CHENNAI: The doppler weather radar (DWR) at Ramanathapuram, which has been in the pipeline for the past few years, may finally see daylight as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has identified the site for the project and is awaiting clearance from the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
S B Thampi, Deputy Director General, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said, “The radar at Ramnad will be highly essential as that area is prone to cyclone hits. Notably, there is either a major tropical storm or a cyclone wreaking havoc in that area every four to five years. We have identified the site and given a recommendation to higher authorities.”
Thampi said the planned radar was a part of the radar augmentation drive, which was itself a component in the push towards technology-led modernisation undertaken by the department.
Significantly, the radar along the Rameshwaram coastline, as and when finally commissioned, will replace Karaikal as the southernmost weather radar of the IMD, thereby giving a fillip to weather forecast coverage in southern districts of the State. It would enable real time tracking of all sorts of water-borne weather events including cloud formation, fog, rainfall and hail, benefiting the districts of Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari among other nearby areas.
The department envisages setting up such radars, which can undertake 24X7 surveillance of weather-related phenomena along the entire coastline with a distance of 200-300 km separating one from another.
Presently, radars are functioning at Karaikal, Chennai, Sriharikota, Machilipattinam, Vizag, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata.