Nowcast is a technique that provides weather forecast on a concise period — from 2 to 6 hours. It can predict the weather with reasonable accuracy with radar, satellite and observation data in small areas, like a city.




Written by Harsh Shukla

Pune will soon get its fourth weather forecast station in Pimpri-Chinchwad, director general of India Meteorological Department Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said Monday. Pune already has weather observation stations at Shivaji Nagar, Lohegaon and Pashan. “We provide Nowcast at three locations in Pune, and we are now planning to introduce the same at Pimpri-Chinchwad as well… We are targeting every capital city with multiple locations for weather observation and forecast,” Mohapatra said.

Nowcast is a technique that provides weather forecast on a concise period — from 2 to 6 hours. It can predict the weather with reasonable accuracy with radar, satellite and observation data in small areas, like a city. It acts as a handy tool to warn or aware public about floods, cyclones or lightning strikes.

Referring to the various work IMD has done in the field of operational climate services, Mohapatra said, “We provide weather updates for every three hours or Nowcast, which is already there at three places in Pune. We expanded Nowcast from 20 locations to 720 within six years of starting since 2013. We have also come out with a mobile application for lightning strikes alerts called ‘Damini’. We will expand its reach soon.”

Mohapatra was speaking at an international workshop, organised by the IMD in collaboration with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System, Thailand, at Meteorological Training Institute in Pune. The 12-day workshop will continue till December 20. Mohapatra said it was the first international training programme on ‘operational climate service’, and added that the IMD was planning to make it an annual affair.

R R Kelkar, former director-general of meteorology, IMD, said, “Climate services are completely a new ball game. Traditional weather services, like forecast, will tell you whether you have to carry an umbrella or not, while climate services will tell you if you need to buy an umbrella or not for this season. The operational climate service will impact various stakeholders like energy, food, health and water.”
Fifteen trainees from across India and 15 others from other South Asian countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Afghanistan and Malawi will attend the workshop.

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