Getting Started with the MET App
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is Trinidad and Tobago’s national meteorological service and the government agency responsible for providing a range of critical weather and climate data, information, products and services to help safeguard life and property, to help stakeholders make more informed decisions and for sustainable development planning.
The TTMS is a key part of the Government institutional framework to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for natural disasters. Within this framework, the TTMS plays a key role in providing the latest information on severe natural hydro-meteorological phenomena. Government’s disaster management agencies therefore rely extensively on the TTMS for provision of early warning services related to hydro-meteorological hazards, which are used to trigger the government disaster countermeasures such as preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions.
The TTMS also provides services on an ongoing basis to diverse audiences including the energy sector, water resource management, civil aviation, air and sea transportation, agriculture sector, national security including disaster risk management, public health, drainage, infrastructure and construction sector, ministry of finance, government departments, the public and other local, regional and international agencies. To effectively deliver these services, the TTMS utilizes a suite of specialized well-trained scientists, cutting-edge technological tools and operational expertise, honed since its operationalization as the national weather service in 1963.
Weather and Climate Products and Services
- Public Weather Forecast- This forecast is updated three times daily at 6 am, 10 am, and 4 pm. It includes a forecast of weather and marine conditions for Trinidad & Tobago and the remainder of the Lesser Antilles.
- 3-Day Weather Forecast- This extended forecast is issued as part of the 4 pm Forecast and includes a forecast of weather conditions for Trinidad and Tobago only.
- Early Warning Service- Public Warning Messages in the form of ‘Alerts’, ‘Watches’ or ‘Warnings’ are issued for hydro-meteorological hazards such as Adverse Weather, Flooding, Hazardous Seas, in addition to already established notifications for Tropical Cyclones (Depressions, Storms, and Hurricanes). The structure of the colour-coded risk-based system conforms to the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) format, which is an international standard for public warnings.
- Agro-meteorological Forecast and Bulletin– The 10-Day weather forecast for farmers and livestock producers provides expected weather conditions including temperatures, humidity, dust haze days, and rainfall (probability and daily mean) for varying areas. The bulletin provides both the forecast and an assessment of the likely impacts of weather from the previous 10 days and the upcoming 10-day forecast period.
- Dry & Wet Season Climate Outlooks- These outlooks provide details on the conditions the country can expect during each season.
- 3-month Rainfall & Temperature Outlook - This outlook is updated monthly and indicates expected conditions over a 3-month period.
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service comprises a Meteorological Services Division, Trinidad, currently under the Ministry of Public Utilities with the central office located at Piarco International Airport, Piarco, and a Meteorological Services Department, Tobago under the Office of the Prime Minister, Central Administrative Services Tobago, located at Crown Point, Tobago. The TTMS operates the following offices:
- Operational Meteorology Unit (Main Synoptic & Forecast Office) located at the South Terminal Building at the Piarco International Airport;
- Administration Unit located at Rawinsonde Building, opposite the Air Guard station, North Bank Road, off Golden Grove Road, Piarco
- Rawinsonde Unit (An Upper Air Station) and Equipment Repair/Maintenance Unit located opposite to Air Guard station, North Bank Road, off Golden Grove Road, Piarco;
- Applied Meteorology and Support Services Unit (Climatological, and Technical Office Unit) at the same location at the Rawinsonde Unit
- A Meteorological Services Department, Tobago (Observing & Forecasting Unit) Cromstain Trace, Store Bay Local Road, Crown Point, Tobago.
Operational Meteorology Unit
Specialized, trained and internationally certified Meteorological Observers at Piarco and Crown Point keep a round the clock weather watch, recording their observations and exchanging data internationally via swift telecommunications. Meteorologists trained and certified to international standards at the Forecast Offices provide a wide variety of weather data, information, forecasts and warning services to satisfy a broad spectrum of user needs.
The TTMS is the only national meteorological service in the English speaking Caribbean designated as a Meteorological Watch Office. As a Meteorological Watch Office, the TTMS has significant responsibilities, which include:
- Maintaining watch over meteorological conditions affecting flight operations within its area of responsibility, which is the Trinidad and Tobago Flight Information Region (FIR). This FIR comprises a region that spans from Antigua and Barbuda in the eastern Caribbean to the northern border of Guyana, extending all the way to mid-North-Atlantic Ocean, covering some 750,000 sq. miles
- Preparing and disseminating Significant Meteorological Information for the safety of all aircraft operations within the FIR.
Upper Air Station provides upper air observations using instruments known as radiosondes equipped with devices to measure several meteorological variables and provided with a radio transmitter for sending information back to the observing station. The radiosondes are carried aloft by balloons through the atmosphere and provides a standard set of measurements of temperature, dew point, and wind direction and speed information from the surface to about 25 km aloft.
Upper Air observations at Piarco are carried out twice per day at 8:00am and 8:00pm. The Trinidad Upper Air station is one (1) of six (6) upper air stations within the English speaking Caribbean islands, that is part of the Cooperative Hurricane Upper Air Station (CHUAS) network, of the United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). It supports local, regional and international weather and hurricane forecasting activities.
The technicians within the Repair/Maintenance Unit perform preventative and reactive maintenance on all highly sensitive meteorological equipment, tools and systems such as the Doppler Weather RADAR unit, the Automatic Weather Stations, the Automated Weather Observing Stations and the Radiosonde system. This is done on a daily basis to ensure proper and efficient working conditions of all equipment, so that accurate and timely weather data in accordance to WMO and ICAO standards can be obtained.
Applied Meteorological Unit
The Applied Meteorological Unit provides local climate data, information, products and services to a wide array of users (e.g. water resource management, agriculture sector, Ministry of Finance, infrastructural development, judicial sector, insurance, public health, industrial, educational, among others) for contingency and socio-economic planning and policy development. The activities of this division take on a prominent role especially in the light of the current, urgent, global environmental problems, disaster risk reduction and climate change issues.
Meteorological Services Department, Tobago
The Meteorological Department in Tobago began operations as an observing station in 1968 and currently provides general weather observations and tailored weather forecasts and briefings for the tourism and disaster management sector, which assist with better decision-making, successful planning and operations in those sectors, particularly in Tobago.