Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra
Dr Mrutyunjay MohapatraPhoto | Express

Govt to double weather radars in Delhi for enhanced prediction accuracy: IMD chief

Radar helps in getting high-resolution convective clouds which improve the accuracy of prediction.

NEW DELHI: After failing to forecast extreme downpour in Delhi on June 28, the Indian Meteorological Department finds a lack of enough weather radars in the city to get an accurate forecast.

Now, the government has planned to increase the number of radars from three to six in the coming days to increase the accuracy of the forecast. Radar helps in getting high-resolution convective clouds which improve the accuracy of prediction.

“We are planning to install another three weather radars in Delhi-NCR to increase forecast accuracy,” said Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of Meteorology of IMD. According to him, IMD has improved its accuracy of prediction up to 88%.

On June 27, the IMD predicted widespread rainfall in Delhi and other parts of the northwest region and issued an Orange alert. But in early June 28, Delhi’s residents were caught unguarded as extreme rainfall causing floods in the city.

Delhi’s automatic weather station at Safdarjung clocked a record downpour in a few hours (228.1 mm rainfall), which was more than three times the rainfall of total June month. It was the second highest since 1936 when the highest rainfall recorded was 235 mm.

Mohapatra emphasised IMD’s ‘Nowcast’ technology’s prediction has high accuracy and is currently spready at 1200 places in the country. ‘Nowcasting’ in meteorology uses current surface weather stations data, wind profiler data, and any other data to forecast by extrapolation for 0-6 hours.

"On June 28, we had issued our Nowcast at 1:52 AM but it was night so people couldn’t get our message,” said Mohapatra.

He further reiterated that in the last five years, the IMD forecast improvement is by 25-30%. “Our forecast accuracy of heavy rainfall increased to 80% and heatwave forecast accuracy increased to 88%.

Mohapatra also cited global challenges of prediction of high accuracy of extreme weather events. “It is a global phenomenon, and sometimes fails to predict extreme weather events with accuracy,” said Mohapatra.

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