(CMR) After months of having no radar service in the Cayman Islands, the Cayman Islands National Weather Service confirms that international experts are expected to arrive in Grand Cayman in July 2022 to restore the Kearney Gomez Doppler Radar to full working order.
The weather radar went offline on 21 October 2021 due to issues with the backup generator, damage to the dome resulting from Tropical Storm Grace, and a failed radar part. The backup generator was repaired in May 2022, and CINWS Director General John Tibbetts said work to fix the radar and seal the dome is expected to commence next month when a representative of the radar manufacturer arrives in Grand Cayman.
“The manufacturing representative will be on-island from approximately mid-July to inspect the radar equipment and the dome before commencing the necessary repairs. The international expert is expected to remain on-island until the repairs are complete and the radar is in good working order once again,” he said.
While the weather radar is an important asset in the CINWS meteorological toolkit, Mr. Tibbetts said other services and tools complement it.
“The radar helps us monitor meteorological conditions as far as Jamaica and is helpful for providing small-scale predictions. For tracking storms further afield, we use the Cayman Islands Government’s GOES-R satellite system,” he said.
Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Acting Chief Officer Troy Jacob says the Government is looking forward to having the radar system back up and running as soon as possible and ahead of what is typically the busiest portion of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
“Even though repairs to the weather radar have been repeatedly delayed by the pandemic and supply chain issues, the Weather Service team has worked diligently to secure the parts and expertise necessary to get this important piece of equipment back up and running, all while continuing to deliver accurate, timely forecasts, advisories, and warnings for the country,” Mr. Jacob said.