This monsoon, the rainfall and temperature updates you will get are likely to be more localised than ever. The BMC is set to install 28 new automatic weather stations (AWS), taking the number of such weather stations installed by the civic body to 61. There will be a weather station every 4km, as opposed to one every 10km, as it currently is.
Mahesh Narvekar, chief officer for disaster management, said, "Localised weather updates will help citizens plan better in case of heavy rainfall. Though we have 35 AWS currently, there is one every 10kms, which is too big an area for a station to cover. Hence, these new AWS will ensure that there is one every 4kms, so that weather updates are more efficient."
The 'weather station' is a compact two-piece apparatus, which can document a host of climatic conditions, from rainfall to temperature to humidity. The data collected is automatically updated on the civic body's monsoon website every 15 minutes.
At present, these weather stations are installed on top of most fire stations across the city. Now, the BMC is planning to install them atop ward offices too. The BMC has invited bids for the project and civic officials are confident that the new stations will be up and working by the end of July.
Officials said that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines mandate that there be one AWS every 4km, a guideline the civic body wants to adhere to. The BMC is hoping to make use of these AWS' even during times of cyclones.
Narwekar said, "The AWS can also detect wind pressure and hence, we can rely on them during cyclone-like situations to detect areas with low atmospheric pressure. This will help us plan rescue operations well in advance."
The BMC plans to spend around Rs. 70 lakh for installing the new AWS along with maintaining the old ones.