Hawai'i Climate Data Portal
The idea for a centralized repository that can host quality-controlled climate data as well as gridded climate products for Hawai‘i has been in the making for over a decade, however, a lack of resources as well as several technical limitations have prevented its development. Beginning in 2018, as part of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ESPCoR) ‘Ike Wai project, scientists from the Department of Geography and Environment (UHM), Hawai‘i Data Science Institute (UHM), the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC, UH) and the East-West center (EWC), joined forces and began working on an open source data and information sharing platform that has become Hawai‘i Climate Data Portal (HCDP).
As the HCDP project activities got under way, the research team became even more aware of the siloed nature of climate data and information in Hawai‘i. This prevented researchers from knowing of and assessing the full range of available resources. In addition, many land and resource managers have been unaware of the existing climate tools and data that are available. In light of these findings, the HCDP team began building additional features into the portal aimed at connecting users to the full range of climate data, information and decision support tools in the state.
In addition to the development of an easy-to-use interface that allows for both the visualization and downloading of meteorological data, an additional emphasis was placed on developing other HCDP features that could help improve information visibility and access. Some of these features are: a reference library with over 400-peer reviewed journal articles and technical reports, an archive of National Weather Service monthly rainfall summaries, highlights of past and ongoing research across the state access to a range of decision support tools, and information on indigenous climate knowledge perspectives.
The overarching goal of the HCDP is to provide streamlined access to high-quality reliable climate data and information for the State Of Hawai‘i. This includes the production of both near-real-time monthly rainfall and daily temperature maps and a user-friendly tool to visualize and download them. Easy access to high quality climate data, information and products through the HCDP allows researchers to focus more time on their analyses and less time on data collection and processing. It also provides the broader community with access to information that would otherwise be inaccessible due to technical limitations. Finally, centralizing data and information helps to create more of a holistic environment for environmental stewardship in Hawai‘i.