The British Virgin Islands has received its first two weather stations ahead of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) installed the stations at Capoon’s Bay and at the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport.
A government media release on April 5 said a total of 24 new weather stations will be installed as the territory moves to re-establish its multi-hazard monitoring network.
The Caribbean Institute for Hydrology and Meteorology donated the equipment.
Two additional stations donated by the Government of Italy through the CIMA Research Foundation (a non-profit research organisation) will be installed this week.
This donation is part of an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CIMA and the DDM.
Campbell Scientific, a company that supplies these devices globally, will be assisting with the installation process.
Stations compliant to international standards
Emergency Communications Manager at DDM Jasen Penn said the installation of the new devices will complement those that are operated by the BVI Airports Authority.
According to Penn, the stations will be outfitted with the capability to transmit real-time data to the hub housed at the DDM’s office.
“We are upgrading the stations to those that are World Meteorological Organization (WMO) compliant. The data collection systems and weather forecasting mechanisms that are being re-established form an important part of our hydrometeorological hazard monitoring networks,” he said.
He said the data used will support “more credible forecasting for the territory, guide the issuance of watches and warnings, support planning practices, and improve climate resilient programmes and projects.”
The DDM is also hoping to secure support for training in instrumentation maintenance and calibration practices.
The media release further said the DDM has been able to archive climate data that goes as far back as the 1970s, and an MOU is in place to ensure that all data is being captured and utilised to support the development process.
An informal agreement is also in place with weather enthusiasts who operate personal stations in the territory.
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