The iTacs (Interactive Tool for Analysis of the Climate System) application developed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) was made available on the Tokyo Climate Center (TCC) website in 2009. It is intended for use by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in producing information on extreme climate events and climate status, and can be accessed via a web browser without additional software or plug-ins.
The application allows users to create two-dimensional maps, cross sections, time-series representations and other types of chart interactively, and enables various types of statistical evaluation including correlation analysis and empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. The JRA-55 reanalysis and its successive real-time-basis climate data assimilation system provide high-quality and consistent climate data for iTacs.
Since iTacs was released on an experimental basis in 2009, JMA has implemented ongoing upgrades based on user requests and on its own technical development. The latest version (the fifth) was released in November 2015.
Operational climate monitoring and analysis require a sufficient database of atmospheric and oceanic variables. However, creating such a database may be challenging for some NMHSs due to resource limitations. iTacs enables users to access the database used in JMA’s climate monitoring and analysis, thereby supporting real-time climate system monitoring and analysis without the need for an in-house database.
Users can upload their own indices for statistical analysis, allowing investigation of statistical relationships between climatic variabilities and indices in climate-sensitive sectors such as agricultural production, electric consumption and disease proliferation.
- Develop new functions and analysis methods
- Install new variables
- Improve graphical user interface
- Introduce function for user ID issuance upon request
- Answer inquiries and questions from iTacs users
To assist NMHSs in climate monitoring and analysis by allowing access to JMA database resources, providing functionality for the creation of charts, and supporting statistical analysis
- Charts for data visualization and statistical analysis
- Data used for the above charts in text and binary format
- Parameter code to replicate past charts and analysis
Several JMA experts work on developing the system and its services.
Inadequate human resources to maintain and develop the system
Continuous input by JMA experts as well as a server and a database are needed to maintain and develop the system and its services.
Indicators and assessment measures:
TCC continuously monitors usage frequency by individual users via website access analysis.