The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has begun operating a new X-band Doppler weather radar in Jammu, the country’s most northerly region.
The radar will provide nowcasting (within three hours) for severe weather events including thunderstorms, lightning, squalls and heavy rain for the Jammu and Kashmir regions. It will also provide input to numerical weather prediction models for generating better forecasts.
Data from the new radar will be combined with that from IMD’s network of upper air observatories, which includes 56 radiosonde and 62 radiowind devices. The radiowind observatories collect wind speed and wind direction data at different levels in the atmosphere for weather forecasting.
In the past, IMD has deployed manual tracking methods to gather wind information. However, a newly developed GPS-based radiosonde will help gather data in all weather conditions with minimum human intervention, thanks to automatic functionality such as the detection of balloon launch and balloon burst.