Dia Mundial di Meteorologia!

World Meteorological Day 2018: Weather Ready, Climate Smart and Water Wise.

With a world population that is increasing, the number of people exposed to natural hazards is increasing. As the result of climate change, the frequency of these dangers also increases, so that more people are at risk from nature.

That is why the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the national meteorological services have come with the theme for this year’s World Meteorological Day: Weather Ready, Climate Smart and Water Wise.

In their efforts to help protect lives and property, the WMO and national meteorological and hydrological services throughout the world continue to improve their capacity to meet the challenges of nature such as flooding, tropical cyclones, drought, heat waves and various other natural hazards. The priority hereby includes the implementation of among others the following three programs of the WMO:

The Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): Together with the WMO, the United Nations has set up various programs at national and international level to combat poverty, hunger, and to also ensure that clean drinking water is available.

Adaptation to Climate Change in the Conference of Parties (COP): The WMO supports various other programs of the United Nations to help governments around the world to confront the challenges that climate change entails.

Reducing the Risk of Disasters (DRR): This is another important program of the WMO, with the aim of helping meteorological services and other agencies around the world. This is done with scientific and technical services, to help keep an eye on the weather and to also to warn the populations, in order to help prevent personal or material damage in the event of a natural disaster.

The Meteorological Service Curaçao (MDC) is not standing still in Curaçao and we are also doing our best to fulfill our main tasks. This is to keep an eye on the weather, to help protect the population and its properties against the impact of severe weather.

1. Being weather ready:

In Curaçao we at the MDC are constantly monitoring the development of weather systems that can pose a threat to the population and its properties. The main threat in our climate is the tropical cyclone (tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane). With the purchase of a weather radar we are able to observe in a sophisticated way various weather phenomena, such as heavy rainfall, extremely strong winds and squall lines, which can pose a threat to the population. Our network of automatic weather stations can also measure the most important weather parameters on various parts of the island. Using this, the temperature among others can be measured locally. This gives a better picture of the weather on certain parts of our island. The MDC also has a Weather App, which is used by many people, both in Curaçao and abroad. This is also a very useful way to send warning messages directly to people over their phones. Also, by using WhatsApp, everyone can be individually alerted. All this has become possible through the automation of various observation and production processes.

2. Climate Smart

In recent years it has become increasingly clear that our climate is slowly but surely changing. On Curaçao this is especially noticeable in an increased amount of cases of extreme weather. Although this has had very few disastrous consequences so far, these changes were mainly events of severe drought and also in some cases of heavy rainfall. The latter have caused significant flooding. In this context, together with the WMO, we have developed a system of digital data archiving, in order to be able to do research related to climate change.

3. Water Wise

The subject "water" can also be directly linked to climate change. Drought brings water scarcity, which of course has consequences for the people and for agriculture and livestock as well. Obviously, excess water can also cause both personal and material damage. In this context, together with the UNOPS, we are working on the development of flood maps for Curaçao. These maps can also be used operationally. Furthermore, the MDC is also a member of the Water Commission of the government, where efforts are made to limit the damage caused by water scarcity. It also examines what measures can be taken to store rain water.

The Meteorological Service wants to thank the people of Curaçao for the form in which our products and services are recognized.