Agricultural planning and use of agricultural technologies need application of agricultural meteorology. Agricultural weather and climate data systems are necessary to expedite generation of products, analyses and forecasts that affect

Satellite Remote Sensing and GIS Applications in Agricultural Meteorology pp. 1-21

agricultural cropping and management decisions, irrigation scheduling, commodity trading and markets, fire weather management and other preparedness for calamities, and ecosystem conservation and management.

Agrometeorological station networks are designed to observe the data of meteorological and biological phenomena together with supplementary data as disasters and crop damages occur. The method of observation can be categorized into two major classes, manually observed and automatic weather stations (AWS). A third source for agrometeorological data that is gaining recognition for its complementary nature to the traditional methods is satellite remote sensing technology.

Remotely sensed data and AWS systems provide in many ways an enhanced and very feasible alternative to manual observation with a very short time delay between data collection and transmission. In certain countries where only few stations are in operation as in Northern Turkmenistan (Seitnazarov, 1999), remotely sensed data can improve information on crop conditions for an early warning system. Due to the availability of new tools, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), management of an incredible quantity of data such as traditional digital maps, database, models etc., is now possible. The advantages are manifold and highly important, especially for the fast cross-sector interactions and the production of synthetic and lucid information for decision-makers. Remote sensing provides the most important informative contribution to GIS, which furnishes basic informative layers in optimal time and space resolutions.

In this paper, a brief overview of the satellite remote sensing and GIS applications in agricultural meteorology is presented along with a description of the WMO Satellite Activities Programme. Details of the various applications alluded to briefly in this paper, can be found in the informative papers prepared by various experts who will be presenting them in the course of this workshop.

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