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IMD plans to install more automatic weather stations to give accurate forecasting for a small area

IMD’s prediction of rains and other weather events like cyclones Phailin and Hudhud had shown increasing levels of accuracy when Ramesh’s predecessor LS Rathore was in charge.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 02, 2016, 07.19 AM IST
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IMD’s prediction of rains and other weather events like cyclones Phailin and Hudhud had shown increasing levels of accuracy when Ramesh’s predecessor LS Rathore was in charge.
IMD’s prediction of rains and other weather events like cyclones Phailin and Hudhud had shown increasing levels of accuracy when Ramesh’s predecessor LS Rathore was in charge.
NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will install more automatic weather stations and radars, and boost its supercomputing capacity, as the government’s weather office seeks to make its forecasting more accurate.

“The emphasis will be to ensure that we can generate more accurate weather forecast for a smaller area. For this, we will be expanding our weather instruments capacity manifold,” department’s new head KJ Ramesh told ETin an interview.

The department is also considering providing weather forecast for every month and season, in line with its monsoon coverage, he said.

For this, it will give more emphasis on numerical weather prediction, where mathematical models based on existing weather conditions are used, instead of the statistical model which generates forecast based on historical data.

IMD’s prediction of rains and other weather events like cyclones Phailin and Hudhud had shown increasing levels of accuracy when Ramesh’s predecessor LS Rathore was in charge. During the interview, Ramesh acknowledge this and said he would like to continue in the same trajectory. “Forecasting weather data for a small area will be much more accurate and help all sorts of people, starting from farmers, insurance companies to power utility companies and others,” he said.

The weather office has made a proposal of Rs 100 crore to the government to increase the operational supercomputing capacity from current 1.1 petaflops to 2-5 petaflops by next year, Ramesh said. There are plans also to increase the processing capacity to 10 petaflops by 2020, with an additional investment of Rs 200 crore.

The IMD expects the Indian Space Research Organisation’s geostationary weather satellite INSAT-3DR, to be launched in August, to enhance its satellite-based weather monitor cycle to 15 minutes from the current 30 minutes. “We have plans to further expand automatic weather stations and radars. Tenders for installing Doppler radar systems in Himalayan region will soon come,” he said. Currently, India has 21 radars, most of which were made in China (12), followed by Germany (4). Two were from Bharat Electronics Ltd.

In the next phase, Bharat Electronics will install three more radars at Cherrapunji, Thiruvananthapuram and Sriharikota. According to Devendra Pradhan, additional director-general for instrument at the weather office, the thrust now is on make in India. “Under the Himalayan meteorological project, nine Doppler weather radars of the range of 100 km and 12 compact severe weather radars are proposed. More radars will be installed in other parts of the country,” Pradhan said.
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