It has been over a decade since Belize played host country for the annual meteorology meetings for the Caribbean …. But as at Sunday, November 8, delegates from across the Caribbean came filing into Belize for the 55th Meeting of the Caribbean Meteorology Council coupled with other associated meeting sessions. With the five day session concluding tomorrow, our local Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez told Love News that the last few days have been productive as there were two sessions held earlier this week with the third session beginning today.
“Those are three separate meetings, one of them is the meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology; that is a regional institute responsible for training and research in meteorology and hydrology. So the first two days were spent talking about financial matters and technical matters relating to the functioning of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology. On Wednesday it was the meeting of the Directors of Meteorology of the Caribbean. There, we discussed technical matters in relation to Meteorology and Hydrology and today now we have the meeting of the Council of Ministers responsible for meteorology. We have delegates from all across the Caribbean from Guyana all the way to home here in Belize.”
Aside from the temperatures and the general situation in the weather, meteorology and hydrology are not necessarily day to day discussions taking place among the public, but the lack of discussion does not take away from the importance of these meetings. According to Gonguez, this week’s sessions are geared at preparing the weather teams to become more equipped and better trained to keep citizens informed of forecasts ranging from drought to storms.
“We talked about our radar network. We have a network of radar across the Caribbean, we talked about how we could integrate all the radar observations into one across the Caribbean. We also discussed issues related to climate science, how we could improve on our climate services that we provide because meteorology has gone beyond just what the weather forecast is on the radio. We have expanded toward servicing and producing climate information and processing climate data to serve sectors such as agriculture, the building industry and so forth. We are beyond just forecasting weather now we are talking about providing type of services for different sectors so things like that we will discuss, those technical matters related to how we can expand our services to a larger group of stakeholders.”
Currently, weather news is usually given during radio and television newscasts with basic information as it pertains to tides, temperatures, the sun and the moon. Gonguez says it is their objective to make weather news more than what it is today.
“We are working on getting the weather to be more than just the public weather forecast that we issue.. We want to get into producing climate information that can help the drought situation that we had this year. Those warnings came from the National Met Service of Belize, however they were not heeded but those warnings were issued. We want to get beyond from just the daily weather forecast that you see on TV. We want to expand our service.”
This week’s sessions will wrap up tomorrow at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.