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The Physical Monitoring Program began in 1972 on Barro Colorado Island (BCI) and included a full suite of meteorological and hydrological parameters. Initially the program collected data on physical parameters at two sites on BCI: one located in a clearing near several laboratory buildings and referred to as the "Clearing" or "El Claro", and a second site located inside a small catchment area named after the trail that passes through it - Lutz. Since then, the program has grown and currently includes eight automated weather stations, as well as an array remote ocean temperature sensors deployed in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panama. In addition to the electronically collected data, manual meteorological and oceanographic data are collected at several sites.

Data quality statement

We provide these data on an "as is" basis. Most data series have been subjected to at least some quality assurance procedures - some more extensively than others. We continue to strive to improve the quality of the data, but recognize that, like virtually all large databases, there will always be errors. If you have any questions about the fitness for use of a given data series, please contact us at Extensive metadata for all stations is available upon request.

Data Use Provisions

All data collected by the Smithsonian and made available on this website are in the public domain and may be freely used for any non-commercial activities without the need for prior consent. We request that any published use of these data includes the following accreditation: Physical Monitoring Program, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

This site also hosts data from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica SA (ETESA). Any use of these data should credit the relevant institution.

For a more detailed description of our data use provisions, click on Data Usage Policy.


This program operates under the following research collecting permit: Ministerio de Ambiente, Permiso Científico No. SE/O-18.

The following Google Earth file provides a list of all STRI and ACP physical monitoring locations. In addition, the file also includes the official Panamanian Population Center database.