TTMS and Finnish Meteorological Institute host SOFF Country Hydromet Diagnostics Stakeholder Workshop

18 March 2024

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) in collaboration with the Finnish Meteorological Institute hosted the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) Country Hydromet Diagnostics Stakeholder Workshop on Wednesday 13th March 2024 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Trinidad. The SOFF project is being implemented in order to close the weather observation and climate data gap and enhance the observation network, which will contribute to the improvement of weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and early warning systems for hydro-meteorological hazards in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Shakeer Baig, Acting Director welcomed participants and outlined the SOFF project. He indicated that the TTMS has been approved as a beneficiary of SOFF. During the workshop, TTMS peer advisors and experts from the Finnish Meteorological Institute obtained information from key stakeholders for the Country Hydromet Diagnostics, the first phase of the SOFF project. The discussion focused on governance and institutional setting, effective partnerships to improve service delivery, product dissemination and outreach and the use and national value of products and services. Stakeholders from various sectors, such as from disaster risk reduction, aviation, water management, education, agriculture and fisheries, energy and health participated in the workshop.

Professionals engaged in a collaborative discussion at a roundtable meeting.

SOFF was created in 2021 by the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme. SOFF provides support to countries by providing grant financing and technical assistance for the sustained collection and international exchange of surface-based weather and climate observations according to the GBON regulations, which is critical for improved weather forecasts and climate services. The Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) is a landmark agreement that offers a new approach by which the basic surface-based observing network is designed, defined, and monitored at the global level. GBON sets out an obligation for all WMO Members to acquire and exchange essential surface-based observational data at a minimum level of spatial resolution and time interval.

The SOFF support will be delivered in three phases: readiness, investment and compliance. During the readiness phase, the national hydromet status will be assessed, a gap analysis will be conducted, and a plan will be developed to close the gap. The investment phase includes investments in GBON infrastructure and developing GBON human and institutional capacity to operate and maintain the observing network. The TTMS will receive support to sustain GBON compliance and to improve weather forecast and climate products and services during the final phase of the project.