Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has asked the IMD officials to speed up work for setting up the radar to help Mumbaikars brace for the rains.
According to the state government,the much anticipated doppler radar will not be functional this year and can only be of use next year.
I dont think that the doppler radar will be ready this monsoon. It will only be of use next year, said M Rameshmukar,additional chief secretary,relief and rehabilitation.
The need for a state-of-the art weather forecasting system was felt immediately after the 26/7 deluge,when predictions were off the mark. The 26/7 deluge had prompted authorities to go for the doppler radar and the central government identified 17 locations,including Mumbai,on the east and west coasts for its installation.
The doppler radar is being installed atop a 16-storeyed residential building in Navy Nagar to replace the cyclone detection radar on its terrace. An allocation of Rs 12-13 crore has been made for this purpose. The doppler radar will be in-sync with the technology used worldwide and will be customised to Indian climactic conditions.
A doppler radar emits billions of microwaves that scan moving weather systems and bounce back bringing details of weather conditions that forecasters analyse in order to predict a turbulent thunderstorm or cyclone hours away. It can measure rainfall intensity,show wind speeds,direction,and reveal how clouds are growing and whether their composition is changing up to about 200 km from the radar installation. The doppler radars can update such information every five minutes compared to 15 minutes to half an hour needed for satellites reports.
Rameshkumar sought to clarify that the radar will not be able to forecast much in advance about the rainfall,but will give enough warning to help authorities prepare for a heavy downpour.
It is not for forecasting. It cannot tell 24 hours in advance about the rains. It can give localised information say six hours in advance. It will help us to prepare better, said Rameshmukar.