Meteorological Department Curaçao 

Meteorological Department Curaçao (MDC), or better known as Meteo Curaçao, is the data and knowledge center with respect to Meteorology, Seismology and Climatology, as well as the official governmental entity to issue severe weather bulletins for Curaçao. Furthermore Meteo Curaçao provides services for other Caribbean islands (namely Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Our mission is:

  • To protect life and property against natural hazards through the issuance of appropriate weather forecasts and warnings for the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, their adjacent waters and air space, and
  • To provide meteorological, seismological and climate related services to specific sectors, in order to sustain social-economic development.
Meteo Curaçao, formerly know as the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles & Aruba situated in Curaçao, was established in 1953 as an independent entity by a Governmental act under the Ministry of Traffic and Transportation of the Netherlands Antilles. Back then the Netherlands Antilles consisted of Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba. After the autonomous status of Aruba in the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 1 January 1986, it was agreed upon by the governments of the Netherlands Antilles and that of Aruba, that the Meteorological Service would remain as one entity to serve both the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. As of 10th October 2010, the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist as a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. From that date onwards, the Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four parts, namely Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten, and the Netherlands, including the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES). In connection with this event Meteo Curaçao was installed as the legal successor of the former headquarters of the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles & Aruba. Curaçao is with respect to the meteorological and seismological services responsible for the islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, a responsibility bestowed upon it by the Netherlands, and works in close collaboration with St. Maarten. Hence Meteo Curaçao continues to provide service to most of the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and strives to do this in an accurate, efficient and timely manner. Hence our vision:
  • Deliver service of high quality and accuracy in a timely manner, and
  • Sustain social-economic activities, especially with respect to projects related to the mitigation of natural hazards in general, and the effects of climate change for the advancement of the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Since its institution in 1953, Meteo Curaçao has been providing different services in meteorology, climatology and other geophysical matters. The responsibilities bestowed upon this entity include:
  1. The collection of surface and upper-air meteorological data (which are operationally exchanged internationally through the World Weather Watch programme of WMO);
  2. The generation of public weather forecast products, official severe weather bulletins like (Tropical Cyclone) advisories and warnings for the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  3. Serving the aviation community with aeronautical meteorological information and products as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), for Curaçao and the other Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
  4. Providing maritime operational meteorological and climatological services to marine interested end users on the the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and their adjacent waters;
  5. The management of a climatological database with both surface and upper-air meteorological data;
  6. Sustaining the socio-economic developments on the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands by preparing general and specific meteorological and climate information, and providing these to different sectors in the community (i.e. insurance, construction, public utilities, agriculture, and environment);
  7. Supplying information on seismic and Tsunami activities in the Caribbean region;
  8. Advising governmental authorities on the Caribbean islands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands with respect to the the risk of natural hazards, effects of climate change and possible mitigation measures;
  9. Representing Curaçao and the other Caribbean islands in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, being the meteorological authority, at the WMO with regards to national and international meteorological policy matters;
  10. Working in different working groups and committees of national and international organizations.
With recent global developments regarding the specific topic of seismic activities the Meteo Curaçao acquired a more pronounced responsibility with regards to this matter, i.e. monitoring seismic activities on St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba as well as the volcanic activities of the dormant volcano on Saba, and the Caribbean region in general.

Explaining our logo
The logo of Meteo Curaçao represents the primary characteristics of Curaçao. The dominant colors are blue and yellow, chosen in analogy to the colors of our flag. The yellow semi-circle cut by the blue waves represents the rising sun on a horizon delineated by our blue seas, symbolizing new beginnings. The central location for these features was chosen to emphasize the prominent place the Sun takes in our climate. Furthermore two arrows can be identified. The purple arrow reflects our climatic averaged wind direction. Its color was chosen in relation to the start of the rainy season, representing growth and blossom, in this case the color of our local flowers "kayena" (hibiscus) and "trinitaria" (bougainville). The blue arrow indicates the deviation of the magnetic north from the true north. The acronym MDC stands for our official name Meteorological Department Curaçao (Dutch: Meteorologische Dienst Curaçao; Papiamentu: Departamentu di Meteórologia Curaçao).

 A Historical Overview

First meteorological observation reported in Curaçao.
The first records of rainfall measurements at plantation Savonet, Curaçao (1879 St. Maarten; 1881 St. Eustatius; 1891 Saba; 1901 Aruba and Bonaire).
1894 The USA Weather Bureau establishes an observation station in Curaçao as part of the Early Hurricane Warning System at Fort Amsterdam.
1920 The USA Weather Bureau hands the observation station over to the Government of Curaçao under the department of Agriculture. In those days being a division of the Public Works and later Harbor Office. After a year, in June 1921, this observatory is relocated to plantation Cas Chikitu.

Inauguration of the Meteorological Service at the Dr. Albert Plesman Airport ( Hato International Airport ).

1947 The Meteorological service becomes a member of the International Meteorological Organization, the later World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
1951 “Curaçao en onderhorigen” (the later Netherlands Antilles, including Aruba) obtain the WMO membership.
1953 Establishment of an independent Meteorological Service through a Governmental act.
The former WMO membership of “Curaçao en onderhorigen”, is changed into a WMO Membership for the Netherlands Antilles.
Initiation of the upper air observations on Curaçao and St. Maarten in cooperation with NOAA/NWS. These observations are being conducted to this date in collaboration with NOAA/NWS.
Two subdivisions of the Meteorological Service are established in Aruba and St. Maarten respectively.
The headquarters of the Meteorological Service is relocated from Hato international Airport to Seru Mahuma, Curaçao. To this date the Meteorological Service still provides its services from this location.
The former WMO membership of “Netherlands Antilles”, is changed into a group WMO Membership for the "Netherlands Antilles and Aruba".
2003 The Governmental act concerning the tasks of the Meteo Curaçao is revised and renewed
2008 An act regarding the meteorological services for the Aviation sector.
2010 Dismantlement of the Netherlands Antilles as per 10 October, and the establishment of Meteorological Department Curaçao, formerly know as Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles & Aruba. Meteo Curaçao is a governmental entity resorting under the ministry of Traffic, Transportation and Spatial Planning (Dutch: Ministerie van Verkeer Vervoer & Ruimtelijke Ordening; Papiamentu: Minsterio di Tráfiko Transporte i Planifikashon Teritorial)