Temporary breakdown of Doppler Radar a cause of worry for IMD

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Bhubaneswar: Even as World Meteorological Day is being observed today, the Meteorology authorities in Odisha are in a spot of bother with the state’s lone Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) undergoing periodic breakdown.

On November 21, 2015, Odisha’s first DWR was commissioned at Paradip, resulting in manifold upgrading of advance weather forecast mechanism.

Though the Radar is effectively functioning with foolproof weather alert, recurring technical snag has led to temporary breakdown of the weather forecast system.

The DWR worth Rs 29 crore was installed at strategic coastal location of Paradip. The breakdown of the system has been reported from time to time. The system crash however has been for temporary period. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been appraised of recurring technical hitches, said IMD Odisha head, Dr Sarat Chandra Sahu.

It’s pertinent to note here that the Union minister of state for Earth Sciences in response to a question in Rajya Sabha recently had admitted temporary dysfunctional state of four DWRs spread across the country including the one at Paradip.

“The temporary breakdown has not become much of a problem as we are receiving advance weather updates from neighbouring Vishakapatnam DWR. Besides breakdown period hardly lasts for a day”, Sahu added.

The commissioning of Paradip Doppler radar has gone a long way in issuing foolproof weather alert. Since its commission in 2015 year, it continues to generate perfect weather data especially with regard to advance information about cyclones, storms, excessive rainfall, thunderstorms, hailstorm and cloudbursts, IMD officials said.

An IMD official, however, confided that the DWR at Paradip faces technical glitch as it is still running without defence clearance. As the DWR is manufactured by a Chinese farm, the Defence ministry had earlier expressed reservation on the Radar built by the hostile neighbour from security viewpoint, the official sources said.

Defence experts are expected to inspect the Radar at Paradip shortly to accord final clearance to the DWR, sources added.
As Odisha is often exposed to the vagaries of nature’s fury, three more DWRs are almost ready to be commissioned in Gopalpur, Sambalpur and Balasore.

The DWR at Gopalpur is expected to be commissioned very shortly. Construction and Radar installation exercise has already come to an end. The DWR would begin its operation after the lightning arrester is installed at the station at a cost of Rs 20 lakh.

“The construction work of DWR building is almost complete in Sambalpur and Balasore. Once the Radars are dispatched to us by the Union government, the stations would be commissioned. All these DWRs are equipped to monitor weather condition up to 500 km aerial distance. However, these are capable of cyclone forecast in an aerial range of 250 KM distance”, Sahu pointed out.

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