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Thursday, January 27, 2022

IMD commissions 4 new doppler radars in Leh, Delhi, Mumbai & Chennai

The IMD joined hands with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in designing and indigenously manufacturing these radars. Delhi got its third doppler radar in the form of an X-band radar at Ayanagar.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: January 15, 2022 8:07:47 am
Leh, X-band radar in Leh, India's highest point, Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, India Meteorological Department, IMDDoppler radar in Leh (File)

THE INDIA Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday commissioned four doppler weather radars, including an X-band radar in Leh that is installed at the highest altitude anywhere in the country. The commissioning was announced on the 147th foundation day of the IMD event held in New Delhi.

The IMD joined hands with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in designing and indigenously manufacturing these radars. Delhi got its third doppler radar in the form of an X-band radar at Ayanagar. It has a radius of 100km around the NCR. Presently, radars are also operational at Palam and Mausam Bhavan.

Mumbai got its second radar, a C-band radar at Veravalli, that covers a radius of 450-km around the city. Similarly, the Met department on Friday operationalised an X-band radar covering a 150-km radius around Chennai, the third radar for the southern city.

Doppler radars help forecasters to observe rainfall, the advance of cloud formations over a region and subsequently monitoring thunderstorms and lightning in real-time. The radar operations are particularly crucial during extreme weather events like heavy rainfall and data from these are used in predicting flash floods in local regions.

With the latest additions, the IMD now has 33 operational radars in the country. In January last year, two Doppler radars were commissioned in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

“The need for nowcast information (weather warning over three to six hours) is growing in the changing climate scenario when the frequency of extreme weather events is on a rise,” M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Science said in his presidential address on the occasion.

“Smart and urban cities will need more nowcast information. We wish to populate the country with a number of radars and leave no area uncovered. At least, 90 radars will be needed to cover the entire geographical area of the country,” said Ravichandran.

RK Mathur, Lt Governor of Ladakh, welcomed the installation of the radar in Leh. In December 2020, the IMD had inaugurated a meteorological centre in Leh, its office located at the highest altitude in India. He said, “Being a trans-Himalayan region, Ladakh suffers frequent and sudden weather changes. Ladakh will need more weather forecasts, particularly around Kargil, as the Zojila tunnel will soon be open round-the-year.”

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