Region IV: North America, Central America, the Caribbean

The region's geographical extent and great diversity include ecosystems from the Arctic to the equator, such as tropical forests, islands, deserts, snow-covered landscapes and high mountains, representing a wide range of weather, water, and climate challenges.
An aerial view of a small island in the ocean.
Islet of Santa Cruz Island in the middle of the sea, in the background the island of Tintipan seen from the air in the archipelago of San Bernardo near the Rosario Islands in Cartagena, Colombia.
Adobe Stock Jhampier Giron

The WMO Region IV comprises 27 Members that fall within the scope of the WMO Regional Office for the Americas (RAM), which are served through the Representative Office for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NCAC).

Due to its geographical complexity, the region is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones, droughts, floods, coastal surges, tornadoes and others, all of which are exacerbated by climate change. This situation calls for a multi-hazard early warning system and robust hydrometeorological services.

In terms of socio-economic parameters, WMO Region IV is composed mainly of developing economies many of which are small island developing states, but it also includes large developed countries, and on the opposite side it has least developing countries. This is reflected in the Human Development Index that ranges from very high human development to low human development in the region.

To facilitate the exchange of data and expertise to better prepare the region, the WMO Regional Office for the Americas articulates activities with key partners such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO), the Coordination Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Regional Committee on Hydraulic Resources (CRRH), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the UN Environment Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), among others. The focus is also on socioeconomic factors to contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Projects in the region

Support of the Hydrometeorological Unit of Haiti (UHM) for sustainable operability and the implementation of a relevant and efficient hydrometeorological warning system (CREWS Haiti)

Haiti is the only least-developed country in the Caribbean, and is further classified as a small island developing state (SIDS). Haiti scored “very high” on the 2018 INFORM Risk Index. Moreover, the World Bank’s “Natural Disaster Hotspot Study” ranked Haiti as one of the countries with the highest exposure to multiple hazards, and the SIDS with the highest vulnerability to tropical cyclones. The vulnerability of the Haitian population is caused by the exposure to hydrometeorological events including tropical storms and cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, floods, droughts as well as demographic factors such as poverty, high population density, the presence of settlements in low-lying areas and floodplains. Moreover, a lack of political stability, fiscal problems and weak public infrastructure increase the risk for the population. An essential step to achieve resilience to climatic shocks and a sustained development of the country is to secure efficient Hydro-meteorological services. This is the principal goal of this project.    The CREWS Haiti project leverages the outcomes of the  “Climate Services to Reduce Vulnerability in Haiti” project, which was funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) (2012-2019). The main achievements of this project included the construction of a zero-emission, hurricane and earthquake resistant building for the Unité Hydro Météorologique (UHM), the development and installation of a technical assistance package, providing UHM with the necessary technical equipment, and further training for weather forecasting, observation and aviation meteorology. 

Strengthening Hydro-Meteorological and Early Warning Services in the Caribbean

The Caribbean region is highly exposed to natural hazards, in particular hydrometeorological hazards such as hurricanes and tropical storms, floods, landslides and storm surge, and has suffered in the past from numerous significant impacts. The capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) in the region is highly varied - in some countries, especially the smaller ones, the NMHS consists of only a few people with limited technical training, while larger countries or foreign territories have far higher levels of capacity, training and technology. There are some collaboration and coordination mechanisms in place in the region.  CREWS Caribbean is a three-year US$ 5.5 million project that looks to strengthen and streamline regional and national systems and capacity related to weather forecasting, hydrological services, multi-hazard impact-based warnings and service delivery for enhanced decision-making in the Caribbean. Being led by the World Bank GFDRR, with support from WMO and UNDRR, CREWS Caribbean is the first project to leverage all three of the CREWS implementing partners.  The project targets both regional- and national-level priority areas to comprehensively strengthen hydromet services and Early Warning Systems (EWS) across the region. Project activities primarily focus on the 15 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member countries, though the strategy considers all stakeholder groups engaged in EWS and risk management. 

WMO Offices in the region

WMO Representative Office for North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NCAC)

Instituto Meteorológico Nacional

3er Piso, frente a Admisiones del Hospital Calderón Guardia, 

Avenida 9, Calle 17, Barrio Aranjuez, 

P.O Box 73350-1000

San José, Costa Rica