Principal Investigator: Ankie Piters
Paramaribo station, located on the
premises of the Meteorological Service of Surinam (MDS). From left to
right: hut for filling balloons, instrument containers, instrument platform
on top of MDS building.
Paramaribo station (5.8°N and 55.2°W)
Paramaribo station was established in 1999, under a grant
from the Foundation for Netherlands Scientific Research (NWO), as a joint
initiative of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the
Meteorological Service of Surinam (MDS).
The observation program of Paramaribo station is kept
operational by an MDS operator team, under supervision of station co-founder
and Head MDS, Cor Becker.
Cor Becker, Head MDS
Operator team on the instrument platform, from left to right:
Gajadhar Sewdien, Cheryll Tjon A Ten, Dennis Rodrigues (in front),
Etto Zerp (chief
operator), Sukarni Sallons,
The site is located in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname
at the northern coast of South America.
Although it lies on the south-western edge of the city, it is still in a
relatively pristine environment due to its close proximity to the ocean and to
the Amazone forest, which stretches all the way past
the southern boarders of Suriname.
A further advantage of the
site is the relatively flat orography on this part of
the South American continent, leaving the background atmosphere relatively
unperturbed as it is advected by the easterly trade
winds over this location. This is especially useful for tracing the atmospheric
composition, measured at the ozonesonde site, back to
its regions of origin.
and dry seasons
What makes this site
particularly interesting from a scientific viewpoint is the fact that the
Inter-Tropical Convergenze Zone (ITCZ) - a cloudy
band near the Equator where tropospheric air from the
two Hemispheres converges - migrates twice a year over Surinam. The ITCZ here is well
discernable, as can be illustrated with rainfall statistics over Paramaribo. These show a
distinct increase during the months when the ITCZ lies overhead
(December-January, April-July), with dry seasons in between. Hence this station
supports the study of atmospheric features associated with the Northern as well
as the Southern Hemisphere, and in addition, the features which are unique to
the ITCZ itself.