IASCLiP Caribbean Outlook Forum 2010

Caribbean Regional Climate Outlook Forum (RCOF)

U. West Indies, Barbados

21-23 June 2010

Meeting Report by Lisa Goddard (IRI/Columbia University)


This meeting represented a reinvigoration of the Caribbean RCOF, hosted by CIMH at the University of the West Indies (organizing committee listed below), and led by Roger Pulwarty (NOAA). There were about 45 people in attendance. Many from the met/climate community, but also a strong presence from the Red Cross and other regional disaster office people. Additionally, there were some folks from WMO and from USGS (related to observational analyses).


This RCOF differed significantly from previous ones, in this and other regions, in that there was no forecast produced by the end of the meeting. It was much more about process, and what information is needed/possible to aid in decision making and planning, across timescales. The seasonal outlook for hurricanes was the major topic of discussion as weather-within-climate. That outlook currently comes from NOAA, and knowledgeable individuals in the region pass on the message. However, there is interest in how the climate community could develop further information, in collaboration with regional institutions/organizations involved in climate/weather risk management, that might inform preparations on shorter timescales, based on hurricane forecasts, and also how this could benefit from appropriate readiness based on the seasonal outlooks. There was clearly need to add information beyond "# of hurricanes expected", especially in a year such as this (2010) that is expected to be more active than usual. Downscaling was mentioned. Also mentioned was the need for better understanding about sub-regional (and probabilistic) impacts associated with ENSO, and how the local climate can modify ENSO's impact in the region. There was a lot of discussion about coastal issues, which included storm surge risks due to hurricanes, as well as future risks/impacts expected from sea level rise combined with hurricanes (whether current activity, that modified by decadal variability and/or climate change). Also included in this was the health of the coral reefs as these are one of the stages of defense against coastal erosion. 


Participants were encouraged to engage with the IASCLIP working groups, or at least sign up with the Alliance to receive information. The IASCLIP community may have to be more proactive about building the bridge to the regional researchers and decision makers, especially working towards bringing the young scientists into the network. There is a strong interest by the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent (IFRC), and they will likely be engaged.


The Caribbean RCOF Workshop Committee

Dr. David Farrell (CIMH), Mr. Adrian Trotman (CIMH)

Mr. Carlos Fuller (5Cs), Dr. Ken Leslie (5Cs), Dr. Neville Trotz (5Cs)

Dr. Leonard Nurse (UWI),

Dr. Walter Baethgen (IRI), Dr. Lisa Goddard (IRI)

Mr. Gary Eilerts (USAID/FEWS NET), Dr. Roger Pulwarty (NOAA),

Dr. James Verdin (USGS) Mr. James Rowland (USGS)