The Barbados Meteorological Services (MET Office) is now in a better position to measure weather patterns such as temperatures, wind direction, wind speed, and rainfall, for specific communities across the island.
Director of the MET Office, Sabu Best, said to date, 43 weather stations were already installed, and an additional 70 are expected to be in place later this year.
“These stations are providing a completely new insight on what is happening on the ground. I mean, let us roll back the clock a little bit and go back three, four years ago, when there were not so many stations around. You would get your temperature from the airport and one or two other stations across the island.
“But, then there are other amazing things going on, which you were not aware of because you were not measuring them,” he outlined.
Mr. Best used the example of December 2021 when minimum temperatures at the Grantley Adams International Airport were recorded between 23 and 24 degrees Celsius. However, weather stations in a St. Michael district recorded temperatures as low as 17 degrees Celsius.
“There were no sensors there before to give you that kind of reading, but now the kind of density we have is showing you what is going on at the local level, which is what affects persons in communities, and that is what we want to drill down into by having so many stations,” the Director pointed out.
He noted that the weather stations would enable officials from the MET Office to give current conditions related to temperatures, wind direction, wind speed and rainfall for specific communities.
During a tour of the MET Office with Minister of Home Affairs and Information, Wilfred Abrahams, Mr. Best also highlighted that the weather stations and their parts were developed and produced by his department in its 3D Printing Lab.
“We actually make our 3D prints for the parts and the automatic weather stations we have across the island…. We put them together, along with the many other components you see here, and then we deploy stations out in the field,” he stated.
Mr. Best explained that the production of the parts allowed the MET Office to manage the cost. “Instead of actually purchasing 10 or 20 industrial stations, which balloons our costs up in the air, we actually make these stations and deploy them in the field. And if we need a part, if something gets broken, we can easily replace it because we have this part here already available that we can make,” he said.