The XVIII Congress of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), meeting from June 3 to 14 in Geneva, has recognized the Observatory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife as a long-term meteorological observation station for its more than 100 years of continuous observations.
Few stations in the world gather the characteristics of this observatory that has more than 150 years of pluviometric series and almost a century in the rest of climatological variables. These properties make it a unique reference for the characterization of the coastal climate in the Canary Islands and the subtropical maritime zone in the Atlantic.
The observatory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife began its meteorological observations in 1867; in 1924, after different locations of the station within the city, it is definitely located in the headquarters of the Meteorological Center of Tenerife, built for that purpose. The proximity to the current Center of the locations prior to 1924 and the homegeneity of the precipitation data series make it possible to synthesize them in a single coherent climatological series to date. It is, therefore, a series of data that has not been interrupted during the periods of the Spanish Civil War or during the Second World War.
Observatory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (30 years)
Ministry for the Ecological TransitionWith this recognition the observatory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife joins the already renowned centenary stations of Madrid-Retiro, Tortosa (Tarragona), Daroca (Zaragoza), Izaña (Tenerife) and Fabra (Barcelona); and complements the one granted by the WMO in 2005 to the Meteorological Center of Tenerife and its observatory for the quality of its atmospheric radiosonde, initiated in the 1960s and integrated into the International Height Surveillance Program of this organization.
There are already two hundred-year-old stations on the island of Tenerife, as the Izaña Observatory obtained this recognition in 2017, an important milestone if we take into account that WMO has recognized to date only 140 centenary stations of 47 countries representing all continents .
Meteorological Center and Observatory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife at present
"Centuries-old seasons are our strongest records in the field of meteorological observations, and these records are an essential contribution to increasing the scientists' understanding of the climate system, its variability, as well as climate change," explained the deputy general secretary of the OMM, Elena Manaenkova, at the recognition ceremony of the observatory of Santa Cruz de Tenerife as a centenary station.
WMO decided to recognize the centuries-old stations throughout the world to highlight its role and encourage member countries to maintain them, as some are at risk of closure or loss of compliance with basic standards of observation. Preserving the centenary seasons is a responsibility of the governments, which have to sustain this climatic heritage and safeguard their records of high quality and long distance.
Criteria for your choice
To be proposed and recognized as centenarians, the stations must meet a series of criteria, such as those that were founded at least one hundred years ago and that are in operation at present; that periods of inactivity do not exceed 10% of the time, except in times of conflict or natural disasters; and that the station has not undergone relocations that have affected the climatological characteristics.
This distinction also involves recognition of the staff that has provided services at the Meteorological Center of Tenerife, headquarters of the Observatory, without whose constant work, throughout this long period of time, this milestone would not have been possible.