In October 2003, the European Commission approved a €13.2 million Regional Project to construct and install four new digital weather radars in the Caribbean to replace an old and obsolete radar network installed by the CMO in the late sixties and early seventies. The Project will link the new radars with others already in place to form a modern network of nine radars as part of the Caribbean Early Warning System for severe weather conditions.
The Caribbean Forum of ACP States (CARIFORUM) in Guyana has overall responsibility for the Project, using resources of the 9th European Development Fund (EDF), while the Caribbean Meteorological Organization, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is the Executing Agency.
Four new Doppler digital radars in Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, which will provide continuous real-time radar coverage out to 400 kilometres from each site and which will enable the National Meteorological Services (NMSs) to provide images and guidance to the public and key local sectors, such as the aviation industry, the water resources sector, agriculture and disaster preparedness officials.
The creation, in collaboration with Météo-France, of a regional radar network comprising these four radars, plus existing radars in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and French Guiana. This regional network will provide an electronic composite of all the radars, thereby providing broad areal coverage of the Caribbean islands. Operational composite radar images or individual radar images would be available at the WMO RSMC (US National Hurricane Center) in Miami. The CMO has initiated discussions towards the installation of a radar in the Cayman Islands, but not as part of this Project.
The Project Proposals had been submitted to the European Commission in 2003 under the 8th EDF. However, the European Commission decided that the funding would be from the 9th EDF funds to become effective from 2004. The Financing Agreement for the Project was therefore signed by the European Commission in and CARIFORUM under 9th EDF rules. Since that time, the main formal actions completed were:
A Memorandum of Understanding between the CMO and CARIFORUM for the Project Implementation.
Separate Memoranda of Understanding, for the ownership and operation of the radars, were signed between
A Deputy Regional Authorizing Officer (DRAO) was named by the Trinidad & Tobago Government, at the request of the Secretary-General of CARIFORUM, who is the Regional Authorizing Officer (RAO).