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Jul 8, 2021

Utilizing Seasonal Climate Forecasts to Become Climate Change Resilient

Public and private sector stakeholders joined in on the second virtual session of the National Climate Outlook Forum hosted in Belize. During this, the ninth of its kind, it was further established that the role of the National Meteorological Services goes beyond forecasting weather patterns. It provides early warning services used by various sectors to mitigate any negative impact of the changing climate. News Five’s Duane Moody attended the virtual session and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The role of the National Meteorologist Services of Belize is not just to bring you the daily weather forecast, but it helps with building resiliency by keeping you on your toes and prepared in the event of a storm. But that information is not only for you to protect your homes from inclement weather; it is data on the ever-changing climate that is used by farmers and construction workers or even fishers to enhance their effectiveness to earn their keep.


Orlando Habet, Minister of Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

Orlando Habet

“This forum goes beyond informing you about what to expect for the remaining months of the hurricane/wet season – which is for us from July to November – in terms of rainfall, temperature and the likelihood of tropical cyclone development. It is intended to broaden the discussion on what the forecast means, what uncertainties exist and communicate climate and risk information to you the users that you can apply to your specific needs.”


The forum promotes regular dialogue, twice a year, and interagency coordination in responding to natural hazards, climate variability, extremes and change.


Dr. Kenrick Williams

Dr. Kenrick Williams, C.E.O., Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“The forum extends to looking at packaged products that have been tailored to service Belize’s productive sectors. So a discussion that focuses around services for the agriculture, tourism, fisheries, health, disaster management and other sectors in Belize. We know that as part of building resilience to natural disturbances we have to be prepared.”


And so in efforts to build that resilience, the national met service has embedded artificial intelligence into operational systems, incorporating risk-management measures through various alert systems. Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon says that over the past thirty-five years, there has been tremendous progress made in the area of tropical cyclone forecasting.


Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist

“The statistics indicate to us that we are in an area vulnerable to hurricanes and as such we should prepare each year no matter what the forecast is. It takes only one hurricane, especially one major hurricane making landfall on your area for it to be an active year for you. Of course the National Meteorological Service will monitor and track all storms in real time. Even before it develops, we are looking at the models and looking at potential for development and we are monitoring and once it develops, we are tracking, we are informing our very important partner agency, the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO. NEMO will be coming after me to also discuss this, we will alert them about the potential of a system coming our way and we alert residents so that we can be prepared for any eventuality.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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