Weather experts to meet next month in Cayman

Grand Cayman will be the venue for
the 50th session of the Caribbean Meteorological Council and associated
meetings.

The event is scheduled from 18-23
November.

Government ministers and officials
responsible for meteorological services in 16 Caribbean territories will join
executives of the Caribbean Meteorological Organization and the Caricom
Secretariat at the meeting in the Grand Cayman Marriott Hotel. Deputy Premier
Juliana O’Connor-Connolly – who has responsibility for local met services –
will be designated this year’s Caribbean Meteorological Council chairperson.

The council is the supreme body of
the Caribbean Meteorological Organization, which in turn is the region’s
specialised agency that coordinates joint scientific and technical activities
in weather, climate and water-related sciences in 16 Caribbean territories. The
Council meets once each year.

“The Cayman Islands government is
delighted to host this prestigious event,” said Ms O’Connor-Connolly. “While we
had already hosted two CMC meetings more than a decade ago, being selected to
host the 50th anniversary meeting is a major achievement.”

She further noted that staging this
meeting indicates Cayman’s growing significance and influence in regional
meteorology.

Through the Cayman Islands National
Weather Service, the Ministry of District Administration will coordinate the
event. Weather Service Director Fred Sambula explained that the theme for this year’s
conference is “Towards a global framework for climate services”.

He said global weather services are
now focusing more seriously on predicting long-term weather conditions;
forecasts that can assist governments in national development and planning.

“At the third World Climate
Conference held in Geneva in 2009, United Nations and World Meteorological
Organization officials joined Heads of State and Governments and scientists
from 160 countries in agreeing that weather services around the globe need to
focus more on providing society with user-friendly climate services, including
regionally-oriented long-term climate predictions,” Mr. Sambula said. “This
shift will be of more value to governments, as forecasting weather and climate
over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond will enable governments to determine in
which areas of the economy to invest and how to spend national resources.

November’s meeting will look at how
each territory, and the region as a whole, can contribute to the global
framework for climate services. 

For this purpose, the council will
be joined by the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization,
Mr. Michel Jarraud of France, and a member of the climate services’ high-level
task force.  

The council will also examine the
progress made by meteorological services in the region to adapt to stricter
international standards for service to the aviation community; improvements in
the regional hurricane warning system, and disaster preparedness and other
projects.

November’s meeting will begin with
a closed door session of the board of governors of the Caribbean Institute for
Meteorology and Hydrology on 18 and 19 November.  Directors of the Meteorological Services will
meet on Saturday, 20 September in another closed session.

The official opening of the
Caribbean Meteorological Council’s 50th session will take place on Monday, 22
November and the sitting of the 50th session will run until Tuesday, 23 November.

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