Impact of rain too will be forecast now

IMD facility that predicts waterlogging, tree uprooting in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has rolled out impact-based forecasts for Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi cities as part of introducing new weather forecast-related features.

A typical impact-based forecast for heavy rainfall offers such details as realised weather, a three-hour forecast and the ‘impact’ that may be expected (such as waterlogging on major roads, flooding and uprooting of trees) along with suggested precautions (such as traffic restrictions or evacuation of people).

Every three hours

The forecast is also accompanied by the now-familiar colour codes green, yellow, orange and red indicative of the severity of the situation. The impact-based forecast can be updated every three hours, and, if needed, every two hours or so during especially intense spells of rainfall, K. Santhosh, director, IMD Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said.

The IMD is already offering impact-based forecasts in many major cities. This is the first time that it has been introduced for two major cities in the State. Following the 2018 floods, the State government had requested the national weather agency for more accurate and localised forecasts to aid disaster mitigation and management.

Earlier this year, the IMD had added 15 more automatic weather stations (AWS) in Kerala, the first batch of a total 100 new ones planned across the State.

Reports in 16 more sites

The Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, has also expanded its ‘City Forecast’ list to include 16 locations in Kerala and four on the Lakshadweep Islands for providing local weather reports and forecasts. Current weather data from the AWS across the State and ‘Highway Forecast’ also are provided.

Earlier, the IMD had rolled out the mobile apps Mausam (weather forecast), Meghdoot (agro advisory) and Damini (lightning alerts) as part of initiatives to improve weather forecast and warning services. The apps are compatible on iOS and Android platforms.

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