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BCI is an island that was isolated from the surrounding mainland in 1914 following the damming of the Chagres River and the formation of Gatun Lake. The island, rising 137m above Lake Gatun, has an area of 1500 ha which are covered by forest that has remained relatively undisturbed for at least 100 years.

The island receives an average of 2623 mm of rain per year. Daytime temperatures reach an average of 32°C, with nighttime lows of approximately 23°C. The meteorological year is divided into two parts: a pronounced dry season (approximately from mid-December to the end of April), and a wet season (May to mid-December). On average, only 285 mm of rain falls during the dry season. Relative humidity, soil moisture, air pressure, solar radiation, evapotranspiration, wind speed and direction all show marked wet/dry season differences. On the other hand, temperature varies relatively little throughout the year.


The AVA tower (9.1566'N, 79.84828'W) was originally established in March of 2011 as part of the ForestGEO climate-monitoring program for the BCI 50 Ha plot. The tower was damaged by a tree fall in mid-2018 and all sensors were off-line until Feb. 2019. As of 2019, the tower’s meteorological sensors are part of STRI’s Physical Monitoring Program.



Sensor manuals in .pdf format are available for download here.

Parameters Sensor Model Methods
Rainfall Campbell Sci. TB4 tipping bucket tb4.pdf
Solar Radiation PAR Kipp&Zonen PQS1 KippZonen_PQS1_PAR.pdf
Solar Radiation Kipp&Zonen CMP3 Kipp&Zone Pyranometer CMP3.pdf
Pyranometer Kipp&Zonen CMP11 KippZonen_Pyranometers.pdf
Temperature & RH Campbell Sci. CS215 Campbell CS215.pdf
Wind RM Young 05103 anemometer Quantum Wind_RM_Young_wind_monitor_05103.pdf

Data Download
Parameters Frequency Units Downloads
(max, min, average)
5 min Celsius Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Air Temperature
Rain (total) 5 min mm Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Precipitation
Relative Humidity
(max, min, average)
5 min % Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Relative Humidity
Solar Radiation PAR 5 min Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Solar Radiation, PAR
Solar Radiation Pyranometer 5 min Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Solar Radiation, Pyranometer
Wind Direction (degrees) 5 min Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Wind direction
Wind Speed (km/h) 5 min Barro Colorado Island, AVA tower_Wind speed

Please read our data use policy before using any data from this page.