The Climate Division of the Vanuatu Meteorological Service (VMS) is responsible for the collection, quality control, processing, storage and retrieval of meteorological, and climatological for use in the various sectors, such as in agriculture, energy and water resources.
One of its primary responsibilities is the preparation and issuance of long term climate predictions, seasonal climate (monthly, 3-monthly and 6 monthly) forecasts and advisories on extreme climate events such as El Niño and La Niña. It provides technical support to NDMO and various sensitive sectors during ENSO events. It also pursues climate and climate change studies and researches in support of national developments.
The Climate Division manages data from its 8 operational synoptic sites. This involves the operation and maintenance of the VMS’s Climsoft Database for the collection, processing, storage and retrieval of climatological for research and for general usage. It also includes data collected from a number of voluntary sites around the country and data from its recently established ‘national rainfall network’.
To preserve the integrity and consistency of data, the quality control measures are strictly observed, processing, archiving of meteorological and data rescue of climatological data are done in accordance with World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommended practices and standards. Data rescue efforts in the VMS is done in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
Information and Prediction Services
The VMS through the Climate Division is actively involved in Awareness raising around the archipelago in an effort to get the general public to understand more about its services and other extreme climate phenomenas. The main target groups are schools (both primary and secondary schools) and rural communities which make up 70% of the total population. Awareness topics include ENSO and its impacts, climate change and its impacts, tropical cyclones, clarification on warning systems and services; and on occasions try to raise the profile of Tsunamis.
Climate Forecasting is currently the core service provided by the Climate Division through its bulletin ‘The Vanuatu Climate Update’. These are Seasonal Rainfall Forecasting (6-monthly forecast), 3-monthly forecasts for the 2 main regions of Vanuatu, North Vanuatu which include Torba, Sanma, Penama and Malampa Province (12°S – 16ºS) and South Vanuatu which includes Shefa and Tafea Province (16° – 22°S). Specific forecasts for each province are also available. Tropical Cyclone Guidance are released before each cyclone season.
The Climate Division also contributes to the preparation of the ‘Island Climate Update’ which is a seasonal forecast service produced by the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) for the Pacific Island Countries. The products are also distributed to sectors in the country.
The Climate Division is also committed to providing information for clienteles following set procedures set by the Vanuatu Meteorological Service.
Research and Development
The Climate Division is always actively pursuing developments that would enhance the VMS services.
Currently the Climate Division provides information for and actively contributes to climate change activities in the country.
The Climate Division maintains liaison and coordinate with local and international institutions in the conduct of collaborative researches and studies in climatology, seasonal climate prediction/variability and allied fields.