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Hurricane Season is Few Weeks Away and Doppler Radar is Broken

Dennis Gonguez (Chief Meteorologist)

Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2015. 5:10 pm CST.

Thursday, May 7th 2015. BMG: In September 2009, the National Meteorological Service of Belize installed a $3.3 million dollar radar at its headquarters in Ladyville. The radar was expected to be operational by October of the same year but up to now, the radar is still inactive.

Back in 2009, in an interview with Chief Metrological Dennis Gonguez, he stated that there were two reasons for this; one of them was that a mechanical part was missing and that it needed to be shipped from the US. The second reason given was that the engineer that would replace these parts had other commitments outside of the country.

Dennis Gonguez

Dennis Gonguez

With more than half of a decade that the radar is not functioning and the fast approaching hurricane season for 2015, Belize Media Group decided to approach Chief Metrological Dennis Gonguez for an update.

In an email to one of our reporters he stated the following and we quote. “Unfortunately the radar is still not working. Three separate orders for parts were made as different issues developed with the radar. The first part was fitted and the radar developed other problems subsequently. The second shipment of parts has just arrived in country and will be cleared from Customs early next week. The third request for the purchase of additional parts stands at the Ministry of Finance for payment to the supplier. A fourth request for parts is being prepared for submission to the Ministry of Finance as we communicate at this moment.  This last shipment is promised to be landed in country exactly two weeks after payment.  So I do not see the radar up and running before 1st June 2015. Optimistically I would say it would be up near the first week in July. The radar is approaching seven years old and as expected with ageing it has developed some issues.”

Will the radar be in full function before the Hurricane Season this year? That is left to see.

It is of note that three of such Doppler Radars were set up across the Caribbean costing 10 million Belize dollars.


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