being added in 1912 and the meteorological services in Indonesia started to be relied on for rainfall climatologies. During World War II and the Japanese occupation of Indonesia, the meteorology service experienced little change, except for its name. After World War II, several reorganizations of the meteorological service took place, including being split into two branches,  one which belonged to the  Dutch government. In 1950, the Indonesia service officially entered the World Meteorological Organization, which now has over 190 member states and territories.

 Hydromet Decision Support System Installation

In Indonesia, Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. installed a Hydromet Decision Support System (HDSS)  at the BMKG Headquarters office in  Jakarta for which responsibility has been transferred to WDSS. The HDSS currently performs integration of  36 radars from various manufacturers,  surface stations, and satellite data to provide forecasters with the data they need to monitor hazardous weather situations. The figure below contains a map showing the radars that have been centralized at the Jakarta office.

Indonesia Centralized Radar

As can be seen, there are radars from four different manufacturers (EEC, Gematronik, Baron, and Vaisala) currently in use. In addition to a display for the data,  HDSS provides the forecasters with data quality control, radar mosaics, reflectivity prediction, and Quantitative Precipitation Estimation/Forecasts.

Usefulness in Indonesia

Since Indonesia straddles the equator significant Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) convective activity is present, in turn leading to sometimes significant rainfall events. Thus, Indonesia has a great need for the ability to accurately monitor rain and thunderstorms as they move across the area to help forecast these events.

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