Special problems of early warning systems in Caribbean small island states
Carribean Meteorological Organisation HQ, P.O. Box 461, Port of Spain, Trinidad. W.I.
The annual Atlantic Hurricane Season is the major natural disaster threat to the Caribbean. Close proximity of the islands poses possibilities for one hurricane to affect many islands. Location of intense wind and precipitation regimes in hurricanes vary, the relative position of the system and island topography influence levels of damage inflicted. These criteria make effective and accurate locally specific warnings to all locations within range difficult. Small islands sizes limit opportunities for broad-based economies and population evacuation with consequent potential for total devastation.
New doppler radar techniques offer scope for more effective identification of areas of maximum intensities and could enhance the effectiveness of warning systems.