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Weather stations installed in the northern group

Monday January 14, 2019 Written by Published in Weather
Technicians put up a wind sensor arm for Manihiki CLEWS. 19011302 Technicians put up a wind sensor arm for Manihiki CLEWS. 19011302

A team of four from the Cook Islands Meteorological Service deployed to the outer islands and have now successfully installed automatic weather stations.

Cook Islands Meteorological Services (CIMS) director, Arona Ngari said the team installed the Climate Information Early Warning System (CLEWS) at the Manihiki, Rakahanga and Pukapuka stations late last year.

 

However, he said Palmerston Island was the only island remaining to have the instruments installed.

He said CLEWS monitors and provides weather information from these islands on a regular basis.

Weather and climate reports are regularly made by the CLEWS and the CIMS headquarters monitors the reports on an hourly basis so as to give a status report on each island, he said.

“The initiative was originally put into place by the Office of the Prime Minister under the Strengthening the Resilience of our Islands and our Communities to Climate Change (SRIC-CC) project but it fell short of completing the installation process.

“Only the stations on the Nga Pu Toru islands and Mangaia were installed,” Ngari said.

Ngari said the Disaster Resilience for Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) project aims to improve Pacific SIDS resilience to climate-related hazards.

The RESPAC project is financially supported by the Russian Federation-UNDP Trust Fund for Development with total funding of US$7,500,000 ($10,974,000).

Ngari said early last year, CIMS approached UNDP-RESPAC to assist with the installation of CLEWS in the northern Cook Islands.

“Approval was granted for about US$100,000 to install five stations on Manihiki, Rakahanga, Penhryn, Pukapuka and Palmerston.

“The Penrhyn station installation was completed by a former meteorological technician who is residing on the island.”

He added that the information gathered from the new system is used for weather forecasting purposes as well as other sectors that can benefit from such information.

Ngari said that two main consumers of the information are the domestic airline, Air Rarotonga, and maritime users.

“Information is also crucial in assisting severe weather and tropical cyclones.”

In a statement to the UNDP, Ngari said: We’re excited to be moving with modern technology to improve the availability of climate information to our communities. People can now access information through an app on their smart phones. This is a big step in the right direction for our remote and vulnerable islands. It’s really key to enabling them to become more ‘climate-smart’ and therefore more resilient to changes.”

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