Doppler radars to predict rain vagaries

Doppler radars to predict rain vagaries

Doppler radars cover an area of about 200 km radius and provide cloud physics data. “The data includes moisture content and probable rainfall area with convective activity, the possible areas for occurrence of lightning,” Dr V S Prakash, director of Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) told Deccan Herald.

Dr Prakash said there is no warning system as such in India except the one set up by Indian Metrological Department (IMD) in Assam, where  lightning is highest compared to other parts of the country.  “This too is taken up as experimental study on thunderstorm and lightning. IMD has installed radars in Vishakapatna, Chennai and Odisha along the
Eastern coast to study frequently occurring cyclone and hurricanes. Radars have been planned in Bangalore and Mangalore.

Strategic location

Dr Prakash said in view of its geographical features, the State requires at least ten radars of ‘C’ band. They should be installed at such locations where hilly regions and elevated locations do not hinder their performance. The Centre plans to cover the rest of the area with low frequency radars.

The radars emit radio waves, which enable to study the clouds. “The waves go to cloud mass and get the waves reflected. These reflected electromagnetic waves are measured and converted into data,” he explained.

When questioned whether the exact location of the lightening can be predicted, he said the radars can  predict the area where the lightning or rainfall might occur. “It can zero down to 10-15 sq km area and accurately predict the possible rain and lightning. This can be a warning to the people.” Each radar costs Rs 13 crore to Rs 15 crore. The proposal to procure the radars is at the discussion stage, he added.