Cook Islands Meteorological staff with weather director Arona Ngari. 21032310
The Cook Islands Meteorological Services director Arona Ngari and his team joined 192 members of the World Meteorological Organisation in commemorating World Meteorological Day on Tuesday.
Ngari said the Day commemorates the existence
of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) which was formed on March 23,
The country’s first meteorological weather
observation centre was built in October 1899 on Rarotonga.
After changing locations seven times, the
station finally settled on the north western part of the old airport – where it
currently stands – in 1967.
The Cook Islands became a member of the
international organisation on October 18, 1995.
Ngari said as an intergovernmental framework,
and an international organisation, it collects data from all over the world to
help them better understand the weather and its impacts on our lives.
The World Meteorological Day this year was
devoted to the theme “the ocean, our climate and weather.”
“It celebrates WMO’s focus in connecting the
ocean, climate and weather within the Earth System. Our changing climate is
warming the ocean, having a profound effect on our weather,” Ngari said.
According to the Organisation’s website, the
Day “showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and
Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society”.
Ngari explained that of the many resolutions
that the Organisation made, Resolution 40 underpins the importance of data
sharing to allow members make “informed decisions”.
He said Cook Islands has been collecting
meteorological data since 1899, including some from the Pa Enua which reported
on the weather prior to World War 2.
“They sent their weather reports to Rarotonga
using Morse Code. A few of our nationals were taught the skills of this task
and some have excelled in them when carrying their duties in the Pa Enua.
“Reports has been made of radio operators that
can receive two reports at the same time as well as receiving messages while
having a chat with friends in the same room.”
Ngari said with a current staff of 13 – nine
male and four females – an opportunity is extended to Cook Islands
Meteorological Service to participate in gender equality training that could
benefit all in achieving their goals.
The weather station’s future plans include
installing specific automatic weather stations for the outer islands that have
airports so they can provide meteorological information for safety purposes.