Belize Hosts Regional Conference for Weather Forecasters

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Updated: November 10, 2015

The National Meteorological Service is hosting a regional conference to discuss financing of meteorology in the region. One of the main focuses of the meeting is to discuss financing for the Meteorological training center in Barbados. This training center is where all meteorologists participate in training to be qualified to work at a weather bureau. Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist spoke about the importance of the conference to Belize and for the rest of the Caribbean.

DENNIS GONGUEZ

“Well we’re talking about the financing of our training institutions; this is located in Barbados , the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology and talking about the activities related to research activities and so forth. We started that yesterday and today we are dealing with Meteorology and Hydrology. The training institute is a regional training institute for the Caribbean and it provides training for all our weather forecasters, all our meteorological assistants from the region get trained in the institute. We’re talking about financing of the institute and the sustainability of the institute. In addition to that later on in the afternoon we discuss the technical matters and the research component of the institute.

Gonguez also spoke about the importance of the training institute in Barbados. The training lasts for eighteen months and the trainee then becomes a certified weather forecaster.

DENNIS GONGUEZ

“We just had one person finish this year. One person completed this year. You are qualified as a weather forecaster once you complete that 18 months training and you get on the bench and you do an on the job training session for two or three months period and then you get your final certificate as a weather forecaster.”

Principal of the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Dr. David Farrel says that the training in Barbados is mostly for building competence in the forecasters as well, as receiving the appropriate training.

DR DAVID FARREL

Farrel says that the training institute has been used by trainees for over forty years and Belize is one of the Caribbean communities that have sent almost if not all their members of the meteorological service to Barbados for training.

DR DAVID FARREL

The conference culminates until Friday where by Ministers who is responsible for Meteorology in the region will be a part of that session.