Local meteorologist gets top job at weather service

| 14/07/2014

(CNS): Chief weather man John Tibbetts has been appointed as the National Weather Service (CINWS) Director General. With over 30 years of public service, Tibbetts has worked for the past 14 years as CINWS’ Operational Supervisor. His weather career began in 1984, when he was hired as an observer, responsible for monitoring and recording weather conditions. He then moved on to the post of operational weather forecaster, responsible for producing daily forecasts, as well as weather-related warnings for the public and the aviation industry. Promoted to Chief Meteorologist in 1999, he has since been responsible for the daily supervision of the weather service.

Stran Bodden, the chief officer in the tourism ministry under which the service falls, said Tibbetts’ promotion, which was effective from 1 July, demonstrated succession planning and a career characterised by outstanding service. The new weather boss has a science degree and was trained as an operational weather forecaster in the regional training centre at the Caribbean Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology in Barbados in 1986.

Tibbetts has been the service’s liaison with government officials and the media in times of severe weather threats, supplying current information so decision-makers could plan and mitigate the effects of the inclement weather. He also supplies the daily scientific analysis and interpretation of surface- and upper-air meteorological data; as well as producing weather forecasts and information for marine, aeronautical, public and private use.

Minister Moses Kirkconnell welcomed the appointment, saying that this demonstrates a model civil service career path, as well as government’s commitment to developing this vital national service

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Mr. John Tibbetts,

    As a fellow Caymanian, you make us all PROUD of this promotion. You have worked hard as a civil servant over these many years and deserve this position as a young, educated, and dedicated Caymanian.

    We need to support such Caymanians and stop the negative comments. This has always been an important role since we are in the hurricane belt. We should be happy that a Native Caymanian like Mr. John Tibbetts has now such a role since his former boss, Mr. Sambula retired.

    Why can't you all say a simple "Congratulations" to a well-deserving Caymanian being promoted finally?? I am proud of Mr. John Tibbetts!

    I pray for you on your new role and know ALL of your friends, family, good-hearted Caymanians and residents that love Cayman, are VERY proud of you! God bless you and your family!

    Well done. Godspeed John! Keep up the hardwork. You make us Native Caymanians especially proud.

    A fellow Caymanian.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congrats John!  Very happy for you.

  3. Anonyanmous says:

    Congrats, well deserved!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wasn't he already in charge of the weather service as Chief Meteorologist?. Are there any differences in job responsibility with this new grandiose title or is it the usual government ploy to justify a big salary increase?. No doubt the next step is to appoint another Chief Meteorologist at further taxpayer expense.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Director General manages the weather service and was previously held by Mr Fred Sambula who is now retired.

      The Chief Meteorologist is the second ranking position like the deputy.

      Mr Tibbetts held the Chief Meteorologist for a number of years until Mr Sambula retired.

      A new chief meteorologist will be hired or more than likely internally promoted due to brilliant succession planning by the former director general.

      PS The reason the tittle is fancy is because the officer is the leadscinetific officer with both Meteorology aqnd Seismology. Two seperate fields and in larger countries are handled by seperate highly qualified and highly paid officers. And no the position is paid no more than the normal HOD position.

      • Anonymous says:

        What are the Director General's qualifications in seismology. We have one or two very minor seismic incidents a year at most, which are monitored by the U.S.Does this justify a separate position at Head of Department level?.

        • Anonymous says:

          Anon 0900 if you followed the comments above you would have noticed that we do not have an HOD just for seismology. The HOD is for Meteorology but Seismology is monitored by the weather service and works closely with Hazzards Management in alerting the public. Mr Tibbetts qualifications is in his Bachelors of Science. While his major is in meteorology his college training also expands into seismology and he was also sent in his earlier years to California for a workshop on the matter as well. While earthquakes are fairly rare in Cayman the potential disaster is of a very significant magnitude.

  5. Knot S Smart says:

    I was worried because I have no property insurance but I must say that I am relieved this morning because we now have a Weather Director who can send the storms somewhere else…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Congrats and praying for your success in this new role!!  All the Best!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The weather service not important until a hurricane is coming our way!

    • Anonymous says:

      A wise person once said " If you think education is expensive try ignorance".

  8. Anonymous says:

    Weather?  There is no weather in Cayman, just climate.  Sure, there are occasional variations like rain or a north wester, but consecutive days are always much like each other.  

    One of the joys of living in Cayman some years ago was watching and listening to John Foster every evening, trying to say, "hot and sunny" in a different way from the way he'd said it the day before. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Congrats John.  For the moron that doesn't feel a weather service is required for a small Island, it is an ICAO requirement for all airports above certain size/activity in addition to being an essential safety requirement for an Island in the hurricane belt.  Jeeeez, where do these morons come from?

    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      The fact that a weather service is needed is not the same as saying you need a department large enough to warrant a Director General, a Operations Supervisor and a Chief Meterologist – assuming he has changed posts and they haven't just changed his job title over the years.  No doubt the promotion brings with it an increase in salary and perks, and given the history of other entities set up by government it is hardly suprisiong some people assume this is not a cause for personal congratulation for Mr Tibbets as much as the rest of us worrying about how it all gets paid for, and whether its excessive.  Just how many people are employed by the weather service, what is its budget, and what is the salary commanded by the managment (as opposed to the meterologists doing the job)? 

      • Anonymous says:

        This is not a new post. The previous incumbent has retired and John has been promoted. It brings no additional cost. I'm not sure of the point of all this ranting.

  10. Kevin says:

    Congrats Bro…..you worked hard for this and deserve it…..

  11. Whodatis says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    Congrats John.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What is the salary?  Is the post value for money?  Feels a bit like another post which large countries have that Cayman does not need.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Director General! Sounds like a grand title, not sure what he directs …. Not the weather.

  15. Anon says:

    Terrific guy but another of these civil service jobs that need to be gradually phased out. A Weather Service? In Cayman? I have been at hurricane briefings where they are just repeating the Miami stuff!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 2014  you have indeed limited the importance of the weather service to just hurricane warnings which the local service customises for Cayman. But is the hurricane center going to provide local public weather forecast and will they also take weather observation and aviation forecast that must exist for any plane to land or take off from Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do away with the weather service! What kind of a moron are you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure what all the fuss is, I thought this role was filled by Fred Sambula, perhaps he has retired and succession plans are playing out.

      • Dred says:

        A special kind…..The kind you want to put on a boat and send out into the Atlantic with limited supplies and no fuel….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Go there johny!!!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Johnny!