It will take months to repair the newly acquired doppler weather radar which is now down due to a mechanical defect.
Jamaicans have expressed concern that the country will be without the radar for the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which commenced on June 1.
The authorities were hoping to commission the radar into full operation in time for the season, but with the defect issue, this will not be possible.
In meteorology, doppler radars help to locate precipitation and calculate the motion of rain, hail and other conditions.
In a statement, the Meteorological Service indicated that the mechanical defect involving the antenna assembly was detected by technical experts at the radar station on March 9.
“It should also be noted that this was a manufacturer’s defect and could not have been prevented by the Meteorological Service,” a spokesperson underscored.
The Met office said the manufacturers in the United States were immediately notified and subsequently made arrangements to do a physical assessment, which was carried out in Jamaica on March 16.
It said a Situation Report and the necessary Corrective Action Plan have been made available, indicating that the problem will be corrected within the next six months.
This will include the replacement of the defective antenna.
“This will, unfortunately, further delay the plans for commissioning the radar, which is expected to enhance the Meteorological Service’s ability to monitor rainfall activity over and within proximity to Jamaica for the purpose of reporting on existing occurrences and making short term forecasts of within a few hours of detection,” the spokesperson stated.
The Met office said the absence of a radar does not impair its ability to conduct forecasts for Jamaica and would not affect the agency’s capacity to monitor tropical cyclone activity in the Caribbean or wider Atlantic region during the hurricane season.
The agency noted that all costs associated with the correction of the defect are being covered under the existing three-year warranty and that there is no financial cost to Jamaica.
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