After the Seychelles media, SJO, interviewed Professor Laura Leo and graduate researcher Patrick Conry of Notre Dame, the Seychelles News Agency also featured a story on the research of the Notre Dame team regarding the ASIRI RAWI project. Research is currently being conducted on the island of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The goal of the research is to better understand Madden Julian oscillations (MJO), which is the underlying phenomena of rainfall patterns around the equator of the earth. There are also simultaneous studies being conducted in Singapore and Sri Lanka in conjunction with the Seychelles research.
In Seychelles, the Notre Dame team has been partnering with the Meteorological Services and the Better Life Foundation, a local NGO. The team releases two weather balloons every day: one balloon at 10 a.m. local time and another at 3 p.m. local time. The balloons are able to ascend 25 kilometers before bursting, all the while capturing data and transmitting it back to the team. It will take years to completely analyze all the data that has been collected; however, Notre Dame and the Meteorological Services of Seychelles will continue to work together until this task has been completed. Recently, the two organizations signed an MOU extending their cooperation until 2017. The Meteorological Services of Seychelles will thus send an individual to the United States to continue analyzing the data, a first for the organization.
The results of the research will hopefully enable researchers and forecasters better understand rainfall patterns - in both the Indian Ocean and in the Pacific Ocean. Longterm goals relating to the study will also help to understand weather patterns, especially regarding the identification of extreme weather events. This will better enable not only Seychelles and the United States warn citizens of inclement weather, but other nations as well.