IMD modernisation gathers steam; better forecasts ahead: Nayak

IMD modernisation gathers steam; better forecasts ahead: Nayak

Government has acquired four High Power Computing Systems (HPCS) to do the necessary number crunching and run high-resolution global, regional and local numerical weather prediction models round-the-clock.

"We now have HPCS installed and running at the IMD, the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Noida; Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune; and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad," Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said.

The HPCS has a top speed of 14.4 Tera Flops and 300 Tera Bytes of storage with a robotic retrieval system. It has separate servers at 11 meteorological centres across India.

The Ministry is also working towards integrating research related monsoon forecasting across the country in an attempt to improve predictions.

"Weather forecasts will definitely be better with such equipment as we would be able to run weather forecasting models at nearly twice the speed we currently do," Nayak said.

The installation of the state-of-the-art Doppler Weather Radars is at an advanced stage in Bhuj in Gujarat and Delhi. These radars are capable of picking up evolving wind patterns and enable forecasters in issuing short duration predictions called as nowcasts in weather parlance.

Though the IMD is lagging behind schedule, Nayak was confident that at least five radars -- Bhuj, Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Kochi -- would be up and running before the monsoon.
Besides, the IMD has also completed installation of 223 automatic weather stations, 248 automatic rain gauges to help weathermen gather real-time weather data.

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