From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Dvorak Technique
Mains level : Weather forecasting
Recently, the American meteorologist Vernon Dvorak passed away at the age of 100 who pioneered the widely used Dvorak Technique.
Who was Vernon Dvorak?
- Dvorak was an American meteorologist best credited for developing the Dvorak (read as Do-rak) technique in the early 1970s.
- The technique helps forecast the tropical storm.
- His technique has saved the lives of millions of people across the world and will continue to do so.
What is the Dvorak technique?
- The Dvorak technique was first developed in 1969 and tested for observing storms in the northwest Pacific Ocean.
- Forecasters used the available satellite images obtained from polar orbiting satellites to examine the features of the developing tropical storms (hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons).
- During day time, images in the visible spectrum were used while at night, the ocean would be observed using infrared images.
- It was a cloud pattern recognition technique based on a concept model of the development and decay of the tropical cyclone.
Why is technique still widely in use?
- Unlike land, ocean observations in the 1970s were sparse.
- Today, there continues to be an improved network of land-based meteorological observations, either in the form of taking manual observations, installing automatic weather stations or automatic rain gauges.
- On the other hand, ocean observations still remain limited.
- There are many vast regions across the four oceans that have not been fully examined with meteorological instruments.
- Ocean observations are mostly taken by deploying buoys or dedicated ships, but the number of observations from the seas is still not sufficient across the world.
- That is why meteorologists have had to depend more on satellite-based imageries, and combine it with the available ocean-data at the time of forecasting the intensity and wind speed of the tropical cyclones.