Weather forecasts to get more accurate, courtesy Chinese radars

Posted by on May 5th, 2010 and filed under Environment/ Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Agartala, May 5 (IANS) Weather forecasting in India is all set to get more accurate with the met office setting up Chinese made Doppler radars across the country that can track and predict fast- evolving weather systems such as thunderstorms, cyclones and cloudbursts.

The radars, which have been procured from Beijing Metstar Radar Company, will be installed at a height of 16 metres on top of buildings.

‘The Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) would provide short-range accurate weather prediction in a nearly 500 km radius,’ Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) director Dilip Saha told IANS here.

He said: ‘Work is now in full swing in all the 15 locations across the country to install the radars. In some places, the installation is likely to be completed before the onset of monsoon next month.’

DWR has the unique capability to continuously track and predict fast- evolving weather systems such as thunderstorms, cyclones and cloudbursts.

The sites chosen for installations of DWR are Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Patna, Goa, Patiala, Mohanbari and Dibrugarh, Lucknow, Paradip, Karaikal, Kochi, Bhopal, Nagpur and Agartala.

‘The Chinese Doppler radar will be operated round the clock. Its working speed would be very high and it will cover a wide area,’ Saha said.

‘It will also be much better and more advanced than the conventional radar, which are being presently used by the IMD. The radar will pick up more accurate information about the turbulence and wind speed of the atmosphere before a cyclone or heavy shower,’ he said.

‘And the radar will be able to predict the quantity of rainfall, and also the rainfall average during prolonged showers,’ he said.

The cost of the each DWR equipment is approximately Rs.100 million with an additional expenditure of Rs.60 million towards development of infrastructure for setting up of the new system.

‘Named after Austrian physicist Christian Doppler, the DWRs are expected to make a great change in the weather predictions in India,’ an IMD official said.

Currently India has four German-made Doppler radars set up at Visakhapatnam, Machhlipatnam, Chennai and Kolkata.

The installation of Chinese made DWR is part of the Rs.10-billion modernisation plan of the 135-year-old IMD.

‘The Chinese made Doppler radar is a sophisticated instrument but cannot be said to be flawless without significant user effort over a considerable period of time,’ said an official of Regional Meteorology Centre (RMC) in Guwahati.

(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at sujit.c@ians.in)

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