of Yerevan who dial 186 can hear a twice-daily
update of local weather.
Few, though, know the titanic effort required
for this 10 seconds information. Seven hundred
and 50 people work throughout Armenia day and
night to get the information from 40 meteorological
stations, 100 observation points, one upper-air
station and from seven satellites.
The Meteorological Center of Armenia has a history
of 70 years. The information it gathers is presented
to the different offices throughout the country,
and to television stations.
The head of the meteorological forecast department
Zaruhi Petrosyan says that they get fresh information
every three hours, and assures that the information
is reliable. It is gathered in part from a radiosonde
sent up each day (costing $100 per launch) and
from two satellites.
Armenia also cooperates with the World Meteorological
Center, in Geneva, which provides the Armenian
office with information in exchange for reports
from here. That center donated computers and equipment
to help make Armenian meteorologists' jobs easier
and more accurate.
For the past month, since experiencing an intense
freeze when temperatures reached 30 (Celsius)
below zero, Armenians are paying more attention
Petroysan says her center forecasted the cold
spell in November, distributing the information
to significant agencies and offices, especially
to those concerned with providing electricity.
"Sometimes people are being confused by
the false indicators of the thermometer that is
placed on the top of the Opera House," she
says. "That thermometer is out of order.
It could show -10 one minute, and +2 the next.
"The thermometer is in charge of the City
Council. We applied to them asking to fix it,
but the thermometer still lies. We will have to
apply again to the Council, because the false
information damages our reputation."
Last month the weather center ArmHydroMet was
divided into the meteorological agency at the
Ministry of Nature Preservation and the HayStateHydroMet
by the decision of the Government.
nothing changed in our work We work in the same
regime, with same responsibility as we did before"
says Albert Torosyan, a 40-year veteran of the
center and head of meteorological service department.
The budget of the last year for ArmStateHydroMet
was about 240 million dram (about $410,000).
Young women employed by ArmStateHydroMet provide
forecasts for broadcasts by Meteo-TV.
Armine Chibukhchyan is one of the anchors of
the Meteo-TV. She graduated from the State University
in the specialty of hydrometeorologist.
"What I usually do is work on information
which is needed to be 'translated' from the meteorological
language,"she says. "Then I have to
learn the information by heart and to tell it
to the camera. Usually it takes many hours to
work on information and two or three minutes to
And if the hours of work are accurate, tonight
Yerevan will still be shivering with temperatures
of -7 to -9. But tomorrow (January 25) the numbers
will climb on the plus side by two to four degrees.