Weather Service in Villa Clara
Starting in 1890, the main precursors of Cuban science foresaw what the development of the nascent scientific activity characterized by feelings of freedom and independence would bring to the people, for example: Félix Varela, Felipe Poey, José Antonio Saco, and others who carried out important scientific contributions coinciding with the development of science worldwide. This second half of the 19th century, and specifically in the central territory of the island (former province of Las Villas), constituted a stage where scholars of nature and Cuban society agreed to identify the path of independence in the field of science.
Around this time, Julio Jover y Anido was born in Santa Clara, who already at the age of 24 had a scientific endorsement that identified him as a Mathematician, Physicist, Literate and Meteorologist. His commitment and dedication to Meteorology, which is recorded in the chapter minutes and the press of that time, made the provincial governor and the city council allocate a place to be used as a meteorological observatory, designating him as its director due to his capabilities and knowledge of the subject.
In this way, on April 1, 1894, the first meteorological observatory of Santa Clara began to function in the suppressed agronomic station on the outskirts of the city. This meteorological station had instruments delivered to Julio Jover by the Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza.
This young man also won the affection of Marta Abreu who, when visiting the observatory, noticed the poor conditions of the furniture and the deficient instruments. It was not professional equipment, it was the same equipment that was used for teaching, which is why she subsequently sent the most modern instruments and equipment for the time from Paris.
With the systematically obtained observations, this precursor of meteorology in the old province of Las Villas begins to play a safeguard role for the population, beginning for the first time the issuance of warning and forecast systems, thus avoiding the loss of of human lives in the face of the threat of tropical cyclones to this territory.
In 1951, the Central University “Marta Abreu” was created and with it a department of Meteorology, whose director was Dr. Agustín Anido. As of this date, Meteorology arrives in Santa Clara to stay and the series of systematic observations carried out to date are recorded in the archives.
The Department of Meteorology, already at the University, immediately outlines its objectives and purposes, including its regulations, in addition not only to carry out observations and the consequent exchange of information, but also to carry out climatic studies and research within this branch.
All the informative material was published daily in the newspaper “El Villareño”, as well as its broadcast by the commercial stations CMHW (current provincial radio station in Villa Clara), CMHC (Central Radio Network) and CMHA (Radio Tiempo).
In the case of tropical cyclones, despite the fact that the official information corresponded to the then National Observatory, this Department of Meteorology maintained an adequate level of information for all the inhabitants of this province through the aforementioned mass media.
The first years of the Revolution of 1959 began to separate this eminent meteorologist from his selfless scientific work due to a painful illness, later leaving the department in the hands of another great meteorologist in Santa Clara, Mr. José Bueno Ruíz, who with a long experience of working in it was able to continue the work undertaken by Dr. Agustín Anido Artiles who died in 1965.
In 1963, an event changed the conception of Meteorology in Cuba: Cyclone Flora, which caused costly damage to human lives and material and natural resources in the eastern region. On this date, our country did not have a wide network of stations, which made it difficult to establish a communication system for meteorological observations to monitor the weather in a cyclone or other large-scale phenomenon.
For this reason, the revolutionary government, through the United Nations, implements the Cuba 507 project, with which meteorological stations of a new type would be created, in addition to those already existing, to strengthen the national meteorological service and begin the development of other branches within this science. Since the mid-1970s, our province had a Territorial Meteorological Office that attended the Departments of Instruments and Observation Methods, Climatology (at the Central University), and Weather Forecasts.
The Department of Forecasts issued all the information on the State of the Weather for the former province of Las Villas through the provincial radio station CMHW, and various services were offered to different entities and companies in this central territory. The Department of Instruments and Methods of Observation was in charge of the Network of Meteorological Stations of the entire central region, including the Playa Girón station belonging to the province of Matanzas, carrying out inspection, supervision and control tasks, as well as repair of meteorological instruments.
After the Political-Administrative Division, the provincial centers were created and thus those of Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus emerged whose stations were previously directed from the Provincial Center of Villa Clara, the only one existing in the central region of the country. Different lines of work are developed in our province in the Forecast Groups, Basic Systems, and the Network of Stations, to the extent that new technicians and professionals are incorporated into the activity.
In 1978, as part of a collaboration agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, the installation of 14 Agrometeorological Observation posts was carried out in our province as a Pilot Plan, which laid the foundations for the development of this important branch, a project that worked uninterruptedly until 1982 with excellent work results regarding the performance of phenological observations in different crops and the obtaining of temperature and precipitation data in different agricultural companies, some of which contributed to the performance of different investigations by specialists in said entities.
Villa Clara Meteorological Center
In the early years of the 1970s, the current Provincial Meteorological Center (PMC) was located as a territorial office for the attention of the meteorological service in the three central provinces in the city of Cienfuegos, being transferred around 1973 to this city of Santa Clara, located in Colón Street. No. 60 and later on Calle Cuba next to where the Historical Archive was located in those years, being moved again at the end of the 1980s to its current location on Calle Marta Abreu number 59 upper floor, between Villuendas and Juan Bruno Zayas.
This institution functioned as a territorial office until 1975 since, after the Political-Administrative Division, the Meteorological Centers were created in the neighboring provinces of Sancti Spiritus and Cienfuegos, leaving ours as the Villa Clara Meteorological Center with attention to the five existing meteorological stations in the province.
This Institution belonging to the CITMA Delegation in this province of Villa Clara, is in charge of supplying authorized, reliable and timely weather and climate information on the state and future behavior of the atmosphere. It is aimed at ensuring the safety of human life and reducing the loss of material goods in the event of natural disasters of meteorological origin, contributing directly to the well-being of the community and sustainable development.
In general, it constitutes the integral governing system of the provincial meteorological activity that, through the application of our scientific production, achieves positive impacts on the economy, society and the environment.