Beginning next Monday, May 9, some of the world???s leading meteorological satellite training experts will converge in Barbados to discuss how the next generation of high-resolution satellites will help countries, including Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS), improve how they track extreme weather and monitor climate change.

Officially known as the Eighth Virtual Laboratory for Training and Education in Satellite Meteorology (VLab) Management Group Meeting (VLMG-8), the week-long event will be hosted at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), in Husbands, St. James.

The focus of VLMG-8 will be a new generation of meteorological and environmental satellites that will be put into service over the next five years. It is expected that these new satellites will revolutionise how meteorological offices inform and prepare the communities they serve, from day-to-day forecasts to decimal climate predictions.

According to Chief of Meteorology at CIMH and VLMG-8 Chair, Kathy-Ann Caesar, the next generation of high-resolution meteorological satellites will help meteorological services in the Caribbean gain access to more data and detailed satellite imagery that will inform products that have and continue to improve short term weather forecasts and long term climate forecasts.

???VLMG-8 addresses most importantly training in the utilisation of the new technology. Through these enhancements, Caribbean SIDS can better identify weather and climate trends to build resilience to climate variability and change,??? she explained.

Meanwhile, Principal of CIMH, Dr. David Farrell, noted that his organisation has been a significant contributor to the growth of VLab over the last 15 years.

He continued: ???The VLMG-8 meeting offers a key opportunity for CIMH, and by extension, the Caribbean Meteorological Organization, to extend their support for this essential activity that will allow the VLab to continue to provide critical leadership for the meteorological satellite community.???

The VLab VLMG is a joint effort between the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites. Members represent a global network of specialised training centres and meteorological satellite operators working together to improve the utilisation of data and products from meteorological and environmental satellites.

Participating VLab members include Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Morocco, South Africa and the United States.

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