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Hurricane Season Without Radar? #542757
06/03/20 05:24 AM
06/03/20 05:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Will the National Met Service be able to repair Belize's radar to track local weather patterns themselves? Reports say that it has been down since mid March.

The Deputy Chief Met Officer said it needs parts:

Ronald Gordon - Deputy Chief Meteorologist
"I am not a technician in radars as such, to tell you what the exact issue. But, I can confirm that our radar is currently down, and our technicians are working diligently to get it up. However, we're ordering some parts, and we're expecting those parts to come into the country in the near future, so [that] we can get the radar up and running."

"Has the financial crunch for the government due to the revenues being massively decreased because of COVID-19 affected how quickly you guys at the Met Service have been able to get access to these spare parts?"

Ronald Gordon
"No, I wouldn't say that. Whenever we request any parts for the radar, we generally get those parts."

Gordon was unable to give us a specific deadline for when the radar would be repaired, but he asserts that it will be up and running in the near future.

Channel 7

Re: Hurricane Season Without Radar? [Re: Marty] #542812
06/06/20 07:26 AM
06/06/20 07:26 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
[Linked Image]

Main radar at Met service is down

Roughly two and a half months before the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, the Doppler radar at the Belize Meteorological Service stopped working, and it has not yet been repaired. Belize has therefore entered this year’s hurricane season without one of its key pieces of equipment.

In order to understand how the Met Service will function without the radar in this critical time, Amandala went in search of some answers.

In an interview this morning, we spoke with weather forecaster Ronald Gordon, who assured us that the Met Service has other tools in its arsenal besides the radar that can get the job done until the radar is back on-stream.

Gordon told us that there was an air conditioning malfunction in the radar on March 12, but due to the subsequent lockdown of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have only recently been able to commence the process of ordering the part that is needed.

We asked Gordon how important is the radar overall during this hurricane season.

“The radar is an essential tool, but it is not the only tool that we use,” Gordon replied.

“I would like to clarify the misconception that is out there in the media and in the public that the radar is the only tool that we have; that’s not right,” Gordon added.

Gordon said, “the Met Service has satellite imagery, our weather network and computer models that we use. So I am not downplaying the importance of the radar, but we can still function,” he said.

Gordon explained that by the end of June, the radar should be up and running.

So while the Doppler radar is an important tool in the Met Service’s arsenal, the Belize Weather Bureau still has the capacity to record and measure where rainfall is taking place across the country with the other tools that they have.

Gordon also explained that there was a time when Belize did not have a Doppler radar and the country was still able to engage in storm monitoring and preparedness during the hurricane season.


Re: Hurricane Season Without Radar? [Re: Marty] #544707
09/04/20 04:53 AM
09/04/20 04:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 73,302
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Still No Radar

One need that hasn't been taken care of is the weather radar at the MET Office. It's been down for months, and government seems to have no interest in fixing this vital storm tracking tool.

We asked the NEMO Minister about it today:

Jules Vasquez

"Sir we faced this storm without a working radar. You just waxed poetic about how the government takes care of its people. Sir, we need a working radar in this country."

Hon. Edmond Castro - Minister of NEMO

"That is so true, the radar is not working, it needs some repairs. We just asked cabinet and just about two weeks ago and cabinet has approved some money to deal with the radar situation."

Jules Vasquez

"But you are doing it deep into the hurricane season, it never just stop work last week, it stopped working before the hurricane season and you all didn't do anything and now we are in the peak of our hurricane season and now you are playing catch up and you the try beg."

Hon. Edmond Castro

"Better late than never. We will get up and going, hurricane no done yet and hurricane won't stop coming because we no fix the radar, hurricanes will continue to threaten us every year."

Jules Vasquez

"Yes I know sir but I'm saying, you're avoiding the issue, I'm saying that.."

Hon. Edmond Castro

"We'll get the radar up and going, it will up and going shortly."

Jules Vasquez

"Would you accept sir, that shortly is too late because we are deep into the season, you should have fixed it from before the season. It was not working from then."

Hon. Edmond Castro

"I admit it is still not working but yet, we were able to track the storm, so the met department was so technical, in tracking the hurricane and guide us through and pinpoint exactly where the hurricane will be making landfall and what time. So, the expertise that we have in country, man phenomenal."

On the MET Office's web page, the portal for live storm tracking is inactive and below it, a captions reads: "Please be advised that our radar is currently under maintenance; therefore, our radar images are currently unavailable."

Channel 7

National Meteorological Service of Belize clarifies

Please be informed that contrary to the misleading and erroneous report on Channel 7 Belize on their newscast on Thursday, September 3, 2020, the portal used by the National Meteorological Service to track storms was active and functioning during the approach, landfall and passage of Hurricane Nana across Belize. As a matter of fact, this portal contains real-time data from our network of automatic weather stations which were used not only to help local experts track the storm, but also assisted experts at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami in locating the exact position of the storm near landfall on Belize. The forecaster on duty at the NHC called Deputy Chief Meteorologist personally to express his gratitude to the NMS and its team of technicians for the availability of this data. We at the NMS were able to pinpoint the landfall location to a high degree of precision using this portal.

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