Tonga celebrates world meteorological day

Tonga celebrated the World Meteorological Day today under the theme Hotter, Drier, Wetter: Face the Future.

The earth’s climate is changing according to experts and it will continue to change over the coming decades as more and more heat-trapping greenhouse gases emitted by human activities accumulate in the atmosphere.

“Each of the past several decades has been significantly warmer than the previous one. The period 2011–2015 was the hottest on record, and the year 2015 – with an extra boost from a powerful El Niño – was the hottest since modern observations began in the late 1800s.

Climate change is disrupting the natural pattern of the seasons, and it is increasing the frequency and intensity of certain extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall. These ongoing changes provide a foretaste of a hotter, drier, wetter future”.

The kingdom became a member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1996 opening the opportunities for training of local meteorological personnel and providing facilities.

“One of the big projects that WMO and its Members has assisted Tonga with is the capacity building of the Meteorology Department to establish Tonga’s own autonomous and Weather Forecasting Centre in 2007,” said ʻOfa Faʻanunu, Tonga’s Director of Meteorology.

Currently WMO is also financing the drafting of Tonga’s first Meteorology Bill.

The Meteorology Department’s Office was opened to the public today and tomorrow as part of the celebration.

“Tonga’s Contribution to WMO is through annual membership subscriptions as well as the engagement of Tonga’s Director of Meteorology, Mr. ‘Ofa Fa’anunu as the Vice President of the Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific WMO Region”.

The celebration marked the 66th years since the international organisation was established.

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