The city may be happy that it’s finally pouring, but the rain has stalled some serious work for the weather department.
Heavy rain coupled with strong winds and thunderstorms have delayed the installation of the much-awaited S-band Doppler Weather Radar in Navy Nagar, Colaba.
“Setting up the radar will be delayed by about 10 days. Our technicians and engineers have been reporting everyday but haven’t been able to work because of the weather,” said R.V. Sharma, deputy director general, western region, India Meteorological Department.
“We had set 35 days as our target to set it up. So while Mumbai is rejoicing about the rains, we are not.”
The radar is now likely to be installed in the first week of July.
The need for the Doppler radar, which has a range of up to 400 km and can predict rainfall for the coming six hours, was felt after the July 2005 deluge.
A Doppler radar emits microwaves that monitor moving weather systems and help weathermen better analyse weather conditions to predict timely warnings against turbulent thunderstorms or cyclones.
It can also measure rainfall intensity, wind speeds, direction, and reveal clouds formations up to about 200 km from the radar location.
The device can update such information every five minutes compared to 15 minutes to 30 minutes by satellites.
Sharma said till the Doppler radar starts functioning, forecasts would continue to be made on the basis of satellite images and existing weather prediction devices. “We have all the components (of the Doppler radar) in place and there are no technical problems either,” he said.
“All the units within the radar will have to be individually checked before it is integrated. The radar will be operational this monsoon itself, but we don’t know when that will be.”