Official Inauguration of the Weather Radar in St.Maarten

In the presence of the Minister of Traffic and Communication of the Netherlands Antilles, Mr.Patrick Illidge and the Minister of Traffic, Public Works and Water Management of the Netherlands, Mr. Camiel Eurlings, the weather radar of the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba (MDNA&A) in Sint Maarten was inaugurated officially last Friday, July 2, 2010, after being out of service during a number of years. 

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This took place at the offices of the Meteorological Service in St. Maarten, in the presence of among others the Lt. Governor of St. Maarten, Mr. Reynold Groeneveldt, the members of the Disaster Management Bureau of St. Maarten, and the director of the MDNA&A, Dr. Albert Martis and other special invitees for this occasion.

This weather radar is an important acquisition for the MDNA&A and will undoubtedly be an important tool in the weather monitoring system for the benefit of the Windward Islands and regional aviation as well. It will particularly be to the benefit of the Northeastern Caribbean weather radar network which is a key element of the Early Warning System regarding severe weather and hurricane warning system in the region. In this context this serves one of the fundamentals of the Disaster Risk Reduction Program of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The weather radar project of St. Maarten was executed within the framework of the longlasting existing close cooperation between the MDNA&A and the KNMI. A few years ago we were in this respect successful in the complete renewal and the return to operational functioning of the radar in Curaçao. With the inauguration of the weather radar in St. Maarten as well, we can now look back at the full completion of a successful project. The project was executed with financial means (total value of about 2.3 million Antillean guilders) of the Dutch government (KABNA and later with USONA) and the budget of the Netherlands Antilles, while the necessary human resources and expertise were delivered by the KNMI and the MDNA&A.

With the conclusion of this project, the MDNA&A has the use of two state-of-the art weather radars, that are used in an optimal way and which undoubtedly contribute significantly to the quality of the operational meteorological services. This is especially the case for the service to the Windward Islands.

Real-time images of both the Curaçao and the St. Maarten weather radar can be seen on the web site of the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles at: