The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) is preparing to launch a 24-hour TV channel exclusively on the weather. The government has approved the proposal and the department is looking to launch it by the end of the year.
“Weather is always covered in half-a-minute. The channel will be very detailed and aired across the country,” said BP Yadav, director, operations (forecasting), IMD, Delhi. “There is little awareness among people about how the weather can affect their daily activities. The channel will help you plan your schedule, according to the weather.”
With each channel projecting different perceptions of weather, the department felt it was time for a channel that was comprehensive and technically well supported. Countries like the US and the UK already have popular weather channels.
Any private broadcaster or party can bid for the channel rights under a public-private partnership. To be financially sustainable, the channel will also have advertisements.
The channel will update weather reports every hour and will give a forecast for the next few hours. For example, during the rains, the intensity of the downpour, the humidity, cloud formation and rain expected in the next few hours, etc, will be aired. There will be medium-range forecasts for the next three days that will extend into the next week and month.
“Apart from a general forecast, there will be customised forecasts for every sector that is related and affected by weather, like aviation, agriculture, sports, tourism and shipping,” said Yadav.
Cautionary advisories will be sent well in advance. For instance, a heavy cloud formation over a region may mean heavy rain after two days. But the channel won’t be all rain and snow. There will be programmes about global warming, climate change, soil erosion and world weather too.