The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) for 43 plus years has been the primary training and education facility for meteorological personnel in the Caribbean.  CIMH has resigned itself to not only training but also in the involvement in collative projects that would benefit the local and regional community.

Old Grinding Mill converted into radar tower is the identifying symbol of CIMH in Barbados

CIMH is a training and research organisation formed by the amalgamation of the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) and Caribbean Operational Hydrological Institute (COHI). The Institute was established in 1967 by the member states of the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO) while the Caribbean Operational Hydrological Institute (COHI) was established in 1982. Even though the two Institutes were amalgamated since the mid 1980’s, the organisation continued to be known as CMI up until September 1999 when the name was officially changed to reflect the dual role of the Institute. Responsibility for the operation of the Institute rests with the sixteen Commonwealth Governments which comprise the CMO.

The role and mission of the CIMH is to improve the meteorological and hydrological services and to assist in promoting the awareness of the benefits of these services for the economic well-being of the CMO countries. This is achieved through training, research and investigations, and the provision of specialised services and advice.

Main Building at CIMH which house staff offices, classroom and computer rooms

The Institute is located at Husbands, in the parish of St. James, Barbados, on the western side of the island.  This location is about two kilometres from the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, with which the Institute is affiliated. The Institute was designated as a Regional Meteorological Training Centre by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1978 in recognition of the high standard of its training programmes. Students from all parts of the Caribbean, and sometimes beyond, are trained in such branches of meteorology as weather observing, forecasting, radar and satellite meteorology, instrument maintenance, agrometeorology, climatology, and in operational hydrology.

The primary functions of the Institute are to:

* Provide facilities for the training of various categories of meteorological and hydrological personnel

* Operate as a centre of research in meteorology and hydrology and associated sciences

* Operate as contractors and consultants on various meteorological and hydrological projects

* Maintain a service for the upkeep, repair, and calibration of meteorological instruments

* Provide advice to participating governments on meteorological and hydrological matters

* Collect, analyse, and publish meteorological and hydrological data

Trainee forecaster Eron Mc-Pherson using GOES images to assist analysis

CIMH was named as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Satellite Meteorology in 2003 and has been a functioning member of the WMO Virtual Laboratory (VLab) group from its inception. As a CoE, CIMH strives to extend the knowledge in the region both in its educational and research frameworks.  CIMH has a long standing collaboration with the CIRA out of Colorado State University in the RAMM Advanced Meteorological Satellite Demonstration and Interpretation System (RAMSDIS) that is a PC-based unit developed by the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorological (RAMM) team at CIRA.  For teaching and research purposes, CIRA has assisted in the installation and running of the computer based RAMSDIS program onsite at CIMH. A future proposal is for the RAMSDIS at CIMH be a regional source for more High resolution satellite data over the area. Also there is a proposal into NOAA to fund the installation of a GEONETCast system at the Institute.  GEONETCast Americas is a near real time, global network of satellite-based data dissemination systems designed to distribute space-based, air-borne and in situ data, metadata and products to diverse communities. CIMH hope to be the main dissemination center for the Eastern Caribbean as well as training and advisory body.

Contacting Centre of Excellence Barbados:

Main point of contact: Kathy-Ann Caesar – Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hidrology (CIMH)