The RSMC / Tropical Cyclone Centre La Réunion

1/ The RSMC genesis process

2/ Role and missions of the RSMC / Tropical Cyclones Centre La Réunion

The Area of Responsibility (AoR) of the RSMC La Réunion includes tropical and subtropical waters of the South-West Indian Ocean encompassed between the equator and 40°S, and from the African coastline (30°E) to the 90°E. To be noted the initial AoR extended between 5°S to 30°S; the current extent dates from 2003.
The primary mission of the RSMC is to provide the 15 members of the Tropical Cyclones Committee for South-West Indian Ocean -depending on the WMO/Regional Association 1 - (Botswana, Comoros, France, Lesotho, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) with any relevant information (analysis, forecasts, discussions ...) about every tropical (or subtropical) system developing or tracking over its AoR.

The RSMC La Réunion exerts this responsibility in compliance with the "Operational Plan for the Tropical Cyclones in the South-West Indian Ocean", which notably rules the procedures to monitor cyclone activity over the basin.

Furthermore the RSMC La Réunion has been designated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as the Regional Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centre for the African-Indian Ocean (AFI) Region with the role of assisting the Meteorological Watch Offices (MWOs) in the preparation of SIGMET messages for tropical cyclones.

In the framework of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), the RSMC La Réunion - Tropical Cyclone Centre provides special meteorological bulletins for extensive parts of the METAREA VII-OI and METAREA VIII-S areas.

However, beyond its fundamental operational functions, the RSMC has the role to become the regional focus centre for all the other activities conducted in the field of tropical cyclones, particularly for Training and Research/Development.

Since 1998, the RSMC has thus been strengthened with a Cyclone Research Unit, which in particular aims to develop new models dedicated to tropical cyclone forecasting. This Unit closely works with the University of La Réunion.

Moreover, the RSMC plays a key role in the region for training activities. Since 1995, several workshops, courses or seminars dedicated to meteorologists or scientists from the RA1 countries have been organized at La Réunion, in the field of tropical cyclones, forecasting or maintenance of meteorological equipments.