Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

India set to transition to Hyperlocal Extreme Weather Forecasting

weather
Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : History of IMD

Mains level : Hyperlocal Extreme Weather: Prediction Challenges

Introduction

  • Weather forecasting is vital for disaster management and decision-making in India, where extreme weather events like rain, cyclones, heatwaves, and droughts pose significant challenges.
  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) specializes in predicting weather patterns using sophisticated observation, modelling, and interpretation techniques.

About the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)

Details
About
  • National Meteorological Service of India;
  • Principal government agency for meteorology and allied subjects
Ministry Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India
Objectives
  1. Provide meteorological observations and forecasts
  2. Warn against severe weather phenomena
  3. Provide meteorological statistics
  4. Conduct and promote research in meteorology
Evolution
  • Established in 1875 after devastating cyclones;
  • Started with just one individual
Advancements
  • Significant progress in understanding monsoons;
  • Enhanced cyclone forecasting post-1999 Odisha super cyclone
Diversified Roles
  • Expanded services beyond weather forecasting;
  • Provides specialized services for various sectors
Global Recognition
  • Recognized as Regional Climate Centre for South Asia;
  • Contributes to UN’s ‘Early Warning for All’ programme
Major Initiatives
  1. National Monsoon Mission (NMM)
  2. Mausam App
  3. Doppler Weather Radars

Challenges in Weather Forecasting

  • Variability in Tropical Regions: Tropical countries like India face inherently higher weather variability.
  • Hurdles: Despite advancements, IMD forecasts still encounter inaccuracies, particularly during winter and summer monsoons.
  • Insufficient Ground Stations: The limited number of ground stations hinders accurate monitoring, with only around 800 automatic weather stations (AWS) and 37 doppler weather radars (DWR) against the required thousands.

Transition to Modern Technologies

  • Prediction Software: Current forecasting software relies on global forecasting and weather research models, which are not the most modern.
  • Emerging Technologies: Start-ups are adopting artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) for predictions, necessitating an integrated data system to fill existing gaps.

Initiatives for Improvement

  • WINDS Program: The Weather Information Network and Data System (WINDS) aim to install over 200,000 ground stations (AWS and ARG) to enhance weather data utilization and promote wider applications in agriculture and other sectors.
  • Air Quality Monitoring: Make in India initiatives facilitate the production of low-cost, reliable sensor-based air quality monitoring systems, aiding in quick installations, particularly in urban areas.

Addressing Air Pollution Challenges

  • Fog and Air Pollution: Dense fog exacerbates air pollution issues, trapping pollutants and posing health risks. Initiatives to manufacture affordable air quality sensors and establish nationwide networks are underway.
  • Role of AI/ML: Integrated AI/ML-based models leveraging data from new sensors can improve fog prediction and aid in timely decision-making regarding transportation and health impacts.

Towards a Comprehensive Infrastructure

  • Advancements: India is on track to establish a robust air quality and weather information network.
  • Integration and Collaboration: Seamless data sharing and system integration among stakeholders are crucial for achieving this national infrastructure.
  • Potential Impact: A unified information gateway will play a vital role in addressing climate and environmental challenges.

Conclusion

  • India’s strides in weather forecasting and air quality monitoring underscore its commitment to enhancing disaster preparedness and environmental sustainability.
  • With concerted efforts and technological advancements, India is poised to establish a world-class infrastructure crucial for tackling climate-related issues.

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