Turkmenhydromet: shortage of qualified personnel and reliability of weather forecasts at the level of 80-90s

In July 2021, due to abnormally high heat in Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ordered daily weather forecasts to be published in the media. In 2019, an article was published in the Turkmen press , the author of which claimed that the accuracy of Turkmenhydromet forecasts for the next day is at the level of 94%.

The Meteojournal has verified these claims using published forecasts. The conclusion of the study turned out to be disappointing for the Turkmen weather forecasters: the real accuracy of their forecasts turned out to be at the level of 78.7% - this is the indicator of the 80-90s of the last century.

Experts believe that the reason for such low values is the lack of qualified personnel in the Turkmen meteorological service. According to official data, which Turkmenhydromet handed over to the World Bank back in 2008, only 17.4% of employees had specialized education; and only 100 people out of almost 700 employees, in principle, had higher education.

We recommend reading the full and detailed text of the study on the Meteojournal website . We give brief conclusions.

If they want to work in their field, trained meteorologists can only go to Turkmenhydromet. However, the level of salaries and working conditions can scare off specialists, and the state does not support this industry. Obviously, there is a shortage of qualified teachers at the Turkmen State University, where meteorology is taught at the Faculty of Geography.

In 2019, Turkmen students were the most numerous among foreigners at the Russian State Hydrometeorological University. But only 17% of them studied hydrometeorology, the rest chose the areas of philology, economics and management, which are also taught at this university. The publication also notes that 64 out of 69 Turkmen students entered on a paid basis. Russia provides the opportunity for free education under the government quota, which most other foreign students study on.

Turkmenistan could finance the education of its citizens in the required specialties in foreign universities. In addition, assistance in training specialists is provided by the World Meteorological Organization, which the government of Turkmenistan could turn to for support. “But, apparently, no one is interested,” Meteozhurnal concludes.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan