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The Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF) 2017 was officially launched at the Beachcomber hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines today. This event brought together stakeholders to deliberate on climate change and Early Warning Systems which are to be implemented in the Caribbean.

Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who officially opened the conference called for investments to be made in early warning systems in the Caribbean. “Climate is changing and countries need to redouble its efforts in boosting climate services and to transfer knowledge to help guide the region’s work in climate services.”

Dr. Gonsalves noted that the meeting is critical to national and regional development of all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.

Key stakeholders in each of these countries have a responsibility to adapt to climate change and seek ways in which the adaptation measures can be further strengthened, he said.

He stated that without urgent adaptation and mitigation measures, the ravishing impacts climate change pose can be doubled. Areas up for discussion for the rest of the conference will see presentations on:

  • Wet/hurricane season climate outlook
  • Dust and air quality forecasting for the Caribbean
  • Caribbean heat outlooks: research and product development
  • Implementing an impact-based forecasting and decision-making framework, enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction in the Caribbean and
  • Drought Management plan development in the Caribbean

Other areas related to weather and climate changes are expected to be discussed. The feedback from these discussions will be incorporated in the sectoral climatic bulletins which will be officially launched on June 1, 2017.

CariCOF was established to develop a sustained collaborative process that provides credible and authoritative real-time regional climate products. Since 2013, CariCOF has been held at the end of May/beginning to June to deliver forecasts for the wet/hurricane season, while the first dry season CariCOF was hosted by Antigua and Barbuda in November/December 2014.

Between CariCOFs, the region’s meteorologists/climatologists, now numbering 20 or more update the forecasts monthly and deliver them to a wide range of regional and national stakeholders.

The suite of forecasts currently includes products for rainfall and temperature for up to three to six months; and for drought that itself includes an alerting system supported by response actions that were developed with the stakeholders. The ongoing CariCOF is expected to conclude on Friday, June 2, 2107.

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