End-to-end prediction system for thunderstorms, lightning by April

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New Delhi: Last year during the pre-monsoon season a series of thunderstorm/dust storm affected the northern states and claimed about 200 lives.

In view of this, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will be implementing an end-to-end prediction system for predicting thunderstorms/lightning by April 2019.

“Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and IMD are developing prediction tools for thunderstorm/lightning. IITM Pune has already installed 48 lightning sensors around the country which can locate the thunderstorm/lightning activities on real time,” Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said at a press conference in New Delhi.

“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,” the union minister added.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also informed that 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 today said that IMD is strengthening the observational network and by end of this year, 10 new X-band weather radars will be installed over NW Himalayas (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,” he added.

All these observatories are expected to be established by end of 2020. On the specific request from Kerala Government, IMD will be installing 100 new Automated Weather Stations including rain-gauges to monitor weather activities in the state.

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