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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Device to make forecasts accurate developed in Mumbai

Snehal Rebello , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 23, 2013
First Published: 09:18 IST(23/9/2013) | Last Updated: 15:23 IST(23/9/2013)

To make weather forecasts more accurate, weather stations across Maharashtra will adopt paperless recording of weather data, which will go on the global network.

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Starting November, the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Mumbai under the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will begin automation of 16 observatories across Maharashtra and Goa that will start logging their respective weather data through an indigenously designed handheld device on a three-hourly real time basis.

“At present, weather stations send information via computers. But with load shedding in many parts of the state, the information is communicated through the telephone, making it prone to errors,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD.

In a meeting held in the city last week, LS Rathore, director general (meteorology) at IMD,New Delhi said if this pilot project is successful, it will be replicated at observatories across India from March 23, 2014.

The software for the handheld data logger with GSM connectivity was developed by the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

The project was initiated by the Surface Instruments Laboratory at IMD Pune, under the coordination of S Krishniah, deputy director general (meteorology), IMD Pune.

The device has been developed under guidelines of the World Meteorological Organisation and has 200 to 300 inbuilt quality checks.

The touchscreen device can also save one-year worth data for temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, current weather and past weather.

Once weather data is logged at weather stations, it will be sent to RMC-Mumbai, where values will be rechecked. From here it will be sent to National Data Centre, Pune, following which it is uploaded on global weather networks.

“The software has been developed to detect discrepancies in the logged values,” said Hosalikar.

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