A workshop on ‘Introduction to Weather Forecasting’ was conducted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in association with the Federation of Science Clubs of Tamil Nadu (FSCT) at the Regional Meteorological Centre, College Road, on March 6.
The auditorium, with a capacity of holding an audience of 120, was packed with school students from the Corporation-run Chennai Schools. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr Y E A Raj, director general of meteorology, IMD, P Perinbaraj, educational officer, Chennai Schools, and Daniel Chellappa, senior scientist and president, FSCT.
Excited children listened with rapt attention as the sessions began with an introduction lecture by K V Balasubramanian, assistant meteorologist, IMD. Speaking on the topic, ‘Weather Forecasting’, he elaborated on the types of forecasting and the standards used universally to log observations on charts and the scales used in the measurement of weather in general.
The speakers comprising scientific assistants and assistant meteorologists spoke on the following topics: Observational Methods, Seasons in India, Monsoons in India, Modern Observation Systems and Data Archival. The various tools and charts used by meteorologists to collect data from observatories, to analyse them and later present them to broadcasting centres and other research units were displayed. The talk on evolution of the ancient methods of weather mapping into the modern systems piqued the interest of the children.
The students asked a multitude of questions ranging from formation of clouds to the scientific association between the full moon and rain, which the presenters answered patiently. Later, the participants were taken to the observatory on the premises where they saw how things actually worked. The various processes involved in logging observations and data analysis were explained to them.
Daniel Chellappa, who organises such awareness programmes for school children, said, “The objective is to take science to the masses and reach out to them before the syllabus tries to drill it into them. Also, I believe that history can be taught in classrooms but science should only be practised.”