Weather forecasting in the hilly terrain has been a challenging feat and remains so, even after ages of research and technical advancement. Limitations exist, be it in weather radars or numerical weather models. The hilly terrains face numerous problems, in fact, siting of the equipment itself becomes a challenge.
Terrain Vs Forecasting
Weather forecasting and terrain are inversely related. Moreover, change in weather conditions are very fast in the hills. At times, a warm sunny day may turn in to a snowy cold night.
The Uttarakhand floods in 2013 and the Jammu and Kashmir floods in 2014 prompted the government to set up a hi-tech weather forecasting Doppler radar at the Srinagar meteorology office. The radar was set up after the Supreme Court’s directions. The Doppler radar has an area coverage of 100 km in which it is able to judge the amount and type of precipitation and make accurate weather forecast up to a maximum of six hours. Click here to read the full story.
The government has been making all efforts but how successful is weather forecasting in today’s world? At present there is just one Doppler radar in the hills of North India and the next one is in Patiala. The density of observational networks should be reinforced. Exponential increase in weather forecasting equipment is the need of the hour so that we can get feeds from every nook and corner of the country. Timely capturing of meso scale weather events is very important, otherwise anything can take you by surprise.
Thousands of people lost their lives in Uttarakhand, while over 200 people died in the Jammu and Kashmir deluge. Kashmir is vulnerable to natural calamities like floods, cloudbursts, landslides etc. A Doppler radar definitely helps the state government to be well prepared for floods and natural calamities, but it is still not bereft of drawbacks.
Skymet had predicted a couple of days earlier that heavy rain and snowfall will start lashing Jammu and Kashmir from the 1st of April. People have been warned in advance. Therefore, we can say that weather forecasting has made tremendous improvement but challenges remain intact. Click here to read the story 'India advancing in weather forecasting'.