Nowcast to predict the weather a few hours ahead in specific localities will be introduced in all metros, said Ajit Tyagi, Director-General of Meteorology, IMD, here on Saturday.

Inaugurating a satellite facility at the aerodrome meteorological office, he said the nowcast model was used successfully in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games to predict weather over each stadium.

Nowcast was used on a limited scale in New Delhi and would soon be extended to Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This site-specific facility could predict rain in locations such as Nungambakkam, Meenambakkam and Adyar. The new facility, a direct readout ground station for receiving and processing data from polar orbiting satellites, would obtain high resolution images from these satellites in 1000 m, 500 m and 250 m spectral band resolutions. With the new facility, data on vertical profile of atmospheric temperature/humidity, sea surface temperature, stability of the atmosphere, its turbidity, optical depth of cloud and aerosol could be obtained.

As on date, the Chennai facility is receiving data from NOAA 18, NOAA 19, Modis Terra, Modis Aqua satellites launched by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Washington; and Fengyun 1D satellite from China. Once the European Space Agency's MetOp satellites begin transmission over the Indian region, the Chennai facility will have the provision to receive the data, he said. A similar facility was installed in New Delhi in September. One such facility was being installed in Guwahati. Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director-General of meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said, “With nowcast, people organising functions such as marriages will be able to find out if it will rain in the locality.”

R. Suresh, Director, Aerodrome Meteorological Office, spoke.