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NEW DELHI: The Centre on the 147th foundation day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday launched operations of four new Doppler weather radars, one each in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Leh, to further improve the weather forecast system in these cities/region. It also announced to use “drone-based observation technology” in a big way in the future for strengthening the localized forecasting across the country.
Besides, the Met department on the occasion also launched multiple other initiatives including a dedicated website for aviation weather services, geospatial services for severe weather monitoring & forecasting to enable users for better decision making, climate hazards, and vulnerability atlas, and “crowdsourcing mobile app” – Public Observation – for different weather services.
With the launch of four new Doppler weather radars (DWR), the number of such radars in the country reached 33. The IMD’s has plans to increase this to 90 for covering the entire country under the DWR network for better forecasting. The four new radars, launched on Friday, are C-band Polarimetric Doppler at Veravali, Mumbai; X-band Polarimetric DWRs at Ayanagar, New Delhi; X-band DWR at Pallikarnai in Chennai and the fourth one at Leh in UT of Ladakh.
The radar at Leh, installed at the highest altitude in India, will provide vital information by detecting thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, snowfall and thus help in monitoring severe weather in the Ladakh region. The radar at Ayanagar in Delhi will keep an eye on the atmospheric phenomena up to a radial distance of 100 km around the site and enhance the weather monitoring capabilities of IMD for the entire NCR region.
“The dual-polarization technology used in this radar will provide improved rainfall monitoring and hydrometeor classification by distinguishing between rain, snow, and hail. This will also help in monitoring, nowcasting and short-range forecasting,” said the Met department.
Launching the operations of these radars in virtual mode, minister of earth sciences Jitendra Singh said the government was committed to making the IMD a world-class organization for better delivery of services, enabling a common man to take weather-wise and climate-smart decisions.
The Web-GIS based Climate Hazard & Vulnerability Atlas of India for the thirteen most hazardous meteorological events, launched on Friday, provides information on nine types of climate hazards viz. wind hazard, extreme rainfall, lightening, dust storm, hail storm, fog, drought, cyclone, and thunderstorm in terms of their spatial distribution of an average number of days of the occurrence or probable extreme values and normalized vulnerability index at the district scale.
“The atlas also provides climate vulnerability information at district level on five types of hazards, namely, cold wave, heatwave, flood, lightning, and snowfall. The districts have been categorised as very high, high, medium, and low vulnerabilities for each of the climate hazards. The atlas provides pie charts representing the percentage of districts and population afftected by disastrous weather events in different vulnerability categories,” said the Met department in its statement.
The hazard and vulnerability atlas can be used as reference points to issue Impact Based forecasts with respect to different weather hazards. It can also be utilized as a guide in planning socio-economic activities and in preventing and mitigating disasters.
On the other hand, the Web-GIS application in Weather Services will enable forecasters, users and stockholders to build products that are more interactive and informative. It will be available online in near real time mode. “This integration allows all information in a GIS database for decision-making and analysis,” said the IMD.

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