The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD’s) focus in the next five years will on offering more impact-based weather forecasts that can be narrowed down to even ward levels, and are aimed towards better risk management, said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general of the IMD.
Mohapatra, who visited Pune for the first time on Friday after assuming charge as DG earlier this month, held meetings and interacted with scientists at IMD, Pune, and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
“The IMD will work towards providing more weather forecasts, which will also include possible impacts on people’s lives. These will be mainly done for thunderstorms, heatwave, coldwave and heavy rainfall events,” said Mohapatra.
Climate services are undergoing dynamic changes and studies on climate impact will be initiated soon, said the IMD chief. “IMD, Pune, has always been the backbone and maintains an excellent data collection system since 1900. We must study past climatology, climate impacts and link the same at the time of issuing day-to-day forecasts,” Mohapatra suggested.
According to the IMD DG, the demand for specific weather forecasts from sectors like agriculture, health, water resources and energy was on the rise. “With the nature of climate services changing, we need to work towards meeting this growing demand. By next year, we will also have forecasts issued for the energy sector. We have initiated works that will not only be monitored every week, but will also need to be completed in a time-bound manner. A road-map for working during the next five years is ready,” he said.
The Met office is currently developing a model for Chennai, as part of which information on local geography, geo-spatial extent, water bodies, key roads and water run-offs are being collected from local municipal corporations and councils. This information, according to the IMD DG, will then be used for geo-tagging weather forecasts that will come in handy during rescue operations and for other contingencies, particularly during extreme weather events.
“Once there is a Chennai model, we will replicate the same for all major Indian cities,” said Mohapatra.