It will help strengthen forecasting, says KSNDMC director

The State needs a Doppler weather radar system to strengthen the forecasting mechanism, V.S. Prakash, director of the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC), has said. Dr. Prakash has said that the State was in a better position compared to other States as far as the establishment of ground-level weather monitoring stations was concerned.

Dr. Prakash, who was addressing a workshop on the Bhoochetana programme here on Friday, said that the State had 2,850 telemetric rain gauges and 747 weather monitoring stations. “This is a record in the country. We are far ahead of many other States. In fact, the Madhya Pradesh and Uttarkhand State governments recently approached us, seeking to emulate our model.”

The rain gauges send data to KSNDMC’s central server in real time, which helps forecasting. The gauges record only rainfall, while weather-monitoring stations record temperature, wind speed and humidity.

“The State government has decided to add 3,000 gauges this year. In the coming years, villages may get one rain gauge each, and each gram panchayat a weather monitoring station,” he said.

The Doppler weather radar system helps increase precision in weather forecasting. “It has been proposed to set up such systems in Mangalore and Bangalore. In addition, 11 are being contemplated. These will be established a cost of Rs. 125 crore,” Dr. Prakash told presspersons on the sidelines of the workshop. Advances in science will be beneficial to policy-making, he said. When Tamil Nadu demanded 10 tmcft of Cauvery waters last year, Karnataka could have used satellite images of the actual position of crops to support its stand in the Supreme Court, he said.

Delayed monsoon

The South Asian Climate Outlook Forum, which met in Pune from April 13 to April 23, issued a statement that the 2014 monsoon (June to September) would be below normal to normal. The monsoon forecast for the State is being worked out. “As per the information received, the onset of this year’s monsoon will be delayed, resulting in below normal rainfall in June,” Dr. Prakash added.

More In: Karnataka | National