JIS News

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica (Met Service) is working to commission its new doppler weather radar by the start of the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Director of the Meteorological Service, Evan Thompson, has shared with JIS News the Division’s preparatory work for the full functioning of the new system, which will enhance the country’s early warning process.

“The doppler radar is something that we have been looking forward to for a long time. We have been doing the work now to fine-tune what is to be delivered. We had initial training just for familiarisation with the products, and what it is that is going to be required, but more detailed training is going to be taking place. So, forecasters will now have to integrate what we get from our radar into the actual day-to-day work of the Met Service,” Mr. Thompson said.

World renowned meteorological training institute and support provider, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, is among the entities to carry out training with local meteorologists on the myriad uses and features of the new weather radar.

With this training, Mr. Thompson said the country could benefit from the full use of the radar soon.

“I believe in a little while we will be able to have full use and full availability of that radar. It is going to be a few more months before we have the actual commissioning of the radar, but we are hoping that it will be by the beginning of the hurricane season after we have everything installed,” he said.

The specialised radar produces velocity data about objects at a distance. It is used in aviation, sounding satellites, radar guns, radiology and healthcare. In meteorology, doppler radars help to locate precipitation and calculate the motion of rain, hail and other conditions.

The new doppler weather radar, which is located at Cooper’s Hill, St. Andrew, was provided under the Improving Climate Data and Information Management Project (ICDIMP), spearheaded by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

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