Stadium-specific weather forecast may not work

Stadium-specific weather forecast may not work

The reason: Close to 50 per cent instruments required to collect vital weather data have not been in place either due to red-tapism or vendor’s failure to deliver them in time.
When the Indian Meteorological Department’s modernisation was planned a few years ago, Rs 300 crore was set aside for issuing “nowcast” during the CWG.

This is India’s first experience with nowcasting — a very short-range weather forecasting, covering only a very specific geographic area. The forecast can be issued at an interval of 12 hours or six hours on three hours depending on user requirement and data inputs.
Since the system requires monitoring of cloud and wind movement at a few hundred km from a site continuously in real time, the plan was to create a network of observation instruments in such a way that cloud movements at a distance of 400 km could be monitored.

The IMD was to deploy three wind profilers at Delhi, Agra and Jaipur; three Doppler radars at Lucknow, Jaipur and Patiala, five lightning detection systems, one upper air radio-sonde and 60 automated weather stations in Delhi and its satellite townships.
But less than a month before the CWG, only 30 AWS, one Doppler radar and one upper air radio-sonde has been deployed. The data collected by these instruments are fed into a super-computer, which generate the nowcast in every three hours.

“More Dopplar radar and wind profilers would have been definitely useful. But there were problems in procuring them in time,” IMD Director-General Ajit Tyagi said. The met agency was trying to make up by souring data from outside sources. |

The Bangalore-based defence public sector undertaking Bharat Elelctronics Ltd (BEL), which along with its foreign partner was to develop the wind profilers, failed to deliver them in time.

Poor planning
The IMD has done away with Doppler radars outside Delhi. Instead, it will rely on a new Doppler radar in Delhi for the task. “This is poor planning. With all instruments in place, the nowcasting can be 98 per cent accurate. China did a remarkable job with now-casting at the Beijing Olympic,” a weather scientist who did not wish to be named told Deccan Herald.

“We have an optimum number of instruments with which we are giving forecast of 80-90 per cent accuracy. Currently we are supplying it to the CWG through the Cabinet Secretary. From September 13, it will be made public,” Tyagi said.

But a section of weather scientists is openly critical about the quality. “Now-cast requires most detailed observation of the atmosphere, which is impossible to get without wind profilers and a network of Doppler radars,” one scientist said.

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