Scientists from Sri Lanka, India and US to jointly study Indian Ocean weather phenomena

Even as Sri Lanka is lashed by another round of torrential rains in the North and the East, scientists from the US are sitting down with their counterparts in Sri Lanka to discuss weather phenomena in the Indian Ocean region. The US team arrived here last week.

The scientists held their first meeting on Thursday at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. Leading Sri Lankan oceanographers took part in the discussion. The research initiative is expected to deepen an understanding of weather variations in the region and help towards more accurate weather forecasting. Air-and-sea interaction in the Indian Ocean is what determines monsoon weather patterns, the experts said.

The weather research project is code-named ASIRI, short for Air-Sea Interactions in the Northern Indian Ocean. The project will also look at the impact of the monsoon on maritime naval activity. Experts from the US Navy and the Sri Lankan Navy will take part in the project.

The US team comprises mostly Sri Lankan and Indian oceanographers attached to American universities. Professor Harindra Joseph Fernando of the University of Notre Dame, Illinois, is on the project steering committee. He said the research will be a collaboration between India, Sri Lanka and the US. The project is funded by the United States Naval Research Laboratory.

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