Doppler radars on cyclone watch along India’s coast

India to cover its entire coast with DWR network by 2019-20

Published: 21st December 2016 02:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2016 04:42 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: With climate change and global warming triggering unforeseen changes in weather across the globe, India is going to cover its entire coast with doppler weather radar (DWR) network for cyclone monitoring by 2019-20, Director General of India Meteorological Department (IMD) KJ Ramesh said here on Tuesday.

Ramesh, who delivered a presentation at TROPMET 2016, elaborated on how the country is undertaking a huge upgradation in its weather forecasting technology. From doppler weather radar to environmental monitoring, the Centre is shifting gears in a major way to cover all areas. The 11 S-band cyclone detection radars along the coast have been replaced by doppler radars in a phased manner and soon, DWR network will cover the entire coastline of the country.

Besides, another 22 radars are planned by Indian Air Force and IMD for the plain areas and exclusive DWR networks are under implementation for Himalayas while in North East, it is pending approval. TROPMET 2016 is organised by Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) in collaboration with SOA University, Odisha Government and the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Ramesh, who earlier served as Senior Advisor to Ministry of Earth Sciences, said data from Indian network was rejected till 2007-08 by global weather numerical prediction centres due to its errors because of its non-GPS systems. However, GPS network is extended to 43 stations and data quality has improved substantially and found acceptance.

As part of surface observational network, all 70 airports will have rainfall sensors, all 660 district agro meteorology units (DAMUs) quality surface observators and 33,000 rain sensors, the IMD chief informed.
Around 10 years back, Kalpana was the only satellite to provide observation on half-hourly basis and most products were in image form while today, imageries and digital data from INSAT 3-D with improved resolution compliment the observational capabilities for monitoring severe weather events. When INSAT 3DR is launched, Ramesh said, it would provide data every 15 minutes. By 2020-24, processing systems will be established to receive and analyse data from INSAT 3DS, SCATSAT, OCEANTSAT-III, GISAt and Advanced GSAT.

One of the senior most environment scientists in the country, Ramesh said the technical upgradation has led to improved forecasting. In case of heavy rainfall prediction, false alarm rate has reduced from 46 per cent to 11 per cent and probability of detection increased from 49 per cent to 67 per cent from 2002-12 to 2013-15. Similarly, lead time of warning has increased from three to five days for rainfall, heat and cold wave. By 2019, the accuracy and skill is targeted to be up by 20 per cent upto seven days.

The IMD, which acts as the recognised regional centre of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to provide cyclone advisories to all countries in north Indian Ocean region, has shown great improvement in track and landfall forecast. The 12-hour track forecast has improved from negative to over 30 per cent while 72 hour forecast has shown over 60 per cent efficiency, the IMD DG informed.
The forecast error in track prediction has dropped from 141 km to 97 km and landfall error from 99 km to 56 km during 2006-10 to 2011-15. By 2024, the error improvement of skill is expected to go up by 20 per cent, Ramesh added.

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