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Friday, January 21, 2022

IMD fails to predict heavy rain: Invest more in weather prediction tech, Stalin writes to Shah

The letter said a timely alert from IMD helps to take up pre-emptive efforts to ensure the safety of people.

By: Express News Service | Chennai |
Updated: January 3, 2022 3:44:30 pm
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin addresses a programme for inauguration of various government projects, in Trichy, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and urged the Centre to take steps to rectify some lapses on part of the regional wing of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in predicting rainfall.

Stalin pointed at the “need for making additional investments in advanced weather prediction mechanism and up-gradation of technology being used in IMCs”.

He also urged the Centre to enhance capacity of the weather forecast centre in Chennai to enable it to make predictions of high alert situations and inform the state government well in time.

Stalin’s letter was in the wake of an IMD failure in warning the authorities about the heavy showers that lashed Chennai on Thursday.

Stalin wrote that an IMD bulletin issued on Thursday noon predicted thunderstorm with moderate rainfall at a few places over coastal Tamil Nadu, thunderstorm with moderate rain in Villuppuram, Cuddalore and delta districts, and thunderstorm with light to moderate rain in some areas of Chennai.

“Later, at 3.40 pm, the IMD issued a Nowcast Warning stating that thunderstorm with light to moderate rain would occur at isolated places over [a] few districts including Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet Districts for the next 1-2 hours,” Stalin wrote. “Meanwhile, rain started lashing Chennai and its suburbs from afternoon that lasted till late night.

At 4.15 pm, he stated, the IMD issued an Orange alert. “By this time, there was high intensity heavy downpour all over Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet Districts resulting in inundation of many places and total disruption of traffic in the city.”

He wrote that IMD is “unable to predict red alert situation sufficiently in advance, giving hardly any time”.

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