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Doppler Radar will be predicting rain this monsoon

With trials of the Doppler Radar ending over the past few months,the Mumbai regional office of the India Meteorological Department is confident that the much-delayed radar system will finally be operational before this monsoon.

Written by Sharvari Patwa | Mumbai |
March 16, 2011 12:10:00 am

With trials of the Doppler Radar ending over the past few months,the Mumbai regional office of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is confident that the much-delayed radar system will finally be operational before this monsoon.

A Doppler Radar,offering advanced weather warnings and predictions,was one of the upgradations to weather forecasting promised after the deluge of July 26,2005.

Though the radar arrived long before last year’s monsoon,it could not be used by the IMD. “We are currently conducting an endurance test for 15 days and have been able to generate data based on cloud movements and wind patterns. We will be able to use the radar this monsoon,” said deputy director general of IMD,Western Region,Dr R V Sharma.

“The current test is just a formality as we have done a pilot test last November and could detect clouds and weather movements,” said Sharma. “The advanced radar system will not only give us the wind patterns and cloud movement,but also cloud velocity,wind density,cloud drop size,rainfall intensity and movement of clouds,among other things,” he added.

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While the Doppler Radar had arrived in Mumbai last April,after weeks of struggle to install the Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL)-manufactured radar atop the 16-storeyed Archana Building in Navy Nagar,the department had to delay its use as the wiring and earthing of the building were incomplete. Following its successful installation,the IMD was still unable to use it despite pilot tests due to technical glitches in the setting up of the system.

Currently,the Met department is using satellite pictures and numerical weather prediction models to forecast rains. Officials said once the radar system is fully operational,it will be able to locate cloud activity,forecast the height of the cloud,direction,speed and wind activity inside the cloud.

“The radar is capable of weather surveillance up to a 400-km radius,” said Sharma. The Met department is also hoping that it will be able to put up the data generated by the radar on its website and update the data every 10 minutes.

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