Wed | Aug 21, 2019

Jamaican appointed to head Caribbean Meteorological Organization

Published:Monday | December 31, 2018 | 10:21 AM
Dr Arlene Laing (left) and Tyrone Sutherland - CMC photo.

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 Organization (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.

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.

It said the CMO coordinates the joint activities of the Meteorological and Hydrometeorological 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.


It said that Laing was selected by the Caribbean Meteorological Council, which is the Ministerial-level Governing body of the CMO, after an intensive international search.

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

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 from Pennsylvania State University in the United States.

Prior to joining the CMO, she was a scientific analyst at NOAA.

She also served as a project facilitator at the Weather Prediction Center of the US National Weather Service and spent several years as a researcher at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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”.

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