Guyana’s Hydrometeorological Service is currently celebrating its 43rd anniversary and Chief Hydrometeorological Officer, Bhaleka Seulall has promised that the hydromet department is committed to continue working with all its stakeholders to provide timely and improved services to the Guyanese people.
She said that the first hydromet office was located in the Botanical Gardens and that the collection of rainfall data was the only hydrometeorological information recorded. This began in late 19th century under the auspices of Crown Agents.
Beginning in the twentieth century, other parameters were recorded and these were collected by a number of Ministries, sugar estates and private citizens.
She added that a proposal was made by the Economic Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean for an expert from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to co-ordinate activities and to develop a proposal for the creation of a new entity.
The WMO worked with a committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Forest, Lands and Mines, Ministry of Works and Hydraulics, Booker Tate Estates, Demerara Bauxite Ltd and other stakeholders, where they recommended that portfolios of meteorology and hydrology held respectively by the Ministry of Communication and Ministry of Works and Hydraulics be cancelled, and that a portfolio of Hydrometeorology be established as a Department in the Ministry of Works and Hydraulics.
On October 5, 1965, Cabinet approved the establishment of a central Hydrometeorological Service within the Government structure of the then British Guiana. It was envisaged that the general responsibilities would have been to monitor and evaluate weather and water resources in Guyana.
These responsibilities grew in the early 70’s to include aeronautical forecasting and later to include agriculture meteorology, hydrological engineering and other aspects related to sustainable economic development of the country.
The office was housed at Fort Street, Kingston, from 1965 until 1991, when it was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture after an evaluation of its relevance.
The late Kenneth Potter, who was originally a member of the committee which supported the formation of the Hydromet Service, was appointed as the first Chief Hydrometeorological Officer.
According to Seulall, under his direction the hydromet service developed rapidly into a well-coordinated entity.
From 1965 to now, the hydromet service saw the establishment of the Aeronautical Meteorology Section in 1972. This became commonly referred to as the Timehri Met Office.
This department was also a key partner in the Natural Resources Environment Advisory Committee (NREAC) and was the focal point for the climate change convention, protocols and projects.
“The Service was integrally involved in ensuring Guyana’s Initial National Communication was completed and submitted to the UNFCCC. The Hydromet Service also chaired the National Climate Change Committee from inception until 2006,” Seulall said.
In 1998, the Service became the focal point for Ozone issues in Guyana and the National Ozone Action Unit was created as a section within the Hydromet Service.
The Service installed its first Mitsubishi weather radar at Timehri in 1971. This radar functioned until the late 1980s when it became useless.
“Notwithstanding, the Hydromet Service is currently working towards installation of the Doppler Weather Radar at Timehri, which is funded by the European Union. I must add competing with our Caribbean neighbours for this radar was not easy task,” Seulall noted.
She indicated that since the inception of the Hydromet Service in 1965, great emphasis has been placed on monitoring the weather, climate and water resources.
In Guyana, Seulall said, data have been applied to enable engineering designs so that buildings such as the Cricket Stadium at Providence, large bridges such as the Demerara Harbour Bridge and the Berbice River Bridge, and roadways.
Conservancies could function effectively knowing the design extremes of rainfall and wind. However, notwithstanding these milestones, the service is experiencing a few hiccups, with the major one being the recruitment of persons with the relevant science skills, particularly in Mathematics and Physics.
“Perhaps to some people, repeatedly measuring temperature, rainfall and cloud amounts day after day appears to be very routine but I can assure you this is not the case.
Weather, climate and water have an impact on almost every facet of life and you will definitely learn something new and exciting every single day in this dynamic field, hence I would like to encourage youths in Guyana to study the sciences and pursue this area of study,” Seulall urged.
Jul 11, 2020Following consultation with the South American member associations, FIFA and CONMEBOL have agreed to postpone the upcoming South American qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 initially...
Jul 11, 2020
Jul 11, 2020
Jul 09, 2020
Jul 09, 2020
Jul 08, 2020
By Sir Ronald Sanders There have been unhelpful and destructive attacks by leading members and zealous supporters of the... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]