Met services gets new digital equipment



Mr Pillay accepts the donation from Ms Skoll

The donation was handed over to the NMS director Selvan Pillay by British high commissioner Lindsay Skoll in a ceremony that took place at the meteorological offices at Point Larue on Tuesday.

The donation forms part of a joint initiative between the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Met Office.

It is part of a wider programme to replace equipment in over 35 countries across Africa, continuing a long-standing partnership between the Met Office and National Meteorological Services of developing countries to support their TV weather presentation systems.

The digital video file recorder, funded by the FCO, replaces the TV weather studio’s current tape-based system at the Meteorological Services and enables the service to continue supplying high quality broadcasts to Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC.)

It also importantly enhances the provision of essential early warning of hazardous weather. TV weather forecasts are very high-profile and increase the visibility of the National Meteorological Services (NMS) among government and other key decision makers.

The digital video file recorder

The forecasts are usually broadcast during the main national news programmes, at peak TV viewing times, and enable the NMSs to provide warnings of high-impact weather events to a significant component of the population. These help to make communities safer to both today’s weather and prepare for future predicted climate change.
“The UK has always been supportive of the Met Services since it was launched,” said Mr Pillay on accepting the donation.

The United Kingdom Met Office works in partnership with the FCO on the project to support the TV weather presentation system at the NMS. As many TV companies are now changing their broadcasting systems to use digital recordings in place of the earlier tape-based systems, this project aims to provide new digital video file recorders to the NMS and help to continue provide weather forecasts on the national TV service in the future.

This equipment is being provided as a donation by the UK Met Office as part of voluntary contributions under the WMO/OMM Voluntary Cooperation Programme.

Ms Skoll, who has a background expertise in climate change, was delighted to be able to support this project.

“The donation is a good example of the partnership and corporation between the UK’s FCO and the NMS of developing countries. I am delighted that this will enhance the weather presentation and early warning capabilities of the Seychelles,” said Ms Skoll.

The British high commissioner also talked about the warm welcome she has received since her arrival and noted that she is already involved in a wide range of issues ranging from piracy, climate change and meteorological services which she said are all forms of partnership.

Chantal Bijoux, head of Public Weather Services, gave a demonstration of how the weather forecast is recorded and explained how the new Digital Video File Recorder benefits the process.
A Met Services technician then demonstrated how quick it is to have the whole video on file within minutes, ready to send to the TV station.
“The UK has helped the Met Services upgrade its equipment. In fact, every time there is a change we receive new equipment from the United Kingdom. This new equipment will help greatly, because previously the staff of the Met Services had to give a cassette of the weather recording to the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation, and this required taking it over to the SBC at Hermitage.

 Now this can be done electronically,” Mrs Bijoux said.