Meteorology indeed has a long history in Ghana. The milestones are:
- The first weather observations were undoubtedly made in the 1830s, when Aburi Gardens were established, though the records from these times have not survived.
- The earliest systematic meteorological observations commenced in 1886 when the colonial government established three climatological stations on the coast and entrusted their operation to the Medical Department.
- The Meteorological Department was established in 1937 shortly before the Second World War.
- After independence in 1957 the Ghana Meteorological Services Department was established under the Ministry of Communications.
The government, in recognizing the crucial role the department is expected to play in the socio-economic development of the country has over the years embarked upon various programs, often with assistance of various international agencies and institutions. Among many some following important achievements can be mentioned:
- Upgrade of the meteorological network:
By 1957 there were 14 synoptic stations, which had a full range of normal meteorological instruments and equipment, manned 24 hours a day. These were supported by app. 350 stations measuring precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind, clouds etc. taken one or twice per day. The 1960s saw rapid expansion but the economic troubles in the 1970s and the early 1980s caused a decline in the number of meteorological stations operating. In the late 1990s a upgrading has started and in the beginning of the new millennium app. 310 stations will be operating including 22 synoptic stations.
- Digitisation of meteorological data:
The department is pleased to say that currently nearly all data in archives have been digitised. Hence the department is now able to rapidly supply data to external users. Nearly all Divisions and five out of ten regional offices had now been computerised.
- Satellite receivers:
With satellite receivers installed in 1989 at Kotoka International Airport the efficiency of the public weather presentation and forecast have been improved. System was upgraded to Primary Data User Station in 2000.
- Public weather presentation on TV:
Around 1990 the department began public weather presentation on national TV from its own weather studio. Equipment and Software were upgraded in 2001 with financial assistance from the United Kingdom Meteorological Office.
- MSD Web page:
A new web page was introduced in 2001. This will certainly improve the knowledge of MSD both nationally and internationally.
- Seasonal forecasting:
With the introduction of early warning systems and seasonal forecasting for the entire country a tool monitoring the expected annual food yield has seen daylight.
- Agrometeorology Conference:
The department successfully hosted the 12th session of the Commission for Agrometeorology held in Accra, the first of its kind in Africa.