At least 27 doppler radars would be soon commissioned across the country covering coastlines and major cities which would provide severe weather warning to stake-holders as much as six hours in advance, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said in Panaji today.
"Providing information in advance about thunderstorms like the one recently reported in Bihar and Bengal helps in reducing the damage and loss of lives," IMD Director General K J Ramesh told reporters.
He said the thunderstorm reported on May 2 caused casualties. "However, the agencies put their acts together and when the thunderstorm hit again on May 7 in parts of Bihar and Bengal its impact could be reduced," Ramesh said.
The DG said doppler radar is an important system as far as round-the-clock weather surveillance is concerned.
"Very soon, 27 doppler radars would become functional across the country. They will cover important coastlines and some of the important cities including Nagpur, Bhopal, Hyderabad and others," he added.
Ramesh said the Indian Air Force is also trying to activate the radars in places like Udhampur in Punjab, Jodhpur in Rajasthan and in Coimbatore.
"Soon we will have very good coverage of doppler radars combined with satellites to provide accurate weather information," the DG added.
With the network of such radars, the IMD can monitor severe weather development in any part of the country and can alert the disaster management agencies.
"The information would be advanced as much as four to six hours. Such advanced warning can help the areas that are likely to be affected with severe weather. The information can be sent across the country alerting all the agencies which are dealing with the disaster management.
"The warnings can be given about severe weather phenomenon like a thunderstorm or heavy rainfall," he said.
Ramesh said the messages alerting about severe weather would be sentalmost four to six hours in advance to disaster management authorities so that they can respond to the situation well-prepared.
"The messages would also be relayed to various other stake-holders," he added.
The DG recalled that during the last month the frequency of thunderstorm in North India was noticed specially in the first fortnight.
"The activity was witnessed in Bengal and Bihar because of which a lot of damage was caused. So using that opportunity of thunderstorm of May 2, the agencies put up their acts together by the time a second thunderstorm was witnessed on May 7," he stated.
"The disaster management authority had alerted all the agencies working together closely and disseminated the information and alerted the people to take safety precautions so that damage can be minimised," Ramesh recalled.
From May 2 to May 7 we could improve upon ourselves and reposition ourself and work closely with the disaster management authorities, he said.
"In near future, things will improve for better and more information and more areas will come under the radar range. North West Himalayas would also be covered with the augmentation of radar.
"Similarly, wherever there are gaps, radars would be commissioned in next two to three years," he added.