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Feb 27, 2009

Doppler radar officially handed over to Met Service

Story PictureIt has been one year since the Doppler radar arrived in the country and today it was officially handed over to the National Met Service in Ladyville. The football shaped piece of equipment is part of twenty-eight million Belize dollar project between the European Union and four Caribbean countries to create a network that will effectively monitor natural phenomenon throughout the Caribbean. The countries included were Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Belize which received all the facilities and equipments to house the radar. After a one year period of delays and technical difficulties, the testing is now completed and the radar is finally ready for use. Acting Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez told News Five the Doppler to track the weather in a more efficient manner.

Dennis Gonguez, Acting Chief Meteorologist
“It was conceived by the Caribbean community. They looked and they saw the need for a network of radars across the Caribbean. There are about four of them now. Guyana is about to finish pretty soon. There’s Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Belize. They saw the need to forma a network and the only gap in this network now is between us and Jamaica. Jamaica has its own radar and Cayman Islands quite likely will get theirs. Once Cayman Islands gets theirs we have a complete coverage of the Caribbean, including the eastern Caribbean, Barbados and the French islands of Martinique.”

Duane Moody
“And this would be able to detect hurricanes etcetera, etcetera.”

Dennis Gonguez
“As hurricanes enter the Caribbean then we have complete coverage of the entire Caribbean because each radar will be overlapping. So it’s a wonderful feature. The radar can be used to detect where rain is occurring and how intense the rainfall is and knowing the intensity of the rainfall over a particular area, we can have estimates of the likely of flooding in that area. So in that regards, we can issue warnings to people to save lives and property. Besides that, the radar also features where we could see how the wind is circulating. So that again will assist us with greater services in aviation. That again will help us in serving the aviation community; telling then exactly what kind of wind fields are around the country.”

And if you’re wondering why we’re referring to Gonguez as the Acting Chief Meteorologist, that is because Ramon Frutos is now on extended leave prior to his retirement.

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