In a bid to improve monsoon preparedness, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has announced to install 100 additional automatic weather stations (AWS) in Mumbai. Currently, there are 60 AWS in the Mumbai region. An AWS provides information related to rainfall, wind speed, temperature, humidity and wind direction. After installations are complete, there will be an AWS every three square km as opposed to the present eight square km.
The additional AWS will provide location-specific weather details, which, officials said, will help the civic body to be better prepared for instances like extremely localised heavy rainfall. For instance in 2017, when unprecedented rainfall was recorded in the city, the IMD had not been able to provide adequate warning and advisory. On August 29, 2017, it predicted extremely heavy rainfall in two locations, but the city came to a grinding halt after receiving more than 200 mm of rain at over 20 locations.
The IMD has its weather stations at Colaba and Santacruz. According to the IMD, Mumbai has one of the largest weather monitoring networks in the country. Last year, the BMC had asked IMD to provide warnings specific to an area, time and intensity of rainfall. It also asked the IMD to ensure that the Doppler Radar was functional. With the new AWS, the location-specific weather updates will be possible, said a civic official.