Severe weather forecast accuracy increased by 40 to 50 percent in India: Kiren Rijiju


New Delhi: To improve forecast of extreme weather events, Union Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju said in the next two to three years a total of 68 Doppler Radars will be installed to cover every nook and corner of the country.

Briefing the media after visiting various facilities of IMD including Central Forecasting System and Satellite Data Centre at Mausam Bhawan, Delhi, Shri Rijiju said, 22 new Doppler Weather Radars have been commissioned in the country during 2014-23 taking the total number to 37.

“These Doppler Radars are being manufactured in India as per Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbharta” he said. India is working to add 25 more radars in the next two to three years, which will take the number to around 62.

India has set a target to cover the entire country with doppler radars by 2025.

Doppler radar is a specialized tracking system that uses the Doppler effect to track weather conditions and calculate information about the location and velocity of a storm or other forms of extreme weather events.

Forecasting with the help of doppler radar is more timely and accurate which can be critical during safe evacuations in the likelihood of extreme weather events.

The Minister also informed that ISRO will be launching some more communications satellites in September, thus taking a quantum jump in weather forecasting.

He added that there has been a 40 to 50 percent improvement in forecast accuracy of severe weather events like heavy rainfall, fog, heat/cold waves and thunderstorm in recent five years.

The Minister said, high resolution ensemble global, regional models and satellite data assimilation were developed for these applications.

Lauding the role of IMD for providing services to all organizations, Rijiju said, Government will provide all necessary support including higher financial allocation to upgrade the facilities in IMD and financial support to our researchers.

Kiren Rijiju also asked private sector to join hands with government for manufacturing sophisticated communications and weather equipment in PPP mode.

Rijiju said, India’s modelling system is one of the best in the world and we are a leading nation in giving Tsunami warning to all Indian Ocean Rim countries, besides the pioneer country in cyclone prediction.

“There have been significant improvements in early warning system and weather forecasting services in India with augmentation of observational network, data communication system, high performance computing system, modelling and forecasting system and warning dissemination system” he said.

Replying to a question, Rijiju informed that there was 5 percent extra rainfall in this Monsoon and due to concentration in few pockets, loss of lives and properties were reported.

Giving the example of recent flash flood in Himachal Pradesh, the Minister opined that natural disasters cannot be prevented, but one can mitigate its impact through timely and accurate forecasting.

Block level agromet advisories are issued for ~3100 blocks covering ~360 districts of country while weather forecast is issued for all Blocks and districts. In addition to agromet advisories, IBF for agriculture and related agromet advisories are being issued based on the district-level severe weather warnings.

The Minister also informed that presently Flash Flood Guidance system provides flash flood guidance for >30,000 watersheds in India and South Asian countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on a daily basis.


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