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Radar Site Visit

Published 26th August 2013, 1:25 pm

Deputy Premier and Minister of District Administration, Tourism and Transport, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, JP, got a quick course in Doppler radar when he recently stopped by the National Weather Service (NWS).

Accompanied by Ministerial Councillor Joey Hew, the Ministry's Chief Officer Stran Bodden, and Acting Deputy Chief Officer Jonathan Jackson, Mr Kirkconnell received a guided tour of the compact building which houses the meteorological office and its staff.

His mission was to learn first-hand how the weather team uses vital data from the radar installation in East End. NWS staff led by Director General of Meteorological Services, Mr. Fred Sambula explained that the newly installed radar station provides NWS with highly accurate, comprehensive, real time weather information about the segment of the Western Caribbean that contains the Cayman Islands. It augments the regional network and helps improve the early warning system across the Caribbean, he added.

The radar station is located in interior East End.

To better understand how the radar works, Minister Kirkconnell then led his team on a field trip to the Kearney Gomez Doppler Weather Radar in East End and toured the installation. Cayman Islands Airports Authority's Chief Operations Officer (COO), Mr. Kerith McCoy, went with them.

"The visit provided a useful insight into a fundamental component of public safety that we often take for granted, as its usefulness only truly becomes evident where it is absent," Minister Kirkconnell commented after the tour.

L-r: CI Airports Authority Chief Operations Officer Kerith McCoy, Acting Deputy Chief Officer Jonathan Jackson, Chief Officer Stran Bodden, Minister Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, Ministerial Councillor Joey Hew and Director General of Meteorological Services Fred Sambula on the ground floor of the radar station in East End

He added, "Mr. Sambula and his dedicated team keep this bit of government working smoothly. My kudos to them especially with the constraints of space and staffing they face."

The radar, which was manufactured, supplied and installed by a German company, was funded through a 4.16 million euros grant from the European Union. Its operational range is 250 miles and covers all three of the Cayman Islands and the encircling sea.


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