The India Metrological Department (IMD), has been successful in predicting better forecasts in the last couple of years. Thanks to advanced technology and supercomputers which help the agency to record and understand weather maps more efficiently for forecasts and warnings.
Explaining the previous ways of predicting the forecast, Mumbai IMD official Sushma Nair said, “Earlier there were no detailed numerical model charts (NMC) because of which we could not give the five-day forecast.
These charts had less information because of which the forecast mainly depended on the experience of the IMD officials and the weather on a particular day. Based on these, the forecast for the next day was done.”
“Moreover, we were not able to visualise it, but with the advent of NMC charts and high-resolution models, we are now able to have a view of how our atmosphere looks like with present conditions,” she added.
The official added, “Now we can give five-day warnings in advance because the charts are detailed which gives us a preview of the future and helps us give the forecast with some degree of confidence. Further, other factors like better technology and addition of supercomputers have increased the amount of accuracy for forecast predictions.”
According to IMD Mumbai, the steps taken by them for predicting a weather forecast include — analysing the present-day weather conditions; studying the NMC and cloud patterns through satellite image patterns through remotely sensed photos; synoptic observations; and the experience of the IMD scientist.
The IMD this year had predicted the onset of monsoon on June 11 and as predicted the city did witness rainfall on June 11, which was declared as the date of monsoon onset for Mumbai this year. However, on July 8, the IMD declared a red alert (extremely heavy rainfall) for Mumbai but the city witnessed only lightto moderate rainfall.
“Over warning is always better than under warning. Allthe weather systems were very favourable for extremely heavy rainfall but the speed of the low-pressure area which would result in the rainfall, was faster than expected which led to less rainfall on the day the red alert was declared,” Nair added.