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Seychelles Meteorological Authority launches SMA-ONE for accurate rainfall data 


The networks are all connected to the main SMA station at the International Airport at Pointe Larue. (Seychelles Nation)

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Authorities in Seychelles are better equipped to measure weather changes, and accurately record the amount of rainfall with the launch of the Seychelles Meteorological Authority Observation Network Evolution (SMA-ONE). 

The network consists of 15 different stations on Mahe, the main island, that are all connected to the main SMA station at the International Airport at Pointe Larue. 

Vincent Amelie, chief executive of the Seychelles Meteorological Authority (SMA), said at a launching ceremony at Eden Bleu Hotel on Thursday, that the time was right to launch SMA-ONE. 

“Over the years we have done very well as a met office based at the airport – as is required by international laws, however, we now feel it is time to concentrate on the non-civil aviation part of the services we offer,” he explained. 

The chairperson of the SMA board, Gerard Hoareau said, “The weather stations support the enhancement of climate services to keep pace with rapid technological development and address the increasing impacts of extreme weather events related to climate change.”

He added that the stations have a platform from which users and the general public can access real-time information on the prevailing weather conditions and air quality.

“There is thus no better way to kick-start the next crucial stage in SMA’s development than at this moment when the observation network is being strengthened to provide critical information for decision-making,” said Hoareau.

Amelie said, “This system is special because we have installed it in different places, such as PUC (Public Utilities Corporation) stations and other places on Mahe, but it is connected to our main station allowing our forecasters to see what is happening in real time.” 

Through SMA-ONE, those working with the system will be able to access the data through their computers.

Amelie said this will help us “to send out our early warning messages a bit faster, as we can follow changes in the weather in real time”. 

The new SMA-ONE system will also help the Met Office with its research as “in the past, we only received information from our voluntary readers who measured rainfall for us, and this was only over a period of 24 hours,” he added.

Hoareau said that the launching should “remind us all of the important of science in our daily lives and why we should strive to encourage and promote research in the country because more than ever before we need science based solutions to many challenges already knocking on our doorsteps due to extreme weather events like heavy precipitation and high tides.”

SMA-ONE has been functioning over the last few months and it helped the SMA to monitor the heavy rainfall of December 6 and 7 that caused landslides in a disaster in which three people died.

Amelie explained that in the past, whenever there is rainfall like there has been over the month of December, with the type of data they were collecting, the Met Office was unable to see where it rained the most and other specific information. 

SMA-ONE allows forecasters and other met officers to closely follow the rainfall, even down to the exact times that interest them. 





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