India’s Doppler Weather Radar Network Expands to Cover Entire Country: New Tech to Improve Extreme Weather Predictions

India is taking steps to improve its ability to predict extreme weather events with the expansion of its Doppler Weather Radar network. Science & Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh announced that the network will cover the entire country by 2025, with the addition of 25 new radars in the next two to three years.

The Minister made the announcement during the 148th Foundation Day of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), where he dedicated four new Doppler Weather Radar systems to the western Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. He also dedicated 200 agro-automated weather stations to the nation, with plans to establish 660 District Agro Meteorological Units (DAMUs) by 2025 and increase coverage from 3,100 blocks in 2023 to 7,000 blocks in 2025.

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According to Dr. Singh, the warning and advisory services provided by the IMD have helped farmers and fishermen improve their economy. He added that farmers below the poverty line have especially benefited from the agromet advisories at district and block levels, which are used during various stages of farming.

The IMD is also making the best use of space-based observations of INSAT-3D and 3DR, OceanSat satellites, to predict other weather events. The accuracy of IMD’s forecasts has increased by 20-40% for different severe weather events in the last five years. Additionally, the recently introduced Flash Flood Guidance in 2021 has been augmented further by increasing the number of watersheds from 30,000 to 1,00,000 in the country in 2022. The guidance is also being provided every six hours to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

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Climate services are crucial for short and long-term planning and strategic development, and the IMD has already initiated these services in five major thrust areas of Agriculture, Health, Water, Energy, and Disaster Risk Reduction. The department plans to expand these services and create a National Framework to provide climate products and information for sectoral applications.

With the expansion of the Doppler Weather Radar network, India is positioning itself to better predict extreme weather events and protect its citizens and economy from the impact of natural disasters.

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