Kootenay & Boundary – Options to Expand Availability of Weather Station Data & Decision-Support Tools [kb01]
|Region||Kootenay & Boundary|
|Status||completed in 2020|
|Project Lead||Regional District of Kootenay Boundary|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary|
|Other Partners||Kootenay Organic Grower's Society, Windermere District Farmers' Institute, Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors|
This project completed a baseline assessment, and developed recommendations, for addressing gaps in weather station coverage and data availability in the Kootenay & Boundary region.
As the climate changes, and variability and extremes become more frequent, improving the availability of regional weather data will enable farm planning and decision-making that are more responsive to local microclimates and real-time or forecasted conditions. It may also assist with tracking trends or shifts, for example, how the timing of spring frosts affect production year over year.
The project report provides clear and specific recommendations on where to locate new stations while providing a comparison of the costs of different types of infrastructure for those stations. It also identifies what’s required in a weather data platform to make information accessible and useful for producers.
Finally, the report includes suggestions about how to improve forecasting and options for producers to source better weather information in the near-term.
The project report:
- features maps illustrating current weather station coverage and identifying key coverage gaps, along with recommended locations for 13 new stations
- details a methodology that can be used by other regions in BC to assess weather network coverage for agriculture
- provides a clear assessment of weather data platform options – such as linking to FarmWest or setting up a regional system – so producers can access weather data collected by stations
- conducts a thorough review of weather station brands, including the costs and benefits of different equipment
- includes interim recommendations for accessing improved local forecasts