Cutting-edge technology helps effective forecasting: IMD

IMD Forecasts Extremely Heavy Rains Over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand Until July 30 | PTI

The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) has managed to forecast better forecasts over the past couple of years. Using advanced technology and supercomputers that help the agency record and understand weather maps more efficiently for forecasts and warnings.

Explaining the previous forecasting methods, Sushma Nair, IMD Mumbai Manager, said, “Previously, there were no Detailed Numerical Model Maps (NMCs) due to which we could not give the five-day forecast.

These maps contained less information because the forecast depended mostly on the experience of IMD officials and the weather on a particular day. Based on these, forecasts for the next day were made.

“Also, we haven’t been able to visualize it, but with the advent of NMC maps and high-resolution models, we are now able to get a view of what our atmosphere looks like under current conditions,” she added.

The official added: “Now we can give five days warning because the charts are detailed, which gives us insight into the future and helps us give the forecast with some degree of confidence. Additionally, other factors like better technology and the addition of supercomputers have increased the accuracy of forecasts.

According to IMD Mumbai, the steps they followed to forecast a weather forecast include – analysis of current weather conditions; study NMC and cloud patterns through satellite imagery patterns through remote sensing photos; synoptic observations; and the experience of the IMD scientist.

The IMD had predicted this year the start of the monsoon on June 11 and as predicted, the city experienced rainfall on June 11, which was declared as the start date of the monsoon for Mumbai this year. However, on July 8, the IMD declared a red alert (extremely heavy rain) for Mumbai, but the city only experienced light to moderate rainfall.

“Excessive warning is always better than insufficient warning. All the weather systems were very favorable for extremely heavy precipitation, but the speed of the low pressure area that would bring precipitation was faster than expected, resulting in less of rainfall the day the red alert was declared,” Nair added.

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