Flight operations needed for gathering data for meteorological services have picked up as the government allows resumption of services in a phased manner across the country.
The two-month-long nationwide lockdown had impacted some synoptic observations and flight observations needed for meteorological services, forecasts and predictions.
“Like elsewhere, aircraft observations in India, too, fell appreciably. However, with some flight operations now resuming, the data gathering has picked up. But even during the lockdown, satellite observations were available,” said M Rajeevan, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
He was speaking at a talk organised by the India Meteorological Society on ‘Covid-19 and Meteorology’, on World Environment Day on Friday.
Barring aircraft observations, other meteorological observations in India were not largely hampered, he added.
Recently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) inked an MoU with IndiGo airlines, under which the latter will conduct aircraft observations.
The MoES secretary added that the lockdown has increased the need for automatic weather stations. “We need an increased capacity of automatic observations, which are both reliable and can relay accurate data,” he said.
When the lockdown was first imposed in March and April, meteorological observations had dropped by 20 per cent, mainly due to the travel restrictions imposed, but it did not affect weather services, he added.