Last year during the pre monsoon season a series of thunderstorm affected the northern states and claimed about 200 lives. In view of this the India Meteorological Department will be implementing an end-to-end prediction system for predicting thunderstorms or lightning by April 2019. Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and IMD are developing prediction tools for thunderstorm or lightning.
IITM Pune has already installed 48 lightning sensors around the country which can locate the thunderstorm or lightning activities on real time. IITM Pune also developed a Mobile App called “DAMINI” to give alerts on impending lightning activity over the area. The DAMINI App is available from Google Stores.
Currently IITM Pune and IMD are developing a new website for IMD along with the Mobile Apps for Farmers and City Forecasts. These new tools will help IMD to disseminate forecasts and warnings on time and more effectively to the users and the new website and mobile Apps will be ready for launch by June 2019.
Focusing on IMD’s Observational Network the Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment and Forests and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that IMD is strengthening the observational network and by end of this year, 10 new X-band weather radars will be installed over J &K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Dr. Harsh Vardhan further stated that, 11 more C-band radars will be installed by IMD by 2020 over the plains of India including one over Andaman Nicobar Islands and one over Lakshadweep Islands.
“In addition, IMD is installing 200 Automated Weather Stations at District Agromet Units for providing weather services to farmers and another 200 AWS will be installed over major cities and towns for providing City Specific Weather information and forecasts.” said Dr. Vardhan. All these observatories are expected to be established by end of 2020.