TEATT Minister Roger Lawrence
PHILIPSBURG--The new weather radar should be operational by this September, says Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Roger Lawrence.
Government is in the process of establishing a weather radar at St. Peters Hill. The new radar will enhance the Meteorological Department’s capability for early warning and early action not only in St. Maarten, but across the region. The new weather radar project is made possible with the collaboration of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin and Interreg. Interreg is one of the key instruments of the European Union (EU) supporting cooperation across borders through project funding.
“We expect, barring any unexpected events, that the products from the radar will be available by September this year in time for the peak period of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season,” said Lawrence.
“This development is significant for the country and is another tool that the Meteorological Department will have when issuing early warnings to the community during the upcoming hurricane season and throughout the year for any inclement weather events, to alert the public to take necessary action to save lives and protect property.”
The Meteorological Department urges hikers in the St. Peters Hill area to avoid traversing the construction site as much as possible.
Lawrence made the remarks in a statement to mark World Meteorological Day (WMD), which is being observed today, Wednesday, March 23, under the theme “Early Warning and Early Action.” The day places the spotlight on the vital importance of hydrometeorological and climate information for disaster risk reduction.
According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), weather, climate and water extremes are becoming more frequent and intense in many parts of the world as a result of climate change.
“More of us are exposed than ever before to multiple related hazards, which are themselves evolving as a result of population growth, urbanisation and environmental degradation,” sad MET office Head Joseph Isaac. “Forecasts of what the weather will be are no longer enough. Impact-based forecasts that inform the public of what the weather will do are vital to save lives and livelihoods, yet one in three persons globally are still not adequately covered by early warning systems.”
Lawrence recognised the work done by Meteorological Department St. Maarten (MDS) in keeping the community informed daily on hydrometeorological events that may affect the local area and wished them a Happy World Meteorological Day.
WMO adds that greater coordination between national meteorological and hydrological services, disaster management authorities and development agencies is fundamental to better prevention, preparedness and response.