Indian weather forecasters to focus on dust storms

Jun 11, 2018, 19:36 IST | mid-day online desk

Union Earth Sciences Secretary M. Rajeevan said that people had started believing in Indian weather forecasting which has seen a transformation because of the adoption of better methodologies, training and new technology

Indian weather forecasters to focus on dust storms

Weather forecasting agencies in India will focus their energies on predicting dust storms, which have claimed more than 100 lives across north India this summer, a senior official said on Monday.

Addressing the India-United States colloquium on Earth Observations and Sciences for Society and Economy, which got underway here, Union Earth Sciences Secretary M. Rajeevan said that people had started believing in Indian weather forecasting which has seen a transformation because of the adoption of better methodologies, training and new technology.

He also announced that data obtained by Indian-installed omni-buoys in the Indian Ocean would henceforth be shared with the international science and research community. "Our focus is now on associate systems and other storms. We have had, especially in the northern parts of India, dust storms, which also killed many people," he said.

"There is a change in the perception of weather forecast in this country. People believe our forecast now. This was possible due to many factors of course. Strengthening of observation methodology, usage of high-resolution weather prediction model... and training," he said, citing the two cyclones in the Arabian Sea which Indian weather forecast machinery identified well before time.

"We have been known for good prediction of tropical cyclones... In the month of May, we had given two good predictions for Somalia and Oman, two cyclones which formed over the Arabian Sea which... It caused a lot of devastation in the two countries, but we could warn those countries well in advance," Rajeevan said.

He also said that one of the important contributions of the Union Earth Sciences Ministry and its scientists was the sharing of data stored in eight omni-buoys -- buoys equipped with technological gear including sensors, which record data and climatic conditions and relay it through wireless mechanisms -- in the international waters in the Indian Ocean with the global scientific community.

"Data from eight omni-buoys will be made available to all users. From now onwards, everyone will be able to assess the omni-buoy data freely which will be an important contribution to the international scientific community," Rajeevan said.

Edited by mid-day online desk, with inputs from IANS

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