NiMet Conducts Metadata Exercises To Assess Weather Observation Stations

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has undertaken rigorous metadata exercises to evaluate the functionality and effectiveness of its weather observation stations.

These exercises comprehensively assess various vital elements, including equipment condition, personnel availability, infrastructure maintenance and data quality across diverse geographical locations. This proactive approach highlights NiMet’s commitment to enhancing the precision and dependability of its weather observation systems to better serve the Nigerian populace and various sectors reliant on meteorological data.

NiMet has been dealing with unreliable and unverified metadata information, which underscores the need to compile an accurate inventory of metadata for all surface-based observing stations and platforms, including Automatic Weather Observing Systems (AWOS) under the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). This inventory should include station histories and records suitable for national, regional, and global purposes. Observational metadata, which details the capabilities of observing stations and platforms, as well as their instruments and methods of observation, is crucial and should be given utmost attention.

Metadata provides essential information about the data, contributing to the quality and validity of both structured and unstructured data. Ensuring accurate metadata in the agency’s database is vital for maintaining high standards in meteorological data management.

Speaking on the necessity of the exercise, NiMet’s director-general, Prof. Charles Anosike stated, “Upon assuming office in December 2023, NiMet management realised that much of NiMet’s metadata information was inaccurate. Past efforts to gather and collect exact raw metadata directly from various geographical locations where meteorological stations are sited had been unsuccessful. Some locations lack WMO ID, ICAO ID, latitude, longitude, elevation, etc. Additionally, some locations within Nigeria, when plotted on maps, fall outside the country’s national geographical boundary and territorial waters, highlighting the need for accurate metadata updates.”

Continuing, Anosike emphasised, “The importance of metadata information cannot be overemphasized. Accurate metadata improves the organization of data, enhances interoperability and integration and helps gather better insights to improve product generation and upgrade processes. It also ensures grid alignment of coordinates and the proper storage of unstructured data such as images, videos, web pages and spreadsheets.”

The metadata exercise has been a success, with all the stations in Nigeria updated. The process of uploading this information to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Oscar platform is currently ongoing.

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