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May 8, 2015

Radar Down at the National Met Service

If you’ve visited the Belize Met Service website anytime in the past six months, you’ve likely seen the words – RADAR IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE – with an explanation that the radar is not operational due to technical difficulties. Actually, the radar has been down since October last year, and it is not expected to be up before the start of the hurricane season. So how did this happen, and even if it did happen, how is it that the down time has been so prolonged? Chief Met Officer Dennis Gonguez explains.


Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer

“The decision was made to shut down the radar on the twenty-ninth of October because it needed some necessary parts. Those parts were acquired and subsequent to that the radar developed other issues. The second set of replacement parts are now in the country. There are even some more issues with the radar, so we have placed another order for parts. That order sits at the Ministry of Finance at this time. And a couple days ago the technician indicated to me that he needs even more parts and that request is being made as we speak. I have been promised that the last set of parts will take two weeks to be delivered subsequent to receiving payment, so it all depends when payment will be made to the supplier that we will receive within two weeks the last shipment of parts. So it seems that the radar would not be ready for the first week of June considering that the last request for payment, for the payment of parts, has not been submitted as yet.”


Dennis Gonguez


“What is the importance of having it up and what are the repercussions of not having it up?”


Dennis Gonguez

“We can function very well without it. The Met Service has been functioning for some time without a radar but it adds to or enhances our capabilities if we have the radar. We can function without it. It is not something that would impede us in producing any forecast, but it does assist us greatly with our products.”


Gonguez says that he is cautiously optimistic that the radar will be operational by July.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Radar Down at the National Met Service”

  1. X-Ray says:

    That is the biggest piece of baloney I have ever heard; seriously? We don’t need the radar? Next piece of crap! I am with the opposition on this one.

  2. CEO says:

    If there are so many worn out parts then this tells me that no maintenance has been done over a significant period of time.

    In this day and age I cannot believe that a piece of equipment like a radar is not needed to run a weather forecasting operation, but let’s for argument sake say he is correct then was the radar an unnecessary expenditure or a waste of money back when ever it was bought?

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