Regions with mountains can become troublesome for many flights and can cause air traffic disasters. Addressing this problem, scientists at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) have studied weather patterns and noted that predictions are becoming more certain. These weather predictions are expected to help prevent air traffic disasters over the Himalaya region, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement. The predictions have been made after calculating certain atmospheric turbulence parameters. It is to note that ARIES is an autonomous institute that comes under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
According to the ministry, the magnitude of refractive index structure (Cn2) has been calculated. This is a constant representing the strength of the atmospheric turbulence which has been observed from Stratosphere Troposphere Radar (S T Radar). The study is also published in the Radio Science journal and pointed out refractive index structure constant (Cn2) is 10-14 m-2/3. “Such large values at the lower altitudes are due to the mountain wave activities and presence of low-level clouds,” the ministry said. Further, it said that numerical weather prediction and climate models can be improved by “understanding of time and space distribution of turbulence structure”.
Earlier, the turbulence parameters for southern India were made available. However, it was not known for the Himalayan region. Around the mountains, a higher number of values have been found which will help modellers update the values in their existing models, thus leading to more accurate predictions and knowledge on turbulence over this region.
DST said that modelling clear-air turbulence will aid in limiting the air traffic disasters, especially in the places over the complex mountainous regions. DST Secretary Professor Ashutosh Sharma said, “Development of such radar at 206.5 MHz, within the country, will further strengthen our efforts to better understand the regional changes in weather and climate, particularly in the Himalayan region, which is having complex topography.”