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Heavy rainfall alert for Mumbai, but Doppler radar is dysfunctional

The radar located at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Colaba can carry out weather surveillance at a distance of 300km radius from its location

mumbai Updated: Dec 05, 2017 00:51 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,rain,Doppler radar
The radar located at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Colaba can carry out weather surveillance at a distance of 300km radius from its location(FILE)

Even as the city is on high alert with the cyclone Ockhi moving closer to Mumbai coast, the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Doppler weather radar is dysfunctional, said officials.

The radar located at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Colaba can carry out weather surveillance at a distance of 300km radius from its location. The radar provides long-range weather surveillance, detection and forecast for rainfall, cloud formation, thunderstorms and other weather conditions such as tropical storms. “The Doppler radar is currently not working due to technical difficulties for the past few weeks,” said KS Hosalikar, deputy director general, western region, India Meteorological Department (IMD). “There was no use of the radar since the cyclone was beyond 300km away from the city. We have already got our engineers on the job, and it is being fixed. It will be up soon.”

IMD officials said the dysfunctional radar would not affect weather predictions.

Sunil G Kamble, scientist, Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai, in-charge of the radar, said there is a hitch in some specific units of the radar and it is under repair. “We cannot say by when it will be fixed, but our engineers are trying to fix it as early as possible,” he said. “We have other products such as satellite, rapid picture systems which measure and give the exact location of weather systems. The fact that the radar is not working, will not affect our predictions and accurate interpretations of the current conditions will be provided as other tools are available.”

“Whenever meteorological operations are done, there are always standby options. There are many situations where we need surrogate data, which might not be as accurate as the radar but provides all information. However, this cyclone may never get that close to Mumbai for the radar to read its pattern,” said B Mukhopadhayay, former additional director, IMD.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 00:51 IST