World Meteorological Day 2021

The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) celebrates World Meteorological Day, which this year boasts the theme “the ocean, our climate and weather.” This day celebrates WMO’s (World Meteorological Organization’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. The WMO’s annual State of the Global Climate report, shows that 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record. The past decade from 2011-2020 was the warmest on record. Ocean heat is at record levels, ocean acidification is continuing. Sea ice is melting. The rate of sea level rise has accelerated.

Warm ocean temperatures helped fuel a record Atlantic hurricane season, despite St. Maarten receiving minimal effects of 2020’s record-breaking year. In view of this, the WMO community has a major stake in supporting research, observations, predictions, and services for the ocean as much for as the atmosphere, land, and cryosphere. Major gaps in data over the ocean hinder our ability to accurately forecast weather at extended time scales and, more so, sub-seasonal to seasonal.

With more than 40% of the global population living within 100km of the coast, there is an urgent need to keep communities safe from the impacts of coastal hazards. WMO and its Members work to support coastal management and resilience and strengthen Multi Hazard Early Warning Systems.

Nearly 90% of world trade is carried across the sea and is exposed to the dangers of extreme maritime weather. WMO partners with the International Maritime Organization and the International Hydrographic Organization to provide standardized information, forecasts and warnings to ensure the safety of life and property at sea. Similarly, MDS remains committed to “protect life and property through the issuance of timely and appropriate weather products for the adjacent waters, air space and the general public and to provide meteorological, hydrological and seismological related services to specific sectors, in order to sustain social and economic developments”.

We wish you all a happy World Meteorological Day.