Monthly Temperature Observations for Uganda

John R. Christy Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama

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Abstract

The International Surface Temperature Initiative is a worldwide effort to locate weather observations, digitize them for public access, and attach provenance to them. As part of that effort, this study sought documents of temperature observations for the nation of Uganda. Although scattered reports were found for the 1890s, consistent record keeping appears to have begun in 1900. Data were keyed in from images of several types of old forms as well as accessed electronically from several sources to extend the time series of 32 stations with at least 4 yr of data back as far as data were available. Important gaps still remain; 1979–93 has virtually no observations from any station. Because many stations were represented by more than one data source, a scheme is described to extract the “best guess” values for each station of monthly averages of the daily maximum, minimum, and mean temperature. A preliminary examination of the national time series indicates that, since the early twentieth century, it appears that Uganda experienced essentially no change in monthly-average daily maximum temperature but did experience a considerable rise in monthly-average daily minimum temperature, concentrated in the last three decades. Because there are many gaps in the data, it is hoped that readers with information on extant data that were not discovered for this study will contact the author or the project so that the data may be archived.

Corresponding author address: John R. Christy, Earth System Science Center, ESSC/Cramer Hall, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899. E-mail: christy@nsstc.uah.edu

Abstract

The International Surface Temperature Initiative is a worldwide effort to locate weather observations, digitize them for public access, and attach provenance to them. As part of that effort, this study sought documents of temperature observations for the nation of Uganda. Although scattered reports were found for the 1890s, consistent record keeping appears to have begun in 1900. Data were keyed in from images of several types of old forms as well as accessed electronically from several sources to extend the time series of 32 stations with at least 4 yr of data back as far as data were available. Important gaps still remain; 1979–93 has virtually no observations from any station. Because many stations were represented by more than one data source, a scheme is described to extract the “best guess” values for each station of monthly averages of the daily maximum, minimum, and mean temperature. A preliminary examination of the national time series indicates that, since the early twentieth century, it appears that Uganda experienced essentially no change in monthly-average daily maximum temperature but did experience a considerable rise in monthly-average daily minimum temperature, concentrated in the last three decades. Because there are many gaps in the data, it is hoped that readers with information on extant data that were not discovered for this study will contact the author or the project so that the data may be archived.

Corresponding author address: John R. Christy, Earth System Science Center, ESSC/Cramer Hall, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899. E-mail: christy@nsstc.uah.edu
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