Tamil Nadu is all set to develop an independent weather forecasting system specific to the state to bridge the gap in the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecasting. State Finance Minister, P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan in the state budget on Friday allocated an amount of Rs 10 crore for developing the independent weather forecasting system.
According to the Tamil Nadu disaster management department, as of Friday out of the four Doppler weather radars in Chennai region, only one at Karaikkal is working without any glitches.
The S-band radar at Chennai port is defunct for want of important spare parts that need to be imported. Other than this, the radar at the National Ocean Technology (NIOT) is not fully calibrated. The Sriharikota radar has not been updated also, sources said.
Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority officials said that they haven’t got any alert on the possibility of extreme weather conditions during the record rainfall that was received in Chennai between November 6 and 7 in 2021. The state capital received a record rainfall of 21 cm in 24 hours in just two days.
A senior officer with the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA) told IANS that a state-specific and sophisticated Integrated Weather Forecasting system will be developed using supercomputers, radars, automatic weather stations, and automatic rain gauges.
He said that the state agency will be installing 1400 automatic weather stations and that the Rs 10 crore allocated in the state budget was only a seed fund. The senior official said that more funds would be sourced from other avenues.
The official also said that the Tamil Nadu government is only to complement what IMD was doing and will bridge the gaps.
Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority official also said that the changing weather patterns have made it necessary for such a high-end weather forecasting technology in the state and said that the state will not be able to take any chances in further weather fluctuations.