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Belize Celebrates World Meteorological Day 2023

Mar 23, 2023

Belize Celebrates World Meteorological Day 2023

World Meteorological Day commemorates the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization in 1950, which took over from its predecessor, the International Meteorological Organization, which was formed in 1873. This year’s theme is The Future of Weather, Climate and Water across Generations”.  When one looks at changes that have been made across the world over the last several decades, from manual and analogue data collecting processes, to modern supercomputers and space technology, the evolution is evident.  In Belize, the National Meteorological Service has also advanced technologically. To observe the day, the National Meteorological Service hosted an information fair at the Belize Civic Center. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Today, Belize joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Meteorological Day 2023. The theme for this year’s celebration is “The Future of Weather, Climate and Water across Generations”. The National Meteorological Service and its partners organized a day of activities at the Belize Civic Center for students to engage and learn more about the important work they do.

Shanea Young

Shanea Young, Senior Climatologist, N.M.S.

“Basically what that team highlights is the changes and to show the transition of meteorological services and also climate services across the years. Traditionally, um, we, we used to use. Very antique methods of, um, observing the weather, doing forecast. And throughout the years we have advanced, especially since technology has advanced, we have changed. So before we used to use, um, basically take charts and move them across each other day by day to issue and forecast. Now we use computer models, super, um, computers, and a lot of very, um, high tech technology to assist us in preparing the forecast. And also in terms of observing the weather, we used to use what we call manual weather stations where somebody would have to go out physically, um, every day or um, every hour to do the temperature reading, check the clouds and stuff like that. But now we have automatic weather stations across the country, um, about 52 at the moment where we use to get real time, near real time weather information to our o office in our database. And all of that is used along with different, um, tools. To help us prepare the forecast, but also to keep track of the climate.”

The National Meteorological Service also hosted a primary school poster competition. Students from across the country had their projects out on display at today’s event.

Anastasia Smith

Anastasia Smith, Student, United Evergreen Primary

“Well I am trying to depict the types of clouds and the water cycle. What inspired me is that these they don’t teach in schools anymore. They don’t teach in schools because of the curriculum and politics. So, my parents they are all about big projects and helping me understand the world around me, so when they showed me this, I said yes. Who wouldn’t want to do a project about water cycle and the type of clouds. One or two things I learnt about this would be precipitation, condensation, the whole water cycle.”

Jazlyn Garnett

Jazlyn Garnett, Student, St. Martin de Porres

“As you can see it is clouds and if you wondering why I choose clouds, I really like watching clouds. I love the shape of it. So, I decided to do this project. On the side we have some activity sheet facts and word puzzles. So, some of the kids already took some but that is fine.”

Nijah Ferguson

Nijah Ferguson, Student, St. Martin de Porres

“We just got here recently and so far I have been learning hurricane safety, risk and hazarders and more to come.”

Ariel Palacio

Ariel Palacio, Student, St. Martin de Porres

“My purpose for being out here is World Meteorological Day and I learn about about hurricane safety, risks and hazards, etc.”

The Belize Red Cross, the National Hydrological Service, and the City Emergency Management Organization were among the stakeholders engaging students on the critical services they provide.

Melanie Dawson

Melanie Dawson, CEMO Liaison Officer, Belize City Council

“The World Met Day contacted the Belize City Council and asked for CEMO’s participation. Um, basically for us to come out, share information on natural disaster, manmade disasters, you know, and basically to share information on preparations for these types of disaster, especially since we experienced Hurricane Lisa last year. Now we know that, um, you know, Sharing, you know, this vital information would be beneficial for these students, you know, for preparation, um, for this upcoming season. With the Met Service, we actually have a really great working relationship. We communicate with them on a daily basis, just getting forecast for the week, you know, them updating us if any rain will be coming, up to the hurricane season whereby they update us if a storm is coming and so forth. So we communicate on a daily basis.”

Shanea Young

“The weather is integrally involved in everything. Everything we do, um, is reliance on the weather, even if people might not know the weather is in some parts of their lives, whether in a small way or in a big way.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.