RMA 21 years of contributions to agribusiness

Based on the data obtained by the Automated Meteorological Network, meteorological and climatological information is generated that is at the service of regional agriculture.

21 years ago, the meteorological history of the Cauca river valley began to be recorded, from Santander de Quilichao, in Cauca, to Viterbo, in Caldas, through the Automated Meteorological Network (RMA), one of the most important tools of the agro-industry of sugar cane and, in general, for the agriculture of the region.

It is a network made up of 34 meteorological stations, operated and administered by the Research Center of the Sugar Cane of Colombia (Cenicaña). Each RMA station consists of a specialized program, meteorological instruments and telecommunications systems suitable for collecting meteorological and climatological data.

Thanks to this technology, all stations keep a daily and hourly record of the behavior of different atmospheric variables in certain places. Furthermore, the administration of this information allows historical records of the behavior of the weather and climate in the region. For example, today we know for sure that 1998 was the warmest year (23.6 ºC average in the Cauca river valley) and 2008, the wettest year in the last two decades (1664 mm average in the Cauca river valley).

From this information, more precise forecasts are prepared to plan agricultural management tasks; make productivity projections and adopt preventive measures to mitigate the effects of climatic phenomena.

Information Services

Available to the general public:

Daily weather bulletins:

- Bulletin of precipitation and evaporation to carry out the water balance.
- Newsletter for daily monitoring of monthly precipitation.

Time data and charts of the main atmospheric variables (air temperature and humidity, precipitation and solar radiation) for the day of the consultation.

Exclusive for Cenicaña contributors:

Access to the Cenicaña climatological database to consult:

- Daily and hourly data of the main atmospheric and wind variables for any period from the start of operation of each station.

- Maps with meteorological, climatological and anomaly information for the main atmospheric and wind variables for all RMA stations at hourly, daily, decadal (ten days), monthly and annual levels.

How to access the information

The data collected by the RMA is available at www.cenicana.org, through the weather option located in the menu on the main page.

The exclusive information for contributors is entered with the user password provided by Cenicaña.

Contact the Technical Cooperation and Technology Transfer Service of Cenicaña, by email admin_web@cenicana.org, to obtain the user password.

 “The data of the Network have They were useful to make statistical analyzes and productivity correlations by season, agro-ecological zone and variety, to analyze the response of TCH and sucrose to changes in radiation and temperature oscillation 30 or 45 days before harvest. From these analyzes, adjustments in management strategies can be made and are very useful for making the water balance and scheduling the irrigation. ”

Amanda villegas
Head of the Agronomy Department of Ingenio Risaralda.




“At the mill we constantly monitor the climate. On a daily basis, we record if there is precipitation in 209 rain gauges, we collect evaporation data in class A tanks and we read the number of hours of sunlight in heliographs located in each of the management areas. We also receive and use records from more than ten RMA stations that cover the lands we manage. 

Jairo nova
Incauca Field Manager.




Concepts and terms

Meteorological time): state or condition of the atmosphere at a specific place and time, defined by the values ​​of the meteorological variables. 

Climate: long-term trend of the state or conditions of the atmosphere for a geographically homogeneous region. The climate is defined by the values ​​of the climatological variables. 

Atmospheric variables: characteristic through which the state or conditions of the atmosphere can be quantitatively determined. Depending on the time (chronological) to which reference is made, it can be a meteorological variable or a climatological variable.

Main atmospheric variables:

Solar radiation: total amount of shortwave energy from the sun.

Air temperature: characteristic of the thermal state of a body. The air temperature is measured at a height of two meters in a well-ventilated place, protected from the direct action of sunlight and rain. 

Air humidity: content of water vapor in the atmosphere, that is, water in a gaseous state. 

Precipitation: total amount of rain fallen during a given unit of time (hour, day, month, year, etc.).

Wind: air movement. 

Source: www.cenicana.org/climate



The RMA begins operating with twelve stations. Successively new stations are incorporated, until completing 34 in 2006.


The mills establish in their procedures the use of meteorological and climatological information for scheduling and carrying out agricultural work.


The CVC renews the permit for controlled open agricultural burning and, for the first time in the country, the use of meteorological and climatological information is established as a requirement for its realization. • A detailed study of the wind behavior for the Cauca river valley is carried out.


Cenicaña carries out the investigation Incidence of El Niño and La Niña phenomena in the climatic conditions of the Cauca river valley. • RMA records are used to develop the first approximation of agroecological zoning.


Information services of the RMA are incorporated into www.cenicana.org. 


The RMA data transmission system is changed from radio frequency to cellular telephony. • Cenicaña develops a computer application to capture data in real time.


Cenicaña carries out the research project Search for signs of Climate Change in the Cauca River valley based on information from the RMA. • The annual Pluviometric Calendar is prepared. 


A new system of consultations to the climatological database is developed. • The research project Incidence of El Niño and La Niña phenomena in the productivity of sugarcane cultivation is carried out.


Cenicaña determines homologous climatic zones for the Cauca river valley.

Information letter
Year 2 / Number 2 / December 2014

Full text in version:
PDF | Animated


 Save as PDF
Scroll to Top