(PRESS RELEASE) – The Saint Lucia Meteorological Services staff continues to benefit from the DVRP through regional training at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Barbados.
The knowledge and skills acquired will enhance their capabilities to better forecast weather and improve predictions on severe weather events like floods and hurricanes. The ultimate goal is to significantly improve preparedness for such events.
In July, another three technicians graduated from the CIMH beefing up the human resource capacity of the Meteorological Services. The technicians – Shemma Joseph, Lemuel Oshaunessey and Cynthia Camille – participated in an 18-month course of study leading to a Diploma in Hydrology. Having completed the Diploma in Hydrology, they are now better able to perform basic precipitation and rainfall frequency analyses, estimate the return period associated with precipitation events, describe hydrologic simulations, calibrate and use simple rainfall run-off models, supervise hydrological observers and hydrological technicians, assist hydrologists in operations and research, and collaborate with agencies in practical aspects of surface and groundwater utilization. Plans are afoot for another three members of staff to be trained.
The first batch of staff who were trained at the Caribbean Institute of Metrology and Hydrology (CIMH), Odelia Francis and Eleza Samuel, returned to their posts in 2016 after participating in an entry level course. The course exposed them to aspects of operational hydrology, including collection, transmission, processing, storage, retrieval and publication of basic hydrological data.
Noting the loss of lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, and the 2013 Christmas Eve trough, as well as the recent unprecedented level of damage from Category 5 hurricanes, Director of the Meterological Services, Andre Joyeux, believes that investments in strengthening the country’s hydro-meteorological system, both through enhancing the human resource capacity and upgrading diagnostic tools needed to forecast thunderstorms, flash floods, and tropical storms, is critical to savings in the long run and minimizing loss of life.