The writing in the sky: In conversation with Hyderabad's weatherfolks
CE speaks to the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) chief scientist and hobbyist cloud/sky watchers from the city, who share pro-tips on how to predict the weather.
Published: 26th March 2022 03:22 AM | Last Updated: 26th March 2022 03:22 AM | A+A A-
HYDERABAD: “Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life,” French author Marcel Proust once said. The statement holds true all the more for weather watchers -- the sky has a lot to teach us. It can help us predict the weather way before we are all caught up in a storm or shower or the blazing sun.
CE speaks to the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) chief scientist and hobbyist cloud/sky watchers from the city, who share pro-tips on how to predict the weather. This apart, you need not have your weather station to predict rain or shine.
For those who consider weather as something more than knowing what the average temperature is -- pursuing meteorology as a hobby could be a boon and a lot of fun. “We don’t need to own any massive weather station to make predictions. All we need is a glimpse of the sky. By understanding the shape and movement of clouds, we can predict rainfall and its intensity,” says Rajanikanth Poolla, a hobbyist meteorologist who is also a global member of the Cloud Appreciation Society from Hyderabad.
He further explains: “In the days to come, the most common clouds that one would see in Hyderabad are ‘Cumulus’ clouds. They appear in the sunlight and fade towards the evening. They arrive when the temperatures are up. These clouds are common during the early and late summer. They suggest that there is instability in the atmosphere. Sometimes, Cumulus clouds sick together to form Cumulonimbus clouds. These bring rain and thundershowers.”
If you don’t want to rely on your study and observation of cloud movements, you can use online sources such as the Mausam (imd.gov.in) to look for weather satellite and doppler radar imagery, and use numerous sources on the Internet to interpret such data. If not you could rely on the tsdps.telangana.gov.in -- which has live data from 100’s automatic weather stations scattered across the city.
IMD informs anyone who wants to know how rainy or hot is it going to be, and especially to an air traffic controller who should be aware of the precise weather conditions for the safety of flyers. “Details regarding the current weather are updated almost every 30 minutes and this is largely possible due to the Doppler Radar.
It accurately detects the position and presence of rainwater in clouds and other hydro media such as hail in a 500-km range. IMD is also using the supercomputers in IIT-M Pune to come up with models of weather patterns for accurate predictions,” says Chief Scientist at IMD Dr Alanka Sravani.
Dr Sravani shares what to look out for to predict the weather without any tech. “Two consecutive days of clear skies means thundershowers. An unusually breezy afternoon is also the indication of the same.”