The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology

What you should know

The Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) is a training and research organisation formed by the amalgamation of the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) and Caribbean Operational Hydrological Institute (COHI). The Caribbean Meteorological Institute was established in 1967 by the member states of the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO) while the Caribbean Operational Hydrological Institute (COHI) was established in 1982. Even though the two Institutes were amalgamated since the mid 1980’s, the organisation continued to be known as the Caribbean Meteorological Institute up until September 1999 when the name was officially changed to reflect the dual role of the Institute. Responsibility for the operation of the Institute rests with the sixteen Commonwealth Governments which comprise the CMO.

The role and mission of the CIMH is to improve the meteorological and hydrological services and to assist in promoting the awareness of the benefits of these services for the economic well-being of the CMO countries. This is achieved through training, research and investigations, and the provision of specialised services and advice.

The Institute is located at Husbands, in the parish of St. James, Barbados, on the western side of the island. This location is about two kilometres from the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, with which the Institute is affiliated. The Institute was designated as a Regional Meteorological Training Centre by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1978 in recognition of the high standard of its training programmes. Students from all parts of the Caribbean, and sometimes beyond, are trained in such branches of meteorology as weather observing, forecasting, radar and satellite meteorology, instrument maintenance, agrometeorology, and climatology, and in operational hydrology.

The primary functions of the Institute are to:

  • Provide facilities for the training of various categories of meteorological and hydrological personnel
  • Operate as a centre of research in meteorology and hydrology and associated sciences
  • Operate as contractors and consultants on various meteorological and hydrological projects
  • Maintain a service for the upkeep, repair, and calibration of meteorological instruments
  • Provide advice to participating governments on meteorological and hydrological matters
  • Collect, analyse, and publish meteorological and hydrological data

The Caribbean Meteorological Organisation

The objectives of the CMO are the promotion and co-ordination of regional activities in the fields of meteorology and allied sciences. The CMO is comprised of four branches.

  • The Caribbean Meteorological Council is the supreme organ of the Organisation and comprises of Ministers responsible for meteorology. The Council issues directions of a general or special character as to the policy to be pursued by the Organisation and its any organs.
  • The Headquarters Unit is located in Trinidad and Tobago and is headed by a Coordinating Director. The functions of the Headquarters Unit include undertaking and carrying out of the decisions of the Council, as well as advising and assisting Member States, in particular, those States without national meteorological services.
  • The CIMH is the education, training, and research arm of the CMO.
  • The Caribbean Meteorological Foundation is a charitable organisation with the objective of promoting through the CIMH the study of, and research in, meteorology, hydrology, and associated sciences. One of the main functions of the Foundation is the soliciting, receiving, and disbursing of funds, donations, and research contracts in pursuance of the above objective.

The sixteen member countries participating in the CMO are:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts/Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands