Agrometeorology in Hungary

Attila Bussay
Hungarian Meteorological Service, H-1525, Budapest, P.O. Box. 38, Hungary.
Tel. : +361-212-2699, Fax: +361-212-5153,
E-mail: bussay@met.hu

Drought is different from other natural hazards as it has a slow onset and it is often difficult to define the boundaries of the affected area or its severity. Most of the times, droughts result in significant economic losses on particular areas. It is therefore advisable to encourage monitoring of drought as well as preparedness and vulnerability studies regarding drought impacts. The Hungarian Meteorological Service decided to continue an investigation to clarify the reality of changing drought frequency using the PDSI drought index and make research to find the appropriate field of usefulness of different drought indices. As a result it was decided to alter and improve the agro-meteorological information system of HMS. In 1995 a co-operative project was initiated with the National Drought Mitigation Center, USA. The complexity of the drought phenomenon commonly results in lack of co-ordination, although numerous coping strategies are known and applied. Drought is an extreme climatological event which affects many sectors of a nationís economy. Therefore, there has been much scientific inquiry dedicated to drought-related research The plan of the HMS is to call into existence one Drought Co-ordination Committee to increase the co-operation among the policy makers, research centre for water resources, hydrological institutes, water authorities rural development institutes. This Committee could help to work out and find the common political intention and scientific tools for an early warning system aimed at mitigating the effect of drought. On other hand this Committee could co-ordinate the information dissemination on a wide scale to all affected groups of the society.