YOPP Observations Layer

A layer (kmz file) displaying extra observations either planned or confirmed during the YOPP Special Observing Periods (YOPP-SOPs) and beyond can be downloaded and viewed e.g., with Google Earth.

How to Use the YOPP Observations Layer 


1) Download the most recent version of the file and open it with an geo-explorer software. By downloading the file, you are bound to using the used software agreement. Download version 2020-05-15 here.

(A geo-explorer software is for example Google Earth which can be downloaded at https://www.google.com/earth/desktop/. If you want to use imagery from Google Earth, use the 'File - Export - Save as Image' menu or make sure 'Google Earth' and the other image licences are prominently visible. Please note that when using Google Earth view in publications or presentations, you/your institution are bound to Google’s general terms for individuals and government users. As an alternative to Google Earth, you can open the file with a new version of Google Chrome having enabled KML file export in the settings. Also, Trimble SketchUp, ESRI ArcGIS for Desktop were mentioned to open the file. If you have any trouble in accessing the file or software, please contact office@polarprediction.net.

2) Once opened the file, you will see the standard interface (e.g., in Google Earth, see also gallery below). The view immediately leads to the Arctic region. In the legend (left panel), in the category called ‘Places’, you can see different layers and folders you can open and close, hide and make visible. There you find the main folders "Arctic" and "Antarctic" under which you can view extra observations during the different Special Observing Periods (SOPs). 

Extra Observations that were taken into account for developing this file are: 

  • extra radiosonde launches [balloon symbol], 

  • surface ocean and ice buoys [buoy symbol], 

  • automatic weather stations [AWS; anemometer symbol], and
  • airborne activities [aircraft symbol] during or outside the Special Observing Periods (SOPs).

Observations are categorised into:

  • in green: will take place (funding and deployment is secured),
  • in purple: activities under consideration. 

  • Also we included in grey: continuous activities (independent from SOPs or YOPP)
  • In addition, shown with an "S" symbol are locations with increased meteorological activities contributing to the Year of Polar Prediction (so-called YOPP-Supersites)

This information can also be seen in the kmz layer in the legend on the lower left corner of the map.

One of the main sources for this file has been information we received from national weather centres as a reply to a letter WMO officially sent out earlier this year to inform WMO Permanent Representatives of WMO Member States about the YOPP Special Observing Periods. In addition, included is information on observations taking place during field campaigns of YOPP-endorsed projects. Please note that this file will be currently updated in response to any new information the ICO receives. Therefore, the file should be viewed as a living document with continuous updates. 

Further information:
In the document’s left panel, you’ll also see the category “Imprint and external links” (see gallery above). By clicking that, a window opens from where you can access current sea ice data e.g., from the NSIDC Sea Ice Extent data or the German SeaIcePortal.de and add them as another layer in your e.g., Google Earth view. 

Please send your feedback to office@polarprediction.net.