Over the next one year, India’s weather services will get a significant boost, with the induction of more powerful supercomputers than present-day systems, said M Rajeevan, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). He was speaking on ‘Recent Progress in Weather and Climate Services’.
Rajeevan added that India’s computational power used for weather services will be augmented to incorporate Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
Seeing rapid growth of its computational capacity, MoES started off with a 40 Teraflop system in 2008. This got upgraded to 1 Petaflop by 2013-2014, and two years ago, a 6.8 Petaflop capacity ‘Pratyush’ was deployed at IITM, Pune. The same year, ‘Mihir’, a 2.8 Petaflop system was made operational at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida.
“From 10 Petaflop capacity, we plan to upgrade it to 40 Petaflops by next year,” said Rajeevan.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) is also working on the deployment of the Automatic Weather Station (AWS), which will specially cater to its agriculture forecasts.
“The AWS will be capable of measuring soil moisture and soil temperature, which will help improve agro-meteorological advisories. The deployment will be done in two phases and initially, 200 will be installed,” he said.
The second phase, planned for 2021, will see the installation of another 350 such AWS towards enhancing agro-meteorological services. It also includes setting up of District Agro Meteorological Units (DAMU) in each district of every state.
The Met department’s skill in accurately forecasting weather over short-range, in recent years, has shown marked improvement, the MoES secretary said.
“Our short-range forecasting skills have improved to five days from the previous two-day forecasts. The false alarm rate has also reduced,” he said.
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