India has taken a leap on the weather front as far as technology is concerned. On the occasion of the foundation of IMD – the day when HF Blanford assumed his office as Imperial Meteorological Reporter on 15th January, 1875 – the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, S Jaipal Reddy inauguratedÂ the “Weather Services of IMD on Mobile” developed by the Indian Meterological Department.
The day was celebrated with a view to highlight the achievements of the department and to promote awareness about new initiatives taken and also to focus on the future plans for improving the weather and climate services of the department.Â
Shailesh Nayak, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences revealed IMD’s new initiative in the development of an application called “Indian-Weather” for smartphones and TABS based on android. “This application is freely downloadable through Google Play available on the home screen of android based smartphones and tabs.”
“IMD wants to tap the reach of smartphones to provide the latest weather information and other value added services as and when required and wherever required. The location specific weather forecast would be available to the public at the touch of an icon.
With this service, IMD’s forecast of major cities of the country around four metros for next 4 days alongwith updated current weather observations would be available to the millions of mobile users across the country in the initial phase. During next 8-10 months, we intend not only to expand the domain of the products by including weather bulletins and alerts for significant events, Agromet advisories etc to the public on the smart phones but also for other phones across platform. This will prove a major milestone in public weather services provided by IMD,” he added.
The minister also gave details of the Computing Power of IMD which has been augmented to 14.4 Tera-flops in the last 5 years. The available computational power permit running the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model at 25 km resolution compares well with the European Center, which runs it at 16 km resolution.
He said the recent modernization efforts of IMD have resulted in significant improvements in the prediction parameters of IMD. For example, the installation of Doppler Weather Radars has enabled the country to provide Nowcasts for severe weather phenomena of Thunderstorms.