Fifteen Pacific Island Met Services across the region were gifted laptops to help strengthen their forecasting abilities using new 'downscaling' climate prediction software which will help provide weather and climate forecasts for Pacific island communities.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Climate Center is embarking on the regional Met project Korea-Pacific Climate Prediction Project (ROKPI-CLIPS).
This introduces a new Seasonal Climate Prediction System which gives you the option of combining climate models from ten different global meteorology centres to develop a prediction system over any three month period.
It is in the Cook Islands this week that the Pacific island Met Services will undergo training on how to use the system using the newly gifted laptops equipped with the software.
"This revolutionary new program will help us all immensely and we welcome you to our country as we explore the possibilities and opportunities that CLIK Pacific brings to our work," said Mr. Arona Ngari, the Director of the Cook Islands Meteorological Service.
"Our work is crucial to our communities in so many different ways, every bit of support or assistance we receive to better our services for our communities is very much appreciated."
The establishment of this system called "CLIK Pacific" will provide the Pacific island region with ongoing access to data from state of the art climate models on the cutting edge of the climate science field.
Using the forecast climate models and data from the ten international organisations, the new online service allows you to select the variables, methods and seasons of interest to develop a Multi Model Ensemble (MME) into a regional forecast for the Pacific islands, or into forecast maps for individual countries.
Over the next three days officers from the different Pacific island met services from across the region will undertake training on how to use CLIK Pacific.
"After this training you will be able to contribute your own findings to develop the forecast system of CLIK Pacific," said Dr. Jin-Ho Yoo, Team Leader of Climate Prediction of APCC as he joined with SPREP and the Cook Islands Met Service to open the one week workshop.
"The success of this training program depends on your active participation and ownership. APCC is ready to support all of you and is hopeful that through this training, you will individually be able to develop forecasts. This tool, if fully utilised, has the potential to be a landmark that will greatly beneficial for the Pacific region."
The one week workshop will consist of two components, the first is to walk the Pacific met officers through the CLIK Pacific software and the second will help the Pacific met officers communicate the information culminated from the CLIK Pacific to their relevant audiences in order for them to understand and prepare.
'"This training is responding to requests made in the Nuku'alofa Declaration which was formed from the very first Pacific Meteorology Ministers Meeting last year, calling for specific support and capacity building in key areas of Meteorology," said Mr. Sunny Seuseu the Climate Prediction Services Coordinator of SPREP.
"We look forward to what may come from this week of activities as we know it can only help bring about stronger and more resilient Pacific island communities when this knowledge and information is applied."
Met officers from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna are attending the one week workshop which is hosted in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 18 – 23 July, 2016.
It is supported by both the ROK-PI CLIPS Project, a partnership between the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Climate Center and the Government of the Republic of Korea with SPREP and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Finnish Pacific Project (FINPAC) is also supporting the one week event, this aims at reducing the vulnerability of the livelihoods of Pacific islanders to the impacts of climate change through strengthening the Meteorological Services. It is a partnership between SPREP and the Government of Finland.