Seychelles National Meteorological Services
The weather is already quite hot and temperatures are set to rise higher in April making next month the hottest in 2013, the director of meteorological services Vincent Amelie said on Friday.
The heat will hit during the transition from the wet season to the dry spell expected to last between May and October when water restrictions – which are already in place – are expected to bite harder.
Mr Amelie was addressing his colleagues and rainfall readers at the end of their workshop entitled ‘Watching the weather to protect life and property,’ by which they marked the World Meteorological Day.
In an interview with Nation, he recalled that 2012 was the driest year since we started recording temperature in 1972.
“The kind of dryness we experienced last year can easily repeat itself because the weather is really changing. We are increasingly having long dry spells and wet days are fewer with heavy rain concentrated in only a few days,” he said, supporting the call for domestic and institutional water harvesting and storage.
The call was made by the Minister for Environment and Energy Professor Rolph Payet who was the chief guest when principal secretary in the ministry Wills Agricole launched the event.
Professor Payet repeated the call when he launched a world water day exhibition at the Orion Mall.
“Temperatures are at the moment ranging from 33° to 34°centigrade, up from the normal 31°C to 32°C.
He said the current temperatures are quite high and follow a worrying trend for this century where temperatures seem set to rise a whole degree above the normal.
“This is quite worrying because if you consider the body temperature is around 37°C yet when it climbs to 38°C we feel quite sick,” he said.
One of the issues that arose during the workshop was a call by the meteorologists to be allowed use of some of the money charged to clients like airlines for met services.
“We need the money to improve the quality of our services failure to doing which we risk the unit being run by a regional body,” said quality assurance manager Rita Ogada.
Professor Payet said it is important for the government to look at the met services income closely before weaning it to ensure it has enough to fund itself.
When launching the workshop, Mr Agricole said the growing impact of weather extremes cannot be ignored and the changes we are seeing are likely to present a host of new challenges in the future.
He said natural disasters for example contribute to socio-economic decline.
“It is also a well-known fact that small island developing states such as ours are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and hazards and that their impact on our social and economic growth can be utterly devastating. This is what the nation experienced on January 27 and 28 following the impacts of tropical cyclone Felleng.
“Some of our people, even today are still struggling to recover from the destruction caused by Felleng.”
“The socio-economic distress that resulted from this disaster must serve as lessons and impel us as a nation to develop effective strategies to prevent and mitigate against future events of a similar nature.”
He said the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Division of Risk and Disaster Management and met services have supported and implemented a number of disaster prevention and mitigation measures.
“We have strengthened the capacity of our met service by upgrading and strengthening the staffing structure as well as the provision of specialised equipment to ensure continuity of the services irrespective of weather conditions. We continue to provide leadership and support to the national meteorological services in the implementation of its programmes.”