The Caribbean is gearing up for yet another active Atlantic hurricane season, compounded by the continuing challenges and constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of a major volcanic eruption.
Trinidad and Tobago
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As part of ongoing efforts to implement the Global Framework for Climate Services Programme at the national level, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) hosted its 2020 Wet Season-Tenth National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF X) via video conferencing on May 12, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season set to officially begin on June 1, Acting Assistant Director of TTMS, Shakeer Baig emphasised the heightened importance of the early warning platforms to provide useful, actionable and easily understood national early warnings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Senior meteorologist, Saide Shakeer elaborated on the TTMS’s risk-based early warning system, which complies with the World Meteorological Organization’s international standard for effective early warnings. She highlighted the features of the system, including the risk assessment matrix, which combines the probability of hazard occurring and the severity of impacts to determine the colour-coded risk level. She also explained what the colours mean, the likely impacts and how stakeholders should respond when public warnings messages are issued at each risk level.
For the first time, forecasters from across the Caribbean have been participating in a major international atmospheric and oceanic field campaign, entitled, "Elucidating the Role of Clouds-Circulation Coupling in Climate" (EUREC4A). The field campaign is focused on the areas east and south of Barbados, from 20 January to 20 February 2020.