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Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS), Sabu Best.

System upgrade

Barbados Meteorological Services to roll out Impact-Based Forecasting

THE Barbados Meteorological Services plans to launch an Impact-Based Forecasting system for Barbados by the beginning of the 2020 Hurricane
Season, which starts on June 1, to allow for improved weather forecasts and a better response to impending disasters.

Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS), Sabu Best, explained that impact-based forecasting will provide detailed and easily understandable impacts in relation to impending meteorological hazards, essentially making weather forecasts more relevant to ordinary citizens and also to various stakeholders across a number of sectors, who will then be able to tailor their responses, so they can effectively respond to any impending hazard or disaster.

Over the next few weeks, he said the Met Services will share informational posts on what impact-based forecasting is and how to understand the weather forecasts. Barbadians can meanwhile look out for a newly updated and improved BMS website, which will display the information.

His comments came as the BMS invited representatives from the media to participate in a Zoom meeting yesterday, during which the information was shared.

“When we launch this new platform initiative, it will be ongoing and we will be adding stuff as we go along. It is not going to be one upgrade and that is it. We are going to be continuously engaging with stakeholders, the media and the public on how to make it better, how can the impact message, language and the response to these impacts be more meaningful to everyone,” the Acting BMS Director noted.

“By having a very clear understanding of what to expect and what we should do, then our response to any emergency effectively improves. The public response is improved. We are well prepared because we understand the impacts that are impending on us and the responses we should take before the impact, during the impact and even perhaps after,” Best further asserted.

Acting Senior Meteorologist, Semelka Jackman, meanwhile noted that the system will help the public to better understand forecasts issued by
the Barbados Metrological Services.

“With Impact-Based Forecasting, based on the language used, we will be telling you what to expect impact wise and then how you should respond. We will be better able to communicate to the public and the stakeholders about what is happening and so then, the forecast may appear more accurate (than they have appeared in the past),” Jackman said of the initiative.

Whilst key stakeholders will be given key information via the Impact-Based Forecasting system, the general public will also have access on the website, which will provide forecasts and responses, which the average user will be able to understand. (RSM)

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