Weather and Climate Services

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The introduction of NWP in operational forecasting has been a major shift in practice, which has enhanced forecast capabilities across different time scales ranging from a few hours to a month. Extensive use of web-based dissemination has evoked tremendous public response and has proved to be very effective. Priority has been given to supply the required information to the targeted user and to streamline connectivity with disaster management authorities.

General Forecasting Services: Due to its unique geo-climatic conditions the Indian subcontinent experiences a variety of weather systems with two monsoons and cyclone seasons. It is also exposed to a number of natural hazards like floods, droughts, heat waves, cold waves, thunderstorms, cloud burst, landslides, avalanches, cyclones etc. The challenges lie in improving forecast skill in face of such extreme variability so as to prevent/minimize loss of life and damages to property. The number of user agencies and diversified demands from various sectors of economy on rendering weather based services are continuously increasing. Besides the traditional users, such as disaster managers; air traffic services and maritime transportation operators, other sectors like energy, agriculture, environment, tourism or leisure sports, require reliable and most representative information on current and future weather. In addition, the forecasters have to cope with ever increasing data volume, notably emanating from NWP models; meteorological satellites and radars, etc. They have also to process them faster while supplying more customized information in a quantitative manner

IMD is carrying out 24x7 weather surveillance and employing dedicated telecom systems in a fail-safe mode for issuing warnings of hazardous weather. Specialized Meteorological information to various sectors is also being issued. Weather capsules for Doordarshan and other TV channels are being prepared and disseminated as per the adapted operational procedures and protocols.

Agro-Meteorological Advisory Services (AAS): Based on the weekly forecast of weather comprising maximum and minimum temperature, rainfall, cloud cover and surface humidity, advisories for farmers have been developed in association with State Agricultural Universities and ICARs Krishi Vignan Kendras (KVKs). These services are available in 539 districts of the country currently. Through this service, farmers receive crop-specific advisories with regard to the time of sowing of weather-sensitive high yield variety of seeds, need-based application of fertilizer, pesticides, insecticides, efficient irrigation and harvest. The services are made available through web, radio, TV, newspaper, and mobile. Currently over 25.0 lakhs farmers have subscribed for receiving this information through mobile in vernacular languages.

Aviation services: The needs of aviation services are catered through a network of four Meteorological Watch Offices (MWO) functioning at the four major international airports at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, 18 Aerodrome Meteorological Offices (AMO) (inclusive of the four MWOs) and 51 Aeronautical Meteorological Stations (AMS). The responsibility of the four MWOs is to maintain a continuous watch of meteorological conditions over their respective Flight Information Regions (FIR) and prepare SIGMETs (Significant Meteorological Charts) for hazardous en-route weather phenomena, such as, thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, turbulence, volcanic ash, etc., which may affect the safety of aircraft operations. AMOs maintains watch over their aerodromes; prepare forecasts, warnings, current weather observations and other relevant information for flights operating from their aerodromes and their associated aeronautical meteorological stations. AMSs mainly supply current weather observations. Their forecasting needs are met by the associated AMO.Monitoring system of the weather and visibility conditions within the airport area (especially visibility over runways) has been taken up through the commissioning of state-of-the-art Automatic Weather Observation Systems (AWOSs) with a continuous monitoring of Runway Visibility Range (RVR). The real time RVR conditions, measured at Delhi airport, are uploaded to the IMDs web portal in Delhi during the winter months along with the crucial fog forecast products. The accuracy of fog forecasting was 94% and 86% for December and January months during 2009-10, respectively. A frame work of dynamical-statistical models for forecasting the changing visibility conditions for the airports of north India has been firmed up.

Hydrological service: Based on real time daily rainfall data, weekly district-wise, sub-division wise and state wise/season wise rainfall distribution summaries are prepared in the form of rainfall tables and maps. District-wise and subdivision-wise rainfall statistics provide important information useful to the agricultural scientists, planners and decision makers. The inputs on rainfall to the Central Water Commission (CWC) through ten Flood Meteorological Offices (FMOs) established in different parts of India for operation Flood Forecasting. Flood, QPF (Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) were issued by FMOs and supplied to the Central Water Commission for flood forecasting purposes. A MOS technique is being developed for QPF in a pilot mode on the Mahanadi basin. Design storm studies were conducted to evaluate intense storm estimates (rainfall magnitude and time distribution) for various river catchments/ projects in the country, for use as main input for design engineers in finalising design flood for hydraulic structures, irrigation projects, dams, etc. on various rivers.

Environmental Service: The network for Air Pollution Monitoring stations have been set up at Allahabad, Jodhpur, Kodaikanal, Minicoy, Mohanbari, Nagpur, Port Blair, Pune, Srinagar and Visakhapatnam to collect rain samples for chemical analyses and measurement of atmospheric turbidity with the objective of documenting the long-term changes in composition of trace gases of the atmosphere. These observations provide reliable long-term observations of the chemical composition of the atmosphere and related parameters in order to improve understanding of atmospheric chemistry. Specific services pertaining to environment are rendered to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other Government agencies in the assessment of likely air pollution impacts arising from thermal power generation, industries and mining activities. Atmospheric diffusion models developed for carrying out air quality impacts of multiple sources located in different climatic and geographical conditions are being utilized for setting up of industries, environmental impact assessment and adoption of air pollution control strategies.

Metropolitan Weather and Air Quality Forecast System: Site-specific weather and air-quality forecast system, was put in place in a record time with indigenous capability for the National Capital Region during CWG 2010. 35 Automatic weather stations (11 of which were equipped with air quality measurements) were installed in the NCR of Delhi including those at the Games venues. Hourly updates to different air quality and weather parameters at the venues and other locations were provided to the organizers. A set of NWP models from global to very high-resolution sub-regional models was used for the forecasts. An uniquely designed nowcast system were made operational for the first time in India for providing the site specific forecasts for next three hours. Considering the success of the project, the facility would be extended to other Metro cities of India.

Sports including Adventure Sports: Customized forecast for mountaineering expeditions were issued with constant interaction with expedition teams and coordination with their headquarters. The forecast bulletin for mountain expeditions for Mt. Dhaulagiri to the Army Adventure Wing and for Mt. Everest to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering was issued. Meteograms for the Mount Satopanth, the Mount Stok Kangri, the Mount Chaukhamba and the Mount Shivling as requested by the Army Adventure Wing were provided.

Data Services: Observational data of past and present are provided to researchers, Government agencies and private parties on demand in accordance with a stated policy. Real-time data, which is of vital importance to aviation and transport sector, is made available through dedicated channels and web-based systems. The data is also shared freely with the international weather services through WMO. During this plan period the electronic dissemination modes have been utilized more predominantly with experiments being done with utilizing mobile SMS services.

Last Updated On 04/09/2015 - 16:13
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