Installation of a Doppler Weather Radar at Cooper’s Hill, St. Andrew, is to be completed by the end of the 2020/2021 financial year, says Director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, (MET Office) Evan Thompson.
He was addressing a meeting between Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. and MET Office officials at the entity’s Half-Way-Tree Road location, St. Andrew, on Tuesday (November 10).
The Doppler system is being installed at a cost of US$2.5 million through funding provided by the World Bank.
The radar is used to locate precipitation, calculate its motion and estimate rain, hail, and other conditions, and will significantly improve Jamaica’s ability to accurately forecast extreme weather events.
Mr. Thompson said that the system will enhance the island’s early warning process.
“It will contribute to letting us know what is happening on the ground with how the weather systems are moving,” he added.
Mr. Thompson said the new system, which will have enhancements for lightning detection, will be used by other partners.
“We will involve other partners in Government as well as in the private sector in the utilisation of the radar for maximum benefit for our population,” he noted.
The new Doppler radar will replace the almost obsolete and aged system, which is currently being used by the Met Office, and signals a resolve by the Government to meet the global challenges of weather and climate.
Implementation of the radar falls under the Improving Climate Data and Information Management Project (ICDIMP), being spearheaded by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).