To strengthen the country’s capability in forecasting severe weather events such as rainfall and thunderstorms at local levels, India Meteorological Department (IMD) will issue a tender to purchase 11 doppler weather radars.
According to M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Science, the met department currently has 33 such radars installed at various locations across the country to provide advance information about extreme weather events.
Doppler radars help met department in observing rainfall, the advance of cloud formations over a region and subsequently monitoring thunderstorms and lightning in real-time
With the addition of these 11 radars in the current fiscal, will enhance met department weather forecasting capability which would help farmers as well as various trade.
“With the frequency of extreme weather events is on rise, the need for nowcast information or providing advance weather warning around 3 – 6 hours prior to the events has been growing,” Ravichandran told FE.
In India, Doppler radars of varying frequencies — S-band, C-band and X-band — are used by the met department to track the movement of weather systems and cloud bands, and gauge rainfall over its coverage area of 200 to 500 km.
According to scientists, Doppler radars gauges the intensity of rainfall and impact area in real-time, which is beneficial for farmers as well as local population. Under the
Doppler radars are manufactured by companies including state-owned Bharat Electronics, Astra Microwave Products, Data Patterns etc. The cost of procuring each doppler is in the range of Rs 10-Rs 20 crore.
IMD is aiming to install around 60 such radars by 2024-25.
IMD has set up close to 200 agro-automatic weather stations at the district level for generating information on rains, temperature, humidity and wind speed.
Under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva, the met department is also providing district level weather forecasts twice a week in collaboration with state agricultural universities and affiliated institutes of ICAR, which functions under the agriculture ministry.
The district level weather forecast for the next five days includes information about rainfall, temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity and clouds.
The met department is working on a plan to provide localised medium-range weather forecasts in regional languages through short message service (SMS) to farmers on request and for free.
By dialling a dedicated number, farmers from anywhere in the country can request for weather information such as rains, temperature, humidity and wind speed for the next five days for their village or block.