On Met Dept’s foundation day: let’s talk weather

Forecast accuracy of severe weather events improved in last five years

GN Bureau | January 15, 2020


#India Meteorological Department   #environment   #climate   #Weather   #IMD  
The IMD logo: its motto in Sanskrit means `The Sun Gives Rainfall`.
The IMD logo: its motto in Sanskrit means `The Sun Gives Rainfall`.

With a humble beginning in 1875, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) – which is celebrating its 145thFoundation Day on January 15 – has marched forward with various milestones and paradigms to serve the society. When weather and climate are playing more and more role in our daily lives, here is a brief look at the initiatives and achievements of IMD during 2019:

• WMO recognized five observatories of IMD, those at Chennai (Nungambakkam), Mumbai (Colaba), Panjim, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram, as a long-term observing station of more than 100 years vintage.

• 27 Doppler Weather Radars are operational across the country including one portable DWR at Sonemarg, J&K meant for Shri Amarnathji Yatra.

• 13 Radiosonde/Radio Wind stations commissioned in 2019 taking the total number from 43 to 56 stations enabled with twice a day ascents.

• Three transmissometer – RVR (Drishti System) installed at Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Bhubaneswar, making it to a total of 44 transmissometer – RVR (Drishti System).

• Preparation of real-time rainfall statistics was enhanced from 681 to 683 districts.

• New Aeronautical Meteorological Stations commissioned under RCS-UDAN Scheme.

• 341 numbers of new raingauge stations are added in the District-wise Rainfall Monitoring Scheme (DRMS).

• 138 District Agrometeorological Units have been established in comparison to earlier 130 units.

• Agromet Observatories have been installed at five AMFUs in Roorkee, Bhubaneswar, G. Udaigiri, Pusa and Agwanpur, taking the total to 122.

• Monthly Meteorological Register (MMR) - Online was made operational at all surface observatories from October 1, 2019.

• Air Pollution Section, IMD participated in 60th and 61st Laboratory Inter-comparison programme of WMO.


Modelling & Forecasting

• IMD’s North Karnataka Agro Meteorological Forecasting Centre (NKAFC) established at University of Agriculture (UAS) Dharwad (Karnataka) on February 14, 2019.

• Global Forecast System (GFS) model upgraded and runs four times a day to generate 10-day forecast.

• Regional WRF mesoscale model upgraded from 9 km to 3 km resolution.

• Hurricane WRF was run as a coupled model at a resolution of 2 km in collaboration with INCOIS.

• NWP Model based gridded rainfall data (WRF & GFS) are provided operationally to CWC for their flood forecasting model.

• SWIRL application ‘Nowcasting’ software has been installed at 12 DWR stations.

• IMD in collaboration with NCMRWF & IITM implemented Thunderstorm and Lightning Modelling and Warning System.

• Impact based forecast initiated for different severe weather events.

• Two Hundred &Sixty One (261) more stations were added on Nowcast Warning Page of Newly launched IMD website for issue of three-hourly ‘nowcast’ warnings for severe weather, thus increasing the total number to 694.

• Within city local forecast and ‘nowcast’ initiated for 100 places.


Communication System Networks

• IMD launched its new website (www.mausam.imd.gov.in) for general public and mobile app ‘Meghdoot’ for Agromet Advisory Services.

• In collaboration with IITM, a webpage, web application and mobile application developed for providing weather forecast for Kumbh Mela during 2019 along with current weather information.

• New website of Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi has been launched during 2019.

• A data supply portal, http://dsp.imdpune.gov.in, has been made operational for automation of activities related to data enquiry, retrieval and supply.

• A new web page made operational for INSAT-3D and INSAT-3DR in stagger mode.

• A web-based Centralised Data Entry System (CDES) package was launched on August 8, 2019 to replace the outdated DATEN9 software. At present, 91 surface stations, 40 airports and 11 PBO Observatories started sending data through this system.

• Agro-Meteorological Advisory Services (AAS) bulletins are disseminated under PPP mode and through Kisan Portal to about 40.2 million farmers.


Improvement in Forecast Accuracy

• Significant improvement in forecast accuracy of severe weather events by 15 percent to 35 percent during the last five years.

• All India Severe Weather forecast (24 hrs) skill for 2019 has improved as compared to that of 2002-18. The Probability of Detection (POD) for 2019 had been 74%, 92%, 85% and 85% for heavy rainfall, heatwaves, cold waves and ‘nowcast’ respectively.

• Annual average track forecast errors in 2019 for 24, 48 and 72 hours has been 69, 104 and 149 km against the mean forecast errors during 2014-18 of 86, 132 and 177 respectively Similarly, the track forecast skills in 2019 also improved substantially and were 68, 79 and 77% for 24, 48 and 72 hours against the average of 58, 70 and 74% during the period of 2014 to 2018.

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