Uttarakhand will have more than 50 state-of-the-art stations to bolster the forecasting mechanism in a state prone to extreme weather conditions, a top Met official has said.
Flashfloods triggered by a cloudburst in 2013 had left more than 5,000 people dead and displaced thousands of others in the upper reaches of the Himalayan state.
Experts later said that lack of an effective communication dissemination system in the state had led to the high number of casualties.
“The plan is to install total 76 automatic weather stations (AWSs) in Uttarakhand. Since 24 are already functioning, at least 52 more will be installed to help us gain better understanding of the weather as well improve the forecasting services,” said Bikram Singh, director of the Dehradun meteorological centre.
He said the plan was to set up at least one weather station in as many tehsils, an administrative level in the district.
Mostly installed in remote areas, an automatic weather station is a system that keeps an eye on real-time weather changes using meteorological sensors. They then transmit information on parameters like temperature, rainfall, surface wind, humidity and pressure to the head station for further analysis and data accumulation.
According to official, the weather stations will be installed as a part of the integrated Himalayan meteorology programme that aims to strengthen surface and upper air weather observation systems in mountainous states including Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
The weather stations will be established in collaboration with the state government, which will be providing land for the set ups, he added.
Besides the AWSs, installation of two units of radiosonde and radiowind systems — balloon-borne instruments that record upper atmosphere data and transmits the same by a radio to a ground receiver — and two Doppler weather radars is also proposed to enhance weather forecasting in Uttarakhand.