Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the new user-friendly website of IMD and dedicated to the nation the System of Aerosol Monitoring And Research (SAMAR) which is a network of 16 Aethalometers, 12 Sky radiometers and 12 Nephelometers to study black-carbon concentration, aerosol radiative properties, environmental visibility respectively & their climatological impacts. He was the Chief Guest on the 141st Foundation Day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences presided over the function.IMD is celebrating the Foundation Day with a view to promote awareness about advancements made in the field of Weather Monitoring & Forecasting during 2015 and the new initiatives taken by the Department for accelerating its capabilities & services, with focus on further improving the accuracy of prediction of extreme weather events at city, block and district level.
Addressing the gathering Dr. Harsh Vardhan congratulated IMD officials for the timely dissemination of critical weather-related information to 1.15cr farmers through SMS, agri-portal and website in 2015 which has gone a long way in reducing the devastating impact of the erratic rainfall on the kharif crop. Dr. L.S. Rathore, DGM, IMD in his discourse, noted that 2015 was the warmest year in the last decade and IMD’s predictions on the below-average south-west monsoons helped the farmers adopt short term crops and reduce the negative outcomes. Speaking at the function Dr. Rajeevan pointed out that we need to adopt a dynamic prediction system to counter the adverse effects of global warming. He expressed that with such a step we would be able to make the agriculture sector immune to the vagarities of the monsoons which would certainly elevate the level of our economic growth profile.
Some other achievements of IMD during 2015 are given below:
Accurate prediction of South-West Monsoon 2015 rainfall (Actual: 86%, Forecast: 88% of Long Period Average) Accurate prediction of North-East Monsoon 2015 rainfall (Actual: 132%, Forecast: >111% of Long Period Average) Accurate prediction of Extreme weather events like extremely heavy rains over Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu during southwest and northeast monsoon 2015, severe heat wave in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in May, 2015, Hail storm over northwest, central and adjoining north Peninsula India during March, 2015. Significant improvement in short and medium range weather forecasts ( Probability of Detection & Critical Success Index improved by 37% and 46% and False Alarm rate & missing rate reduced by 77% and 36% respectively in 2013-2015 over 2002-2012 for southwest monsoon heavy rainfall warnings). Accurate prediction of cyclones (forecast error reduced by 13,13,17 km for 1,2,3 days, respectively in 2015 over 2010-2014).
Provided City Weather forecast for 324 stations, tourism forecast for 106 stations and nowcast for 156 stations. Increased forecasts and colour code warnings validity from 3 to 5 days over India and introduced sector wise 7-days special forecast & warnings for Western Himalayan Region for Indian Army. Provided Model based QPF for river basin for flood forecasting. IMD has made rapid strides in modernizing its services by adopting DIGITAL INDIA initiative of the Prime Minister by using latest technology for information dissemination. IMD has upgraded its website to make it more user-friendly and we are now widely using GIS platform, mobile apps and SMS for dissemination of its alerts and advisories. SMS-based Cyclone alert/warning system, GIS-based soil moisture maps, dissemination of information about fog and earthquake through SMS are some of the initiatives taken. Under MAKE IN INDIA programme, Department has already deployed 20 DRISHTI Transmissometers at critical Airports and 222 DTH based Digital Cyclone Warning Dissemination Systems (CWDS). Automatic weather observing system jointly developed by National Aeronautical Laboratory and IMD is under validation.
Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Former Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences was felicitated on this occasion. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also gave away certificates of appreciations to the best employees and best officers of IMD who have made outstanding contribution during 2015. In Addition to this certificates of merit were given to the winners of Essay, Debate and Art competitions organized by IMD during the year.