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Panchayat-Level Weather Forecast From Next Week: IMD Chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will provide panchayat-level weather forecast, particularly to help small farmers plan farming better and cut down climate-induced losses

Panchayat-Level Weather Forecast From Next Week: IMD Chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra
The India Meteorological Department considers it a priority to minimise the losses of small farmers dependent on agriculture in rainfed areas

New Delhi: In a significant expansion of its coverage, the India Meteorological Department will provide panchayat-level weather forecast from next week, particularly to help small farmers plan farming better and cut down climate-induced losses, its chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said on Thursday (January 11). The weather office will also launch the ‘Har Har Mausam, Har Ghar Mausam’ initiative and the National Framework for Climate Services on Monday when it kicks off year-long celebrations to mark its 150th anniversary.

Also Read: Agriculture Grapples With Climate Change; Erratic Weather Patterns Through 2023 Affect Production

India’s technological prowess has made it possible for the IMD to take its forecasting capability from the block to panchayat level, Mr Mohapatra told PTI in an interview.

The aim is to connect with at least five farmers in every village across the country through the “Panchayat Mausam Seva” and provide them with all weather parameters such as maximum and minimum temperatures, humidity and wind speed, in addition to severe weather warnings.

This information will be available in 12 Indian languages, besides English and Hindi, he said, adding that it was the endeavour of the IMD to mainstream use of weather and climate information as part of everyday activity.

“The IMD is currently helping disseminate agriculture-related weather observations and forecasts at the block level. Now, we are moving a step further and reaching the panchayat level,” Mr Mohapatra said, adding that panchayat secretaries, panchayat sarpanches, ward members were being roped in for the purpose.

He said the IMD started nowcast – or severe weather warning for thunderstorms – for 120 cities in 2013. Mr Mohapatra said,

By now, we have nowcast for all types of severe weather for all districts across the country and also 1,200 cities and towns.

“The plan is to have weather forecast wherever you want, i.e. Har Har Mausam, Har Ghar Mausam. Any individual in any corner of the country can access information through mobile app for the next seven days and also for the next few hours,” he said.

Also Read: Year 2023: World Famous Assam Tea Is Losing Its Flavour And Yield To Climate Change

Mr Mohapatra said,

One can write the name of the place or provide the pincode of the area or they can give latitude and longitude of the place and the forecast will be provided in a seamless manner. All weather parameters such as maximum and minimum temperatures, humidity, wind speed will be covered. It will also provide severe weather warnings.

The weather office considers it a priority to minimize the losses of small farmers dependent on agriculture in rainfed areas.

Citing an independent study, Mr Mohapatra said a small farmer in rainfed areas stands to gain Rs 12,500 if he utilises the weather forecast and acts accordingly. He said,

We have reached three crore farmers, and the benefit adds up to a massive Rs 13,300 crore. Imagine the GDP gain if we could reach all the 10 crore farmers in the country.

“India’s technological capability has increased over the years. We have new models that were not available in the past. There has been tremendous improvement in terms of modelling and forecasting capabilities, observations, communication, and warning dissemination,” he said.

Mr Mohapatra said the IMD now has access to data from automatic weather stations, satellites, radars, and collaboration with state governments for utilising their observation networks for forecasting.

The weather office is equipped with 39 doppler weather radars, more than 1,000 automatic weather stations, more than 6,000 automatic rain gauges, and many other dedicated observational platforms.

Also Read: Year 2023: Himachal Pradesh’s Apples Face The Brunt Of Climate Change

He said the IMD will launch the “National Framework for Climate Services” with the objective of providing climate information and services to all sectors, including agriculture, energy, disaster management, power, transport, health, and water, to help them make informed decisions and mitigate climate risks.

Mr Mohapatra said the IMD, through its weather forecasts, has been able to minimize losses in sectors such as power, health, transport, and agriculture. He said,

There are certain sectors such as sports and industry which have not been utilising the IMD’s information to the required extent. The use of weather and climate information needs to be mainstreamed in each and every activity.

“We want people to utilise weather and climatic information before starting construction work or even for weddings,” he said.

Mr Mohapatra said the weather office was increasing the number of radars, automatic weather stations, and rain gauges and collaborating with state governments and agencies like the National Disaster Management Authority to improve its observation network. He said,

The number of radars will increase from 39 at present to 86 in the next five years.

He said the Ministry of Earth Sciences was also upgrading the high productivity computing systems to run weather forecasting models faster.

India plans to unveil an 18 petaflops supercomputer for weather forecasting at its institutes soon.

The National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting houses ‘Mihir’, a 2.8 petaflop supercomputer, while the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune is home to ‘Pratyush’, a 4.0 petaflop supercomputer.

Also Read: Global 2024 Staple Food Supplies To Be Strained By Dry Weather, Export Curbs

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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