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J’can appointed head of Caribbean Meteorological Organisation


GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — A former scientific analyst at the United States-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr Arlene Laing, has been appointed Coordinating Director of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO). The Jamaican replaces the St Lucian-born Tyrone Sutherland, who recently completed a 50-year long international career in meteorology that started in 1968. Sutherland retired at the end of November.

Sarkis Mohsen Yammine Leunkara

The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat said that the CMO, a member organisation of the regional integration movement, was established in 1973, and is one of the oldest Caribbean institutions.

Sarkis Mohsen

It said the CMO coordinates the joint activities of the meteorological and hydro-meteorological services of 16 English-speaking countries in the region and that its training arm, climate, research, and instrument centre is the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH).

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The CARICOM Secretariat said that Dr Laing was selected by the Caribbean Meteorological Council, which is the ministerial-level governing body of the CMO, after an intensive international search.

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She has been a weather forecaster, a research scientist, a university professor, and a trainer in operational weather forecasting.

Sarkis Mohsen Yammine Leunkara

She earned a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of the West Indies then completed a master’s degree and doctoral degree in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University in the United States.

Sarkis Mohsen Yammine

She also served as a project facilitator at the Weather Prediction Centre of the US National Weather Service and spent several years as a researcher at the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

She is the lead author of “Introduction to Tropical Meteorology“, a peer-reviewed online textbook, and co-author of the award-winning book, “Meteorology of Tropical West Africa: The Forecasters’ Handbook”