In a first, the weather department has introduced a daily highway forecast system to allow citizens to track temperatures, weather data and natural disaster warnings (thunderstorm, hail) for all key highways across the state.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) combines data from city stations and automatic weather stations positioned at isolated locations along the busy highways in Maharashtra to provide the data on the website daily. The weather bureau is currently developing a satellite based application for it. “Transport is a major sector where weather plays a crucial role. If the department learns about weather conditions across main highways in the state in advance, they can plan their routes and make journeys more weather resilient and time-bound,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, IMD.
“As the government of India is encouraging travel within states and across the country, this data will be beneficial for people visiting the state, who are unfamiliar with the routes, as a detailed map has been provided for each day’s forecast,” said Hosalikar.
The system can also be used in Tamil Nadu, Goa and Karnataka. Data from various other stations in India are being tabulated, so a map representing the entire country and weather information for all key highways can be displayed.
Using satellite-based technologies such as geographic information system (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS), IMD is developing a mobile application where citizens will be able to access 24-hour weather data along with weather, forecast, average temperatures, statistical and climatological data. “The app will be available pan-India,” said Hosalikar.
Officials from the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) said such a technology will be beneficial during bad weather, especially in areas such as Mahabaleshwar, Aurangabad and parts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.