Business View Caribbean | Volume 8, Issue 6

7 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN VOLUME 8, ISSUE 6 T he first-ever Symposium on Lightning and Lightning Safety Awareness, hosted jointly by the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on May 19- 20, brought together lightning specialists from a wide range of disciplines. The event was part of CMO’s initiative to foster collaboration to better understand lightning risk and improve safety in the Caribbean and the Inter-Americas to reduce lightning deaths, injuries, and property damage. “The symposium was a pioneering forum for exchanging information and resources on lightning and its impacts” said Dr. Arlene Laing, Coordinating Director of the CMO Headquarters and organizer of the event. “With support from the WMO, we were able to bring together specialists from across the world to share presentations about lightning safety education and awareness, medical impacts of lightning and injury prevention, lightning protection measures, weather forecast applications, lightning detection, and lightning as an essential climate variable,” explained Laing. The two-day forum featured seven blocks of learning sessions with 19 presentations of information designed to help Caribbean decision- makers and forecasters broaden their perspective about lightning. Symposium attendees included officials from National Meteorological Services, disasters and emergency management agencies, as well as representatives from aviation, the media, agriculture, fisheries, energy/power generation, outdoor recreation, youth sports, tourism, and climate research. “The work sponsored by WMO and CMO’s joint effort has led to understanding about lightning that would not have been possible without LIGHTNING SPECIALISTS GATHER ACROSS CONTINENTS DURING C VIRTUAL SYMPOSIUM TO HELP BUILD LIGHTNING SAFE COMMUNITI the collaboration of experts from science strategy, meteorology, medicine, education, lightning protection, disaster risk prevention, and physics, and climatology,” said symposium presenter, Dr. José Tamayo, Coordinator of the Conference of Ibero-American Directors of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (CIMHET). “I was honored to partner with lightning specialists from around the globe to advance science and safety across borders.” (The Lightning Network for Central America has been a sustained cooperation effort of the National Meteorological Services from the region with the support of AEMET to address the need of more tools to increase people safety specially in the most vulnerable zones). For many, the symposium collaboration provided exposure to new realms of lightning safety, The application of lightning data to tropical cyclone forecasting also proved very interesting to me and will be very useful knowledge to apply during the upcoming hurricane season OPENING L INES