Five years after the deluge that spelt out the need for accurate forecasting models, the Doppler radar is likely to start functioning this weekend.
“From our side, we are ready. The engineers are working on some electrical connections that needs to fixed apart and some testing is also being conducted which should not take more than a few days. In all probability, the radar should start functioning this weekend,” said R V Sharma, deputy director general, western region, India Meterological Department.
Located in Navy Nagar, the installation of the much-awaited S-band Doppler Weather Radar started in May. But heavy rain along with strong winds and thunderstorm delayed work.
The Doppler radar assumed significance after the July 2005 floods, when the city experienced more than 900mm rainfall over three hours. With a range of up to 400 km, the radar can make forecasts at short range within six hours.
The remote sensing device is designed to provide quick measurements of rainfall intensity and wind speed so that predicting forecasts becomes easier.
It can also transmit information about a cloud, its distance from land, its composition as well as the number and size of water droplets found in a cloud.
The Doppler radar installed in Mumbai has been made by Bangalore-based Bharat Electronics Limited.
The installation of the radar was delayed because the meteorological department could not find a place to set it up and then ran into logistical troubles while trying to get it atop a building.
Last year, the IMD had imported a Doppler radar from China but the naval authorities denied it permission to install it.