Risk-Based Warning Top Priority For IMD: DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra

New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s priority is to provide impact-based weather forecast and risk based warning in next five years, noted scientist from Odisha, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said after assuming charge as the new Director General of the country’s premier weather forecasting agency today.

“The main challenge is to make people aware about region-based weather forecast so that they can know in advance as to how their area will be affected and in which way. Not just simple weather prediction, but our aim will be to provide people seamless forecast on impact-based weather and risk based warning in the next five years,” said Mohapatra in an interview with OTV.

In the next five years, the target is to provide impact-based forecast for disasters like cyclone, heat wave, thunderstorm and flood calamities, he further stated.

Despite significant development in terms of weather prediction with the help of science and technology in last five years, Mohapatra feels that there is much scope for improvement.

“We are yet to cover the entire country under the Doppler weather radar. This apart, another challenge is to install automated weather stations and mechanised rain gauges. Therefore, a vision document has been prepared for the next five years,” he noted.

“By March 2020, three radars will be installed in western Himalayan region states like J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand whereas the remaining seven radars will be installed in the same region by 2021. The IMD has planned to install 11 radars in north east region where assessment of weather data has been relatively difficult due to hilly topography. We have also plans to install 11 sea-band radars in plain areas of the country. By August 15, 2022 the whole country will be covered under the vigil of Doppler radars,” the senior scientist said.

Replying on a query on plans for Odisha which faces chronic natural disasters, Mohapatra said that out of the 11 sea-band radars planned to be installed in plains, one will be stationed at Sambalpur.

“In past three years, two radars have been installed in Paradip and Gopalpur which help in covering most areas of the State. Besides, the radar at Kolkata helps in covering extreme northern parts of Odisha. The IMD is also considering to install another Doppler radar in Balasore if the existing DRDO radar does not work as per the requirement,” he said.

Mohapatra, who earlier served as the head of the Cyclone Warning Centre and the ADG of the IMD was appointed as the Director General of the weather agency on June 4.