Climate Characteristics in Palangkaraya, Balikpapan, Belitung, Ternate

This post is also available in: Indonesian

As a tropical country, climate in Indonesia is a challenge for astronomer, and it will become significant for the Total Solar Eclipse next year.

In March 2016 when totality passes over Indonesia, many cities will experiencing the darkness.  Astronomers, eclipse chasers and enthusiast will have a venture in many cities in Indonesia. But how about the weather? Here in this page, we re-post climate characteristics article from National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN)

 Gambar 1. Curah Hujan Klimatologis (1980-2010) di Kalimantan, AN (Atas Normal), N (Normal), BN (Bawah Normal) (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
Figure 1. Climatology precipitation data (1980-2010) in Borneo, AN (Above normal), N (Normal), BN (Below Normal) Source: (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).

Palangkaraya and Balikpapan
By analyzing 30 years (1980-2010) rainfall data from  Indonesian Agency for Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysics, Palangkaraya has the normal range of rainfall from 1001-1500 mm/6 month. While Balikpapan has higher rainfall > 2000 mm/6 month. The precipitation pattern of Palangkaraya shows the rainfall peaks in this area from November – December – January (300 mm) and December – January (200mm) for Balikpapan. Minimum rainfall in Palangkaraya and Balikpapan occur in August (~100 mm), while in March, Palangkaraya will have heavy precipitation (-450mm) and Balikpapan will have less precipitation (~300mm)

 Gambar 2. Curah hujan klimatologis di wilayah Zom 266 (Palangkaraya) dan Zom 279 (Balikpapan) berdasarkan data Stasiun BMKG selama 35 tahun (1978-2012) untuk Palangkaraya dan 30 tahun untuk Balikpapan (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
Figure 2. Climatology precipitation data in Zom 266 (Palangkaraya) and Zom 279 (Balikpapan) based on Indonesia Climate, Meteorology and Geophysics. It contains 35 years (1978-2012) for Palangkaraya and 30 years data for Balikpapan. Source: Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
 Gambar 3. Variasi curah hujan harian selama bulan Maret (1978-2012) di Palangkaraya berdasarkan data curah hujan harian BMKG.
Figure 3. Palangkaraya daily precipitation data in March (1978-2012)

Belitung and Ternate

 Gambar 4. Curah Hujan Klimatologis (1980-2010) di Belitung, AN (Atas Normal), N (Normal), BN (Bawah Normal) (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
Figure 4. Climatology precipitation data (1980-2010) in Belitung, AN (Above normal), N (Normal), BN (Below Normal) Source: (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
 Gambar 5. Curah Hujan Klimatologis (1980-2010) di Ternate, AN (Atas Normal), N (Normal), BN (Bawah Normal) (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
Figure 5. Climatology precipitation data (1980-2010) in Ternate, AN (Above normal), N (Normal), BN (Below Normal) Source: (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).

Based on precipitation data, Belitung laid in the non seasonal zone and the rainfall in this area are hard to define between rainy season and dry season (Figure 4).  The minimum precipitation in Belitung occur in June and the mean precipitation rate is ~100 mm. The peak of the rainy season is in November – December – January with rate  ~200 mm (Figure 6).

Ternate is also in non seasonal zone (Figure 5) and it has the equatorial pattern. The precipitation peaks (> 200 mm) in Ternate occurs in May and December while its minimum (~100 mm) is in August (Figure 6). The mean precipitation rate in March for Belitung and Ternate is 200 mm (Figure 5).

 Gambar 6. Curah hujan klimatologis di wilayah Zom 23 (Belitung) dan Zom 328 (Ternate) berdasarkan data Stasiun BMKG selama 30 tahun (1980-2010) (Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
Figure 6. Climatology precipitation data in Zom 23 (Belitung) and Zom 328 (Ternate) in 30 years based on Indonesia Climate, Meteorology and Geophysics 3. Source: Buku Prakiraan Musim Hujan 2014/2015 BMKG, www.bmkg.go.id).
 Gambar 7. Distribusi spasial curah hujan harian berdasarkan Satelit TRMM (kiri) dan OLR (kanan) di wilayah Belitung
Figure 7. Precipitation spatial distribution in Belitung based on TRMM satellite (left) and OLR (right)

Base on spatial distribution in March, the largest precipitation is concentrate in the center of Belitung island and the rain intensity is > 0,35 mm/hour. Southeast area of Belitung usually has less precipitation rate than other area in the island (Figure 7).

Wind and Cloud Analyze
Based on NCEP/NCAR data on March, monsoon wind over Belitung, Palangkaraya, Balikpapan and Ternater is a weak monsoon (< 4 m/s). The wind over Belitung, Palangkaraya, and Balikpapan is a weak west wind while monsoon wind over Ternate is a weak north wind. (Figure 8).

 Gambar 8. Klimatologis angin monsun pada ketinggian 850 mb (1980-2013) pada bulan Maret berdasarkan data reanalisis NCEP/NCAR.
Figure 8. Monsoon wind in March from 850 mb (1980-2013) altitude base on NCEP/NCAR.

Based on Cloud data of Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR), the amount of cloud cover over Belitung, Palangkaraya, and Balikpapan is higher (OLR < 220 W/m2) compare to Ternate which clean enough from cloudiness (Figure 9).

 Gambar 9. Klimatologis OLR (1980-2013) pada Bulan Maret berdasarkan data reanalisis NCEP/NCAR.
Gambar 9. OLR (1980-2013) in March based on NCEP/NCAR.

Clouds distribution in west Belitung are higher compare to the east and central area of the island. ORL data shows clouds distribution in the west is lower compare to the other area even though the difference is not significant (Figure 10).

 Gambar 10. Klimatologis OLR (1998-2013) pada Bulan Maret berdasarkan data Satelit AIRS
Figure 10. OLR (1998-2013) in March based on AIRS Satellite

Base on precipitation, wind and cloud March data and analyze for Belitung, Palangkaraya, Balikpapan, and Ternate, we can conclude that Ternate has minimum cloud cover and lower intensity (~200 mm) of rainfall compare to the other area. And climate characteristics is suitable for 9 March 2016 Total Solar Eclipse observation site.As for other area such as Belitung, Palangkaraya, and Balikpapan, the highest precipitation rate (450 mm/month) will be in Palangkaraya. The cloud cover between the three cities shows not much different between them. Three of them will be cloudy in March but still, eclipse observation in this area is still be carried and preferable since they have more logistics for visitors.

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Loosely translated by langitselatan from Karakteristik Iklim di Palangkaraya, Balikpapan, Belitung, Ternate yang ditulis oleh Tim analisi Kondisi Iklim dan Cuaca Untuk Mendukung Pengamatan Gerhana: Erma Yulihastin, Juniarti Visa, Arief Suryantoro.

Ditulis oleh

Avivah Yamani

Avivah Yamani

astronomer. astronomy communicator by day. co-founder of langitselatan. new media practitioners. story teller and podcaster in the making. social media observer. web developer and web administrator by accident.

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