Andhra Pradesh

‘Providing farmers accurate weather forecasts a challenge’

Andhra University Vice-Chancellor P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy with president of Indian Meteorological Society S.K. Dash and Secretary to Ministry of Earth Sciences M. Rajeevan at the inaugural session of TROPMET-2019 in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

Andhra University Vice-Chancellor P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy with president of Indian Meteorological Society S.K. Dash and Secretary to Ministry of Earth Sciences M. Rajeevan at the inaugural session of TROPMET-2019 in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Ministry of Earth Sciences planning to set up observatories in each district

Providing accurate and localised weather inputs to farmers and various departments are working on this challenge, said M. Rajeevan, Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Dr. Rajeevan was delivering the inaugural address at TROPMET-2019, the four-day national symposium that began here on Wednesday. It is being organised by the Indian Meteorological Society and is jointly being hosted by the Department of Meteorology and Oceanography of Andhra University and IMS-Visakhapatnam chapter.

Dr. Rajeevan said that IMD and other government agencies have been providing block-level information. “But we now need to take it down to the village or panchayat-level, where farmers will get information about weather within a radius of 4 to 5 km.

“We intend to set up an observatory in each district, from where information can be generated. We are working with ICAR for the functioning of such field units, for the benefit of farmers,” said Dr. Rajeevan.

He said that due to global warming, weather patterns have become erratic which was affecting agriculture. “It is time that the farmers change their crop patterns to suit the rain pattern, due to unpredictability of the weather. And that is why we are trying to provide the best possible local data with maximum lead time,” he said.

According to him, another challenge for the meteorology department is to provid accurate prediction with good lead time. “Now, we are able to predict closely up to three days, but the challenge is to give prediction with a lead time of at least seven days,” he said.

He also informed the gathering that by next monsoon, the flood monitoring system present in Chennai will be adopted in Mumbai.

“There are apps, which give updates every 15 minutes and people will be kept updated about which area is going to receive good rainfall and where there might be chances of flooding. Once this information is known, people can plan their route and take decisions,” he said.

Dr. Rajeevan also said that focus is being laid on research into thunderstorms, radar meteorology and artificial intelligence.

Director General of IMD, Dr. M. Mohapatra, in his address said that there was a need to install agriculture-specific radars.

He also said that cyclonic activity over the Arabian Sea will increase in the coming days and Bay of Bengal area will see a reduction.

Akhilesh Gupta, advisor, Department of Science and Technology, Vice-Chancellor of AU Prof. P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy, Prof. S.K. Dash, President IMS- Delhi, Prof. P. Sunitha, HoD of Department of Oceanography and Meteorology, Prof. S.S.V.S. Ramakrishna, convener and president of IMS-Vizag, and Dr. D.R. Pattanaik, secretary IMS- Delhi, spoke.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 5:39:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/providing-farmers-accurate-weather-forecasts-a-challenge/article30280591.ece

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