Atmospheric Observation Systems


Atmospheric observation system forms the backbone of any meteorological service. Reliable and accurate measurement of upper air and surface Meteorological data is a basic requirement for defining current weather, weather forecasting, NWP and disaster management. Radiosonde provides the vertical profile of temperature and humidity at a place and this data is used for calibrating the satellite observations as well. High resolution data from improved radiosonde, wind profilers, wind Lidars as well as measurements from aircraft through dropsondes lead to improved initial conditions of vertical profiles which in turn improve the forecast. The high quality upper air data and its sustenance is thus essential for improved performance not only at National level but at the International level as well since it provides input for global model. The long series of archived observational data also forms an integral part of the climate studies. The radiation measurements are undertaken to get the atmospheric radiation profile. This data along with ozone measurement data collected from all the stations are used for environmental monitoring and in the air pollution studies. Radars have an essential role in detection of storms and for detection and tracking of cyclones. Radar observations and lightning detection systems are used for Aviation services and also used for Now-casting (up to 6 hours in advance) of severe weather systems. Radar data is also used for undertaking research on the understanding of the dynamics and micro physics of convective weather phenomena which are crucial for tropical region like India. Similarly the data from automatic weather systems as well as Automatic rain gauges distributed over the country provide information over various regions capturing the variability of surface parameters over different locations including remote areas.

The measurement of various atmospheric parameters through surface, upper air, aircraft and satellite-based platforms is a prime requirement for weather forecasting.  The current observations need to be continued The augmentation of observation system through Doppler Weather Radars (DWRs), AWSs, ARGs is also proposed. In addition, in order to understand specific atmospheric processes, there is a need to continuously undertake observations pertaining to cloud microphysics, radiation budget, aerosol physics etc that are required to be established, sustained and augmented.  Observations/field campaigns related to air-sea interaction would support the objectives of monsoon mission.

(a). Objectives:

  1. Sustenance of observational networks covering DWRs, ARGs & AWSs, Upper air, surface and environmental observatories etc on 24x7 basis.
  2. Provision of adequate communication system for data and product transmission.
  3. Maintenance of operational forecast system, delivery system for forecast and other services.
  4. Conduct of special campaigns for improving Cyclone, Thunderstorm and Fog forecasting, etc.
  5. Planning of new observations and augmentation of existing observation system.
  6. Planning and sustenance of specific process related observing systems over India

(b). Participating Institutions:

  1. India Meteorological Department, New Delhi
  2. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune

(c). Implementation Plan:

Some of the new observing systems planned include Wind Profilers (5 stations); Microwave Radiometers (at 5 stations) to provide vertical profiles of boundary-layer wind, temperature & atmospheric humidity, column-integrated total amount of water vapour, liquid water, vertical profiles of cloud liquid water, and atmospheric stability (now-casting of convection, thunderstorms) and measurement of fog; Wind Lidar to provide wind velocity measurements with higher resolutions both in space and time; Pilot Balloon observatories with GPS based wind measurements up to 20-25 km in all weather conditions; Polarimetric S-Band Doppler Weather Radars in coastal regions; Disdrometers for installation around Doppler Weather Radars  for surface Rainfall Intensity and other hydrological products; Augmentation of Radiation Network. ; and procurement of Digital Station Barometers (100 Nos.).

Since large number of various instruments is being deployed, the upgradation of Test and Calibration Facility of surface meteorological instruments is necessary.

Environmental Monitoring is one of the major requirements to provide inputs on air quality.  This would include black carbon, trace gases such as Ozone, SO2, NO2, CO2, and physical and radiative characteristics of aerosols.

The study of Antarctic Meteorology is focused to understand meteorological and atmospheric processes and develop forecasting models/tools for operational use during expeditions, and to find out tele-connections of Antarctic weather and Indian Summer Monsoon.  The climatology of  Schirmacher Oasis, Maitri is to be developed.

Hydrometeorology studies would include rainfall summary, Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) Atlas, development of QPF using rainfall predictions with very high resolution models

In respect of Positional Astronomy, Observational Studies and Web-based services are to be continued.

Under Communication and Information Systems, efforts would include replacement and commissioning of AMSS to enhance data availability atenhanced speed at the national and international level.  Enhancement of the communication facilities at Central and field stations facilitates speedy exchange of Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) data and products for the day-to-day forecasting work.  The maintenance of website and upgradation activities are to be continued.

(d). Deliverables:

  1. Establishment of sustained observational network for process studies specific to India viz. cloud microphysics and aerosols.
  2. Efficient upkeep of commissioned observing systems
  3. Ensuring fast and efficient acquisition of national and global observational data in a fail-safe environment

(e). Budget requirement including foreign exchange component: ` 700 crores

(Rs. In crores)

Budget Requirement
Name of the Scheme 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Total
Atmospheric |Observation Network 110.0 120.0 180.0 150.0 140.0 700.00


Last Updated On 04/06/2015 - 16:32
Back to Top