Météo-France Centre on La Réunion integrated into EARS |
1 October 2009
The Météo-France Centre on La Réunion, which is in charge of cyclone warnings for the south-western part of the Indian Ocean, recently installed a new antenna allowing it to receive data from EUMETSAT’s Metop-A and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NOAA-17, -18 and -19 polar-orbiting satellites.
During their two daily overflights over the island, each of the satellites’ data are transmitted to the antenna and then treated directly by the station. Information is presented to forecasters in real time on their screens.
The time gained is particularly precious for forecasting cyclones. The images and data obtained, such as temperature profiles and atmospheric humidity, are essential for forecasting phenomena in ocean areas, for which there are limited observation data from other sources.
Within the framework of a cooperation agreement between EUMETSAT and Météo-France, this reception station has been part of the EUMETSAT Advanced Retransmission Service (EARS) network since 15 September. It is the first station of this network in the Southern Hemisphere. The EARS network now includes coverage of the Indian Ocean, in addition to Europe, the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. By integrating stations of the same type as La Réunion, this network allows the faster transmission of satellite data for national meteorological services to use in their weather forecasting models. These data include those from onboard atmospheric sounders and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and, for some stations, from Metop’s Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) measuring surface ocean winds.
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