Keeping farmers, the major beneficiaries in mind, the state weather department has spread out its reach and coverage from district to the block level in Gujarat with its advanced high resolution weather forecasting system.
Further, in order to reach out to the farmers community, the regional meteorological department has initiated several social media tools and also plans to launch weather related messages and agromet bulletin in an audio mode for those who are not able to decipher or read these forecasts.
The block level forecasting using upgraded numerical weather forecasting model for higher precision levels and as advanced as ten days has been launched at Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre on March 1.
“This will help farmers in a great deal. As we are already witnessing deviations in weather trends and sudden changes in weather and climatic conditions due to global warming, such kind of weather forecast with a period of ten days will help our farmers who are entirely dependent on weather to prepare themselves in advance. With this very high resolution weather forecasting using advanced systems we are able to give block level forecasts for all 251 blocks in the state,” says Jayanta Sarkar former regional director of Ahmedabad meteorological centre who now heads Regional Meteorological Centre Mumbai which covers Ahmedabad centre too.
The meteorological centre is releasing regular forecasts and weather updates for all 251 blocks at 33 districts on all parameters including rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature, relative humidity for both morning and evening, wind speed, wind direction and cloud cover.
On the accuracy of these forecasts, Manorama Mohanty, head of Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre said, “These are not 100 per cent accurate but it would not be incorrect to say that the precision levels are as high as 80-85 per cent.”
The meteorological centre has created different social media tools for the dissemination of these agromet bulletin like whatsapp, youtube, instagram, facebook as well as twitter.
“Though there is a dedicated helpline where farmers can reach out to us anytime but we are in touch with the farmers at each block levels through KVKs (Krishi Vigyan Kendras) as well. Also, the agromet bulletins and advisories are sent to all district agriculture departments to be circulated to the blocks. Then we have started creating one whatsapp group of village sarpanch and farmers for each block where 70 such groups have already been created,” Mohanty said.
The Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre, which has been recently recognised by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as a long-term observing station for more than 100 years of meteorological observations, is also going to upgrade its radar network as it is expected to get a new radar soon, Sarkar revealed.