weather can affect farming

Tracking Weather for Farming Across the Sub-Tropics

Using the Cloud to Help Farmers make farming decisions

Managing your farm carries a multitude of challenges…decision making in the sensitive environments of the tropics and sub-tropics adds another layer of things to consider.  Knowing your regional climate and local weather for farming can be crucial to protecting your crops and animals.

Several organizations and groups are trying to step up to these challenges with tools that can be utilized by farmers across the equatorial belt to assist with short-term seasonal decisions, long-term planning, and crop adaptation trends to increase the profitability of the agricultural industry utilizing ‘cloud’ technology accessible from the internet.


Intellicast is a recognized source of weather across the world, including month-to-month averages and departures from averages for a season, short and long term forecasts, interactive tools linked to GPS and other search tools.



Intellicast provides data for thousands of location around the world for planners, organizations, advisors, and farmers to access that can be most useful in their management decision-making. Source: Intellicast’s Climate Guide To Africa –

Intellicast Map

Interactive weather maps like this one enable you to track local storms as they might develop in your area, as well as videos and other localized interactive tools to assist with soil moisture indices, air conditions, wind, and other important factors.. anywhere in the world! Source: Interactive Weather Map –

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)

Based in Boulder, CO; this organization is dedicated to networking researchers and developing tools to assist farmers and others with not only short-term decisions, but longer term Climate Change and related challenges.

One project they are engaged with is a subscription based service which is produced by a Swedish-based company, Ignitia.  The company adapted the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), developed by NCAR,  to a tropical climate.  They develop open-source code, and then provide support training to other parties who can then implement the technology, and fine tune it to localized needs.

They cite an example from one farmer in Ghana:

“One day, on seeing that heavy rain was forecast, Abdul delayed plans to bring in machinery and extra workers to his corn, rice, and soybean farm in northern Ghana. “I had the money still to hire the equipment another day and not lose my investment,” he later told the forecast provider.”

Intellicast Liisa Petrykowska

Farmer Ashai Abdul and his son meet with Ignitia Chief Executive Liisa Petrykowska in northern Ghana to discuss their use of Ignitia’s rainfall forecast and its benefits for their rice crop. (Photo courtesy Ignitia. Photo by Ike Nortey Focus Xtreme Photography, Accra, Ghana.)

.National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

From their website, NOAA states as its mission:  “To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.”

Tracking Weather

Interactive map from the National Climate Prediction Center with a supporting article entitled: Global Tropics Hazards and Benefits Outlook Discussion.  These weekly summaries can be extremely valuable to assist decision making and timeliness of operations on the farm, regardless of where you’re located.

With an outstanding series of sites and pages, local weather organizations utilize tools developed by NOAA and its cooperating partners.

Read more about it:

Intellicast – the Authority in Expert Weather –

Saving Farmers Money in Tropical West Africa –  WRF-based rain forecasts assist growers via text messages – AtmosNews, NCAR/UCAR

NCAR/UCAR – University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Global Innovation Exchange – Ignitia:  Revolutionary Tropical Weather Forecasts

National Weather Service – Climate Prediction Center

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