News and Events

Historical Background

1733-1754

Publications of Cyclones having affected Mauritius and Bourbon Réunion Island in “Mémoires de L’Académie des Sciences.”

 

1774

A Meteorological Station was installed at Pamplemousses. Mr Céré, Director of the Botanical Gardens, started meteorological observations.

 

1806

The Annual Report of the “Sociéte d’Emulation de L’Ile de France” made reference to the daily meteorological observations made by Mr Céré.

 

1831

First Public Observatory was commissioned by Colonel Llyod, Government Engineer, on the wharf at Port Louis. Observations of Weather was a secondary function as compared to more urgent observations of magnetic elements and the determination of time for the use of residents and of ships calling at Mauritius.

 

1851

Dr. Charles Meldrum, Professor at Royal College, together with some senior government officials, scientists, planters and military Officers established the “Meteorological Society” under the patronage of the Governor. A Government Observer was appointed.

 

1851

The British Army built a parallel observatory, some 200 yards away from the Government Observatory, as part of a network of stations being established throughout the British Empire.

 

1854

Lieutenant Flyers of the Royal Engineer Corps of the Army was appointed Government Observer, Officer-in-Charge of the Army Observatory and Secretary of the Meteorological Society.

 

1858

The Army Observatory was pulled down, to make room for the railway line to be constructed linking Port Louis with the North.

 

1860

The Meteorological Society recommended to the Governor for the establishment of a central observatory for hourly or two-hourly observations day and night together with a number of subsidiary observations at Rodrigues, St. Brandon, Agalega, Diego Garcia and Seychelles.

 

1866

Dr. Meldrum went to England to visit the Kew Observatory to acquaint himself with the layout of an observatory and to acquire instruments.

 

1870

The Duke of Edinburgh visited Mauritius and was a fitting opportunity for the laying of the foundation stone of the new observatory, in Pamplemousses.

 

1874

The Royal Alfred Observatory attained the status of a Government Department and became operational with Dr. C. Meldrum as its first director.

 

1902

The first Meteorological outstation was set up in Rodrigues

 

1922

Upper air wind monitoring was launched at Vacoas

 

1925

The Meteorological Headquarters moved from Pamplemousses to Vacoas

 

1939-1945

Outstations were set up in Diego Garcia, St. Brandon and Agalega to cater for military needs.

 

1950

The Meteorological observatory focused attention mainly on meteorological functions and gave up other activities such as Astronomy, Seismography and monitoring of ozone at the surface.

 

1959

The Observatory’s name was changed to Meteorological Department because of its new priorities

 

1960

Radiosonde ascents were started at Vacoas to observe vertical distribution of temperature and humidity.

 

1961

The Royal Alfred Observatory building, at Pamplemousses, was pulled down to make way for the present Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, National Hospital. 1968 - The first Satellite Imagery was received at the Meteorological Station at Vacoas in February.

 

1968

Mauritius acceded to independence and became a full member state of the World Meteorological Organisation and in view of its Regional and International activities, the department became the Meteorological Services.

 

1974

The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, laid the foundation stone of the new Headquarters building at Vacoas. The Meteorological Services was called upon to bring its contribution in the fields of agrometeorology, hydrology, oceanography, climatology and the protection of the environment, while continuing to provide forecasting services to the public, civil aviation and maritime services.

 

1977

A weather radar was installed at Trou-aux-cerfs with one of its main functions to track tropical cyclones. 1978 – The first tropical cyclone to be tracked on the radar at Trou-aux-Cerfs was cyclone Fleur.

 

1983

Prime Minister, Sir A. Jugnauth, visited the Meteorological Services on the occasion of World Meteorological Day. 1989 - In order to transfer climatological data on computer compatible form, the CLICOM software was installed.

 

1992

The Secretary-General, Professor G.O.P Obasi, of the World Meteorological Organisation, visited the Service during the 4th Regional Conference on the Management of Meteorological Services in Africa.

 

1993

A Meteorological Data Distribution (MDD) system operating through the Meteosat European Geostationary Satellite was installed to enable the Meteorological Services acquire latest information from World Meteorological Centres.

 

1995

The Satellite Picture Receiving Systems were upgraded with the installation of the Polar – orbitting Satellites High Resolution Picture Transmission System (HRPT) and the Geostationary Satellites Principal Data User System (PDUS)

 

1995

The Radiosonde ascents which were discontinued in 1982, resumed with the acquiring of new equipment.

 

1996

Setting up of two studios for the preparation of Meteorological products.

 

1997

Computerisation of the Main Meteorological Office through funds from IOC/EDF Projects. 1998 - Handing over of the computerised section of the Main Meteorological Office in January.

 

1998-1999 (Summer)

Worst drought on record.

 

2002

Very Intense Tropical Cyclone affected Mauritius — 488 mm of rain recorded at Vacoas. Highest gust of 209 kilometres per hour recorded at Fort William. 2002 - 20th Automatic Weather Station installed in Mauritius (at Providence).

 

2003

Intense Tropical Cyclone Kalunde affected Rodrigues. Cyclone Warning Class IV remained in force for 33.75 hours. 338.8 mm of rain recorded at Pointe Canon. Highest gust of 212 kilometres per hour was recorded at Plaine Corail.

 

2004

Installation of Automatic Weather Stations at St. Brandon and at Rodrigues. 2004 – Migration to new meteorological satellite data system, operated by METEOSAT.