Flood Met Office begins functioning at Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram

A glimpse of the submerged houses in Kerala during 2019 floods.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

A Flood Meteorological Office (FMO), which will provide valuable meteorological support to the Central Water Commission (CWC) for issuing flood warnings, started functioning at the IMD Meteorological Centre in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The FMO in Thiruvananthapuram was scheduled to go operational on June 1, the date marking the beginning of the southwest monsoon season in Kerala, but its activities were kickstarted early due to the cyclone alert in the Arabian Sea and the consequent heavy rainfall warning for the State.

So far, the Flood Met operations for Kerala had been handled by the FMO, Bangalore. The formation of an FMO in Kerala is relevant against the backdrop of the devastating back-to-back floods of 2018 and 2019.

''The FMO at the Met Centre Thiruvananthapuram will be responsible for issuing quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPF) and hydromet data on all the river basins in the State. CWC is the official agency for forecasting floods. In its new role, the centre will be supporting the flood monitoring activities of the CWC,'' said K. Santhosh, director of the Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.

QPF is the expected quantum of rainfall over a given region/river basin over a specified period of time. QPF aside, the FMO will be issuing hydromet bulletins and areal average precipitation (AAP) data to strengthen flood forecasts. The FMO Thiruvananthapuram will upload the relevant data online so that it can be accessed by CWC and the other stakeholders.

Following the 2018 and 2019 floods, the State Government also has been demanding the national weather agency to streamline its weather forecasting infrastructure in Kerala. The FMO is the newest responsibility of the Met Centre in the State capital after a Cyclone Warning Centre was opened in 2018.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 4:17:43 AM |

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