The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in the city is likely to be better equipped this year. The IMD, which got only 30 per cent of its rainfall predictions right last year, is likely to get a Doppler Weather Radar by May 31.
This will improve the accuracy and timeliness of weather forecasts. The IMD will not use the China-made Doppler Radar, which was commissioned by the Centre three years ago.
Instead, they are in the course of setting up a similar device manufactured by the Bangalore-based Bharat Electronics Ltd. A part of the consignment reached the IMD office in Colaba on March 31.
“The installation is expected to be completed by May 31,” said R.V. Sharma, deputy director, IMD (western region).
The new radar will be installed atop a 16-storey building in Navy Nagar. Earlier, the Navy denied permission to Chinese technicians to install the DWR atop the buildings citing security concerns.
A doppler radar emits microwaves that monitor moving weather systems and help weathermen analyse weather conditions to predict timely warnings against turbulent thunderstorms or cyclones.
It can measure rainfall intensity, wind speeds, directions, and reveal cloud formations up to 200 km from the radar location. The device can update such information every five minutes compared to 15-30 minutes taken by satellites.
The device is crucial because rainfall patterns are getting increasingly erratic.
“The number of rainy days are likely to reduce but the amount of rainfall will not change. This could lead to frequent flooding and droughts in certain parts of the city,” said K. Krishnakumar, programme director, (climate change) with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.