Scope of duties, structure and financial background of operations at the
Hungarian Meteorological Service.

Marta Sallai Buránszki, HMS, Budapest


The Hungarian Meteorological Service (HMS) was founded in 1870. On April 8, in this year we celebrated our 131st birthday. His Royal Majesty Franz Joseph I. signed the foundation deed of the "Meteorological and Geomagnetic Royal Hungarian Institute" on this day. The history of HMS is not only a Hungarian story. The HMS was born as a younger sister to the Austrian institute and after World War I our history partly was continued by institutes of our neighbouring countries. Meteorological observation and recording, as in other countries, started much earlier of course, so when it became possible to create an independent Hungarian institute (after the establishmnent of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867), the first director, Guido Schenzl, a Benedictine monk was able to take over as many as 42 meteorological stations from the director of the Austrian institute.

Today the Hungarian Meteorological Service (HMS) is an institute of the central government and responsible throughout the entire territory of Hungary for the tasks associated with meteorology. In the year 2000 the staff consisted of 270 full time employees, 136 of them have a university degree, 1 is an academic doctor, 17 people have a Ph.D. and there were il Ph.D. students as well.

Organisational structure

The organisational structure of the Service was changed in 1999. The new structure makes it possible to distribute the financial resources according to the tasks, to divide the basically important and the less important fields of activity and to initiate some units and duties in producing the financial resources necessary for operation.

The financial basis of operation

The financial basis of the institute is partly covered by the governmental budget but more than
50% comes from business activities and from scientific foundations.

Incomes (m HUF)                             1999                                2000
Budget support                                                923,0                                         778,5
Income from own operation                        650,9                                         687,8
Own income for accumulation                     85,5                                            95,5
Others                                                                 89,1                                          183,5
Altogether                                                     1748,5                                       1745,3

Expenses (m HUF) 1999 2000
Personal allotments                                         415,8                                        45 1,0
Employers contribution                                  154,5                                         164,5
Material expenditure                                      467,0                                         570,4
Modernization                                                     56,8                                           88,8
Institutional investments                                236,5                                         177,1
Central investment                                          226,0                                         169,2
Others                                                                      4,6                                             1,4
Altogether                                                        1561,2                                      1622,4

1 USD= 270 HUF (as a mean during the period)

Commercial activity of HMS

The Department for Weather Forecasting and Applied Meteorology is responsible for the main commercial income of HMS. The main task of the department is providing the weather forecast for the public, for the users of different areas of state and economy and it also satisfies the requirements of providing climatic data.

The income from commnercial activities at the Department for Weather Forecasting and Applied Meteorology is increasing from year to year:
1999                                                     2000                                                         2001 (expected)
54O m HUF                            563mHUF                                  62O m HUF

The most important commercial activities are as follows:

. Aviation meteorology
The financial basis for the operation of the aviation meteorological service is determined in decree 17/1997. (VI.25.) KTM-KHVM-HM of the Minister for Environment, the Minister for Traffic and Water Management and Minister for the National Defence. The fee for providing a meteorological service for the civil aviation is 18% of the total annual budget of HMS. In 2000 the income from aviation was 282 m HUF. HMS provides the following meteorological documentation and forecasts for the public and non-public civil aviation departing from the territory of Hungary:
- TAF, SIGMET messages
- Wind and temperature charts
- Route and area forecasts
- AIRMET, GAMET messages
- SIGWX charts
- Forecasts for sport aviation

ˇ Media
The public MTV (Hungarian National Television), the Danube Television and the TV2 channels are commercial partners of HMS. As a result of the development efforts, the demonstration movie of the HMS won the second prize on the 9th Meteorological Television World Festival in 1999. The public Hungarian Radio and the most important commercial radio channels are also partners of HMS: The weather forecast of the Service are published regularly in different nation-wide and local newspapers, weekly and monthly journals. Since 1999 the production of press releases has been almost fully automatic. As a special service audiotext premium rate telephone service is provided and completed by living telephone meteorological information.

ˇ Industry
In 2000 over 40 permanent and 50 occasional customers, companies from the area of industry were supplied by meteorological information. Over 70% of the annual income from industry was provided by companies from the area of energy supply.

ˇ Traffic
Special forecast and warnings are made for increasing the safety of road and rail-road traffic. HMS supplies meteorological information for road and city traffic management offices and for the rail-road state-owned company. The road-meteorological project in Hungary was started in 2000 with the management of the State Road Technological and Information
Management Office, using the system of MicKS GmbH (Germany). The special forecasts for 30 microclimatic regions, radar and satellite pictures are provided by HMS.

ˇ Climate information
The everyday activity for providing climate information is wide ranging. It can be a simple data service, providing raw data, but it can also be expert or impact study for which purpose the Service must be available for the clients. The issue Monthly Report briefly describing the weather of the last month is published on a regular basis.

ˇ Hydrology
In 2000 the income from services provided for hydrology was negligible. In 2001 a general contract with the Water Authority was ratified. As a result of this contract the Water Authority pays 50 million HUF for the meteorological service provided for hydrology.

ˇ Agriculture
In the agrarian sector the agrometeorological information program of HMS is still popular. We offer valuable meteorological information for farmers twice a week in summertime and once a week in wintertime. Since 2000 we have been present with that kind of service on the Internet. The agrometeorological needs of the media are also satisfied.

In 2000 the main part of the commercial income was coming from the weather forecasting activities. The total fee for climatic services was only 5% of the whole commercial income.

The distribution of the commercial income between the different areas of activity is as
aviation:         50%                     media:         28%
industry:           7%                     traffic:            6%
climate:            5%                     other:              2%
hydrology:       1%                     agriculture:   1%

The aim of the development regarding meteorological service providing is a user friendly intelligent meteorological and climatological information system. The result of the project will be a new automatic information system which provides all the required information directly to the end-users in electronic way in the field of real time meteorological information, weather forecast and warning systems. The end-users can reach the system to load the special information that they need. The planned system will be flexible to build up further connections in the future.