Meteorologists celebrate World Meteorological Day

Sunderarajan Padmanabhan New Delhi | Updated on March 23, 2018 Published on March 23, 2018

World Meteorological Day is observed every year on March 23 to commemorate the coming into force of the international convention establishing the World Meteorological Organisation on March 23, 1950. Every year, a new theme is selected for the celebrations, reflecting the topical weather, climate or water-related issues. This year’s theme was 'Weather-Ready, Climate Smart'.

India Meteorological Society, the apex professional organisation of meteorologists in India, today organised a panel discussion here to take stock as to how far was India weather-ready and climate smart and look at what more measures were needed going forward.

Setting the ball rolling, Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Dr Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, said that as part of the continuing efforts to improve weather forecast services, India Meteorological Department would soon introduce block level weather forecast, beginning with 115 districts that have been identified by the Central Government for special thrust as “aspirational districts”.

He also noted that the National Centre for Climate Change Research at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology at Pune was preparing a detailed report on various aspects of climate change such as its impacts on various sectors to help policy makers and other stakeholders in tackling the menace more effectively.

Further, he said, his Ministry has requested the United States of America’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to send a team of experts with its specially equipped aircraft to help understand the wind profile over the oceans around India. “It is very easy to study the wind profile over land. It is difficult to do so over sea. NASA has the capability”.

The Director General of IMD, Dr K J Ramesh, said that as part of the modernization effort, manually operated pilot balloons that are used to study the wind direction and speed were being replaced with balloons equipped with GPS across the country. The move will help get wind related data in all weather conditions. Currently, it is difficult to get the data on cloudy days and when there is fog.

Welcoming the gathering, President of IMS, Dr. Ajit Tyagi, said that as a concept “Weather-ready” means the level of readiness of any country to forecast different types of weather phenomena particularly extreme weather and to tackle such events. An early warning system is a major element of disaster risk reduction. To be effective, early warning systems need to actively involve the people and communities that could be at risk.

“Climate smart’, in turn, relates to the preparedness of any country to meet the growing threat of climate change in terms of availability of effectively trained meteorologists and other professionals and generation of quality climate related data for use by decision makers in charge of climate related services, he added. (India Science Wire).

Published on March 23, 2018
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