City to get 200 rain gauges, app to get real-time alerts
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, with the help of India Meteorology Department (IMD) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is installing a new dense rain gauge network over the city with 200 instruments. “This facility will help the city administration and general public know the prevailing rainfall situation in the city on real-time basis. A mobile app for this purpose has already been developed,” said Harsh Vardhan, Union minister of earth sciences.
Mumbai is known for flooding during heavy rains. The city currently has around 60 automated weather stations installed at civic wards, civic hospitals and fire stations.
In a related development, the Centre will launch an endto-end system by April for predicting thunderstorms and lightning across the country.
Prediction tools for this purpose are also being developed by IITM and IMD in the backdrop of last year’s premonsoon episodes of thunderstorms and very high wind BMC has around 60 automated weather stations (AWS) that provide realtime data about weather conditions, like rainfall in a particular area, temperature, wind speed and humidity percentage This device is a tipping bucket gauge in which one drop is equivalent to 0.25mm
AWS were installed in civic ward offices, civic hospitals and at fire stations following recommendations of the Chitale committee after the 2005 deluge, when the city recorded 944mm rainfall speed-led dust storms that claimed over 200 lives in different north Indian states.
Vardhan said IITM had already installed 48 lightning sensors across the country which could locate thunderstorm/lightning activities on real time.
IITM has also developed a mobile app called ‘DAMINI’ to give alerts on impending light- ning activity. The app is available on Google Play Store.
These moves are part of multiple ongoing activities undertaken by the ministry of earth sciences to disseminate forecasts and warnings on real time and more effectively to users, including farmers and city dwellers, through a new website and mobile apps. These apps will be ready for launch by June. Besides, IMD has planned to strengthen its ‘observational network’ by the end of this year through installation of sophisticated radars over north-west Himalayas (J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand).
“In addition, IMD is installing 200 automated weather stations (AWS) at district Agromet units for providing weather services to farmers. Another 200 AWS will be installed over major cities and towns for providing city specific weather information and forecasts,” said the minister. All these observatories are expected to be established by 2020-end. Sophisticated radars will also be installed over Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands by 2020.