The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) has announced its first ever climate forecast for March 2023. The climate information provided by the agency will be useful for planning and implementing activities in climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water resources, energy and health.
A climate forecast is an estimate of the future development of average and/or extreme weather conditions. Unlike weather forecasts, climate forecasts do not aim to predict the weather on a specific date, but to predict the likelihood of a particular change. This is what the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) will be able to do from March 2023.
This service capability is made possible by the financial support of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), following a memorandum of understanding signed with GMet. Since its establishment in 1986, the agency has been unable to make climate forecasts due to limited staff and the lack of the required technical infrastructure. « Making climate projections is expensive. To develop a climate atlas, you need qualified and equipped meteorologists. And this is expensive. Previously, we had only six people in the department of applied research and meteorology, of which only two were in the climate department, » explains Eric Essuman, the director of GMet.
Thanks to the partnership with Denmark, 50 newly recruited GMet meteorologists are being trained in data collection, processing and archiving techniques for climate forecasting.
The Danish Meteorological Institute’s three-year support project in Ghana also includes an economic impact assessment of how the agency influences various sectors of the Ghanaian economy. This is because the climate forecasts and information provided are useful tools for planning and implementing activities in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water resources, energy and health. According to official figures, smallholder rain-fed agriculture accounts for 45% of Ghana’s labour force.