Met dept simplifies weather terminology

Met dept simplifies weather terminology

The India Meteorological Department has changed the languages used in weather forecasting so that the civil administration gets a more realistic sense of the upcoming weather events.

“The forecasts should be worded in such a manner so that the user can initiate an appropriate action based on the severity of the expected weather. For example, for severe weather warnings, the alert should be such that the user (a government organisation) gets the attention quickly and can initiate a remedial action accordingly,” said IMD spokesperson B P Yadav.

The communication gap was particularly visible during the Uttarakhand flood in 2013 when the state administration failed to anticipate the severity of the disaster from the IMD warning, which used the outdated language.

Subsequently, a committee was set up to review the terminology and to determine how each of these terms can be defined based on supporting observational data. At the end of the exercise, IMD now has better expressions to describe extreme weather events, which would also alert the administration on the need to take precautionary measures.

The new terminology are for rainfall, snowfall, heat wave, cold wave and city as well as tourist spot specific weather forecast for short, medium and long term.

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