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Modernization of Indian Meterological Department: Rajya Sabha Q&A

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF  EARTH SCIENCES RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO-286 ANSWERED ON-18.03.2013 Modernization of Indian Meterolo

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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF  EARTH SCIENCES
RAJYA SABHA

STARRED QUESTION NO-286

ANSWERED ON-18.03.2013

Modernization of Indian Meterological Department

*286. SHRIMATI JAYA BACHCHAN:
Will the Minister of EARTH SCIENCES be pleased to state:
(a) whether the current weather forecasting system in the country is equivalent to International standards;
(b) whether Government has any plan to modernize the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD);
(c) if so, the details thereof; and
(d) if not, the reasons therefor?

ANSWER

MINISTER FOR MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND MINISTRY OF EARTH SCIENCES (SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY)

(a) to (d): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.

STATEMENT LAID ON THE TABLE OF THE RAJYA SABHA IN REPLY (a) to (d) TO STARRED QUESTION NO. *286 REGARDING “MODERNIZATION OF INDIAN METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT” TO BE ANSWERED ON MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013

(a) Yes Sir. The weather forecasting systems in the country are comparable to most of the countries in the world with respect to rainfall forecasting. Efforts are being made to optimize the level of efficiency of the forecasting systems.
(b) Yes Sir. Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) – IMD has already implemented Phase-I of the Modernization during 2007-12.
(c) Under the Phase-I of the modernization of ESSO – IMD, the following state-of-the-art systems were commissioned:

Observing systems such as Automatic Weather Stations (AWS), Automatic Rain Gauges (ARG), Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) etc.
Monitoring/early warning systems
Analysis-visualization-product dissemination systems
High Performance Computing (HPC)
Communication/IT systems
Real-time data assimilation-forecast systems etc.

Further, several manual operations have been fully automated. All the scientific staff engaged earlier have been provided due training to develop appropriate skills for customization of sector specific (like agriculture, aviation etc.) warning and forecasting services. 
In order to capture the characteristics of the severe weather in real time, 24X7 monitoring system comprising 675 Nos. of AWSs; 1024 Nos. of ARGs; 17 S and C-Band DWRs have been commissioned at Chennai, Sriharikota, Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bhuj, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Patiala, Delhi Palam, Lucknow, Patna, Mohanbari, Agartala, Delhi Lodi Road and Jaipur. Only DWR at Bhopal is under commissioning. 
High Performance Computing (HPC) systems have been used to enhance the weather forecasting capacities by assimilating all available global satellite data for forecast generation. The global model that was earlier run at 50Km grid scale are now run at 22Km grid. The regional scale model run earlier at 27Km grid is replaced by 9Km and 3Km grid scale models. The accuracy of short range (up to 3-days in advance) monsoon forecasts has improved from 50-60% to 70-95%. The skill of district level medium range rainfall forecast (up to 5-7days in advance) has improved from 60-70% to 75-85% in monsoon season and from 70-75% to 85% in non-monsoon seasons. 
As far as the track and landfall forecasts of the tropical cyclones are concerned, the performance evaluation of the updated forecast systems for the past 5-years, have demonstrated enhanced forecast skill by about 18%. ESSO-IMD currently operates 5- Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) at Chennai, Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Sriharikota on the east coast along with a network of Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and Automatic Rain Gauges (ARG) for continuous weather surveillance over the Bay of Bengal. 
ESSO-IMD has operationalized its location specific nowcasting (near real-time) weather service for severe weather (Thunderstorms; heavy rainfall from lows/depressions over the land) across the country. This service activity currently covers 117 urban centres on experimental basis under which nowcast of 3-6hour range is issued. Origin, development/movement of severe weather phenomena are regularly monitored through DWRs and with all other available observing systems.
Integrated Agro-meteorological Advisory Service (AAS) is rendered now on twice-weekly basis in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), institutions of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), etc. District level weather forecast for next 5-days in respect of:
Rainfall
maximum temperature, minimum temperature, 
wind speed, wind direction, 
relative humidity and clouds 
weekly cumulative rainfall forecast 
are provided. Further, crop specific advisories to help the farmers are issued and widely disseminated. The AAS of ESSO-IMD has been successful in providing the crop specific advisories to the farmers through different print/visual/Radio/ IT based media including short message service (SMS) and Interactive Voice Response Service (IVRS) facilitating for appropriate field level actions. 
(d) Does not arise.

Source: Rajya Sabha Q&A

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