Doppler radar in Vizag ‘unserviceable’
The DWR at Kailasagiri in Visakhapatnam station has a detection radius of 500 km.
VISAKHAPATNAM: Sparking concern over weather forecast, the status of the Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) system of Visakhapatnam station has remained non-functional on the India Meteorological Department’s official website as it has been showing ‘Radar unserviceable’ for the past one-and-a-half months.
Since the real-time images on the website help track weather, calculate precipitation intensity, and give accurate information about any likely rainfall and thunderstorms, weather bloggers said this will impede predicting weather and alerting people, particularly during extreme weather conditions.
Amaravati Meteorological Centre Director Stella Kiran told TNIE that the hindrance is due to non-functioning of spectrum analyser, which is essential to measure signal amplitudes within frequencies. The DWR at Kailasagiri in Visakhapatnam station has a detection radius of 500 km. An expert in the field will rectify the analyser to make the radar active in the coming four days, she said.
Weather blogger B Sai Praneeth, popularly known as AP Weatherman, said the data and information from these radars help forecasters infer the wind speed and direction during storms and that the real-time images of clouds are vital to track the landfall of approaching cyclones.
“Though the main radar in Machilipatnam can track the entire AP weather, a functioning radar in Visakhapatnam station is essential as thunderstorms are more frequent in north coastal Andhra. Without its help, it is a tough task to know the intensity of a thunderstorm or a cyclone approaching the bay accurately and on time. We can track the weather up to south Odisha from Visakhapatnam station,” he added. Spectrum analysers help radars display uninterrupted weather forecasts.
The other existing tool for weather forecasting, satellite images, are not as helpful as radars. They can’t function at night and offer higher penetration capability like a radar as its images are ground-based and of superior quality, he explained.
Radars sometimes develop technical snags as they are high-energy systems. The data from radars in Machilipatnam and Gopalpur can be used to track weather up to some radius of Vizag during such times to predict thunderstorms, Stella Kiran said, adding that Vizag radar is under maintenance too, and it will be operational soon.
“I hope the Meteorological Department will fix these issues and see that the radar unserviceability doesn’t become a regular affair, so that the cyclone-prone coastal belt never misses important weather updates,” Sai Praneeth said.
It will be operational soon, says Met official
The Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) system developed snag due to the non-functioning of the spectrum analyser, Amaravati Met Centre Director Stella Kiran told TNIE. Visakhapatnam radar is under maintenance too, and it will be operational soon, she added