[Bldg-sim] Seeing world events reflected in weather data

Joe Huang yjhuang at whiteboxtechnologies.com
Tue Apr 14 15:38:00 PDT 2020

I've just had an interesting experience while compiling weather data that was explained by 
political events back in 2012.

I was cleaning up weather files for Tunisia for a personal friend, and noticed there was 
one station out of the 30 ( TUN_ZINE-EL-ABIDINE-BEN_607255) for which I had not downloaded 
the satellite solar data because the station had only two years of data 2010, 2011.  I 
wasn't sure if that weather was worth improving and went to Google Earth to see where the 
station was located, and found this:

A Google search revealed this as the Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport that was 
opened in 2009.  What was really interesting was the history described in the Wikipedia 

"It was originally named after the former Tunisian president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. On 
15 January 2011, one day after he left the country due to the social protests against his 
long dictatorship, his name and his pictures were removed from the airport building. The 
new name is Enfidha–Hammamet International Airport."

I then looked in my records and fond that, indeed, I have data for Enfidha 
(TUN_ENFIDHA_607310S) starting in 2013.

So, mystery solved. TUN_ZINE-EL-ABIDINE-BEN_607255 was the weather station for the Zine El 
Abidine Airport from 2010 to 2011. After Ben Ali fled  in the Fall of 2011, marking the 
beginning of the "Arab Spring", the airport was renamed  and started reporting weather 
data in 2013 with a new WMO # and name TUN_ENFIDHA_607310.  Moncef and other Tunisian 
friends probably could have told me all this right away, but it didn't occur to me to ask.

Weather is clearly apolitical, but how weather data are reported can reflect politics.


Joe Huang
White Box Technologies, Inc.
346 Rheem Blvd., Suite 205A
Moraga CA 94556
yjhuang at whiteboxtechnologies.com
http://weather.whiteboxtechnologies.com for simulation-ready weather data
(o) (925)388-0265
(c) (510)928-2683
"building energy simulations at your fingertips"

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