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Annual Report 2000 - 2001

Scientific Services

India Meteorological Department

Technology Development Projects

Under the Project, "Andhra Pradesh Hazard Mitigation and Emergency Cyclone Recovery", Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the procurement of 3 Doppler Weather Radars, 100 Cyclone Warning Dissemination System, (CWDS) and 10 High Speed Wind Recorders (HSWR) at a cost of Rs.72.15 crores. Two Doppler Weather Radars, METEOR - 1500S, procured from M/S Gematronik, Germany based on latest state of art, will soon replace existing S-band radars at Kolkata and Chennai. Ten sets of High Speed Wind Recorders (HSWRs) have been procured, out of which four sets have been successfully installed at Meteorological Office, Digha, Paradeep, Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam.

Two additional sets of Dual Base Line Transmissometers, procured rom M/S Impulsphysik, Germany, were successfully installed and commissioned at IGI Airport, New Delhi, with effect from 11-12-2000 to meet the Runway Visual Range (RVR) requirements of ILS Category-III operations.

Four Broad Band Seismograph systems have been installed and made operational at New Delhi. Ten seismological field stations and Central recording stations at IMD, HQ New Delhi have been installed under the Delhi Telemetry System and made operational. Site preparation for other six stations has completed.

A new system, to process INSAT-2E, VHRR (IR, VIS & Water Vapour) and CCD (VIS, NIR, SWIR) data, has been installed and commissioned). INSAT-2E has a Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) and Charged Coupled Device (CCD) pay-load of higher resolutions. A new Primary Data Utilisation Station (PDUS) has been installed in Sat. Met. Division for reception of METEOSAT-5 data on a regular basis.

Recently, India Meteorological Department has further modernised its National Meteorological Telecommunication Centre (NMTC) with a new state-of-the-art switching computer which has capabilities comparable with any advanced WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Centres on the GTS (Global Telecommunication System). The system has many advanced facilities like handling VSAT links, Dial-up Telex, handling Metfax, Auto fax in, Auto Fax out facility, Data Modem-in, Data Modem-out, exchange of T4 fax and handling sea area bulletins (under Global Maritime Distress & Safety System) broadcast system.

The website of IMD's HQ, New Delhi was made operational from 1st June, 2000 which contains dynamically updated information on all India weather and forecasts, special monsoon report, INSAT satellite cloud pictures updated every three hours, Limited Area Model (LAM) generated products and prognostic charts, special weather warnings, tropical cyclone information and warnings, including tracks predicted by the newly developed dynamical model. Weekly and monthly rainfall distribution maps, earthquake reports etc. This also contains a lot of static information including temperature and rainfall normals over the country and a brief overview of the activities and services rendered by India Meteorological Department. This site can be accessed round-the-clock with the following URL: http://www.imd.ernet.in. In addition, IMD's websites have also been made operational at the Regional Meteorological Centres, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and the Positional Astronomy Centre, Kolkata.

For public information and awareness, an interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), popularly known as 'weather on telephone', was started by the NMTC with effect from July 2000. One can access current weather and forecast for major Indian cities by dialing a convenient 4-digit telephone number 1717. This is the easiest way for a common man to know the weather of a place of his choice at the cost of one local call.

Six more Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) have been added to the IMD's telecommunication network linking important Seismic Observatories, ACWCs, CWCs, CDRs and the Weather Forecasting Office, Pune, with the Telecommunication Division at New Delhi.

For the first time a DIWE instrument with digital display unit was fabricated and supplied to INS Garuda, Kochi. The system was installed and is working satisfactorily.

TIFAC (DST), SPIC, and IMD have commenced coordination for developing a polymer-membrane based electrolyser for generation of hydrogen gas in situ for Met. purpose.

A thermistor Calibration Chamber has been commissioned with a capability of calibrating thermistors, individually in batches, from +50° to -90° C.

Carbon hygristors, having faster rate of response and capable to give RH values in sub-zero temperatures upto -60° C have been introduced at RMO, Ayanagar with good results.

Basic Research Projects

  • Research work on development of Long Range Forecast models for different regions and periods, was carried out as follows:
  • A new quasi-Lagrangian dynamical model for cyclonic track prediction based on NCEP Washington hurricane model was developed and made operational in IMD. The model was used for forecasts of movement of cyclonic storms in the Indian seas in operational situations to provide numerical guidance to synoptic forecasters.
  • The operational 16 parameters Parametric and Power Regression models were modified by replacing four predictors, whose relationship with monsoon rainfall has declined in recent years, with four new predictors. Three new predictors: Arabian Sea SST, Indian Ocean SST and Europe Pressure Gradient) have been identified by research carried out in IMD. The model coefficients were recomputed and used for the operational forecasts for monsoon 2000.
  • The Experimental Models based on Power Regression, Dynamic Stochastic Transfer, Neural Network and Principal Component Regression were also refined using new predictors.
  • Under the Mountain Meteorology project, now renamed as Project PARWAT, upper air station at Manali (HP) was made operational.
  • Micro-earthquake survey of Chamoli earthquake has been completed. A preliminary report on Chamoli earthquake of March 1999 and aftershock activities has been published as a monograph (Seismology No.2/2000).

Ongoing Research Work

The Seismology Division is maintaining 45 National Seismological Observatories and 9 river valley project observatories to monitor the seismicity around the Dams.

Agrometeorological Division at Pune has undertaken a study of interrelation between crop pests and diseases and concurrent weather factors in collaboration with Agricultural Universities and Research Institutes with a view to forewarn their outbreaks, on the basis of weather-based models. Efforts are also being made to delineate the risk zones and also likely epidemics of different major crop pests and diseases so that warning against their outbreak and also subsequent control measure can be adopted in time.

Ground based remote sensing techniques using ground truth radiometer, are being carried out for wheat and maize crops on experimental basis. A number of collaborative projects have been undertaken with Agricultural institutes of the country for studying crop- weather relationship.

Empirical statistical models have been developed using multiple correlation and regression technique to forecast crop yields on operational basis for 26 sub-divisions growing Kharif Rice and for 16 sub-divisions growing Wheat. Based on these models, pre-harvest monthly crop yield forecast for Kharif rice are being prepared for 15 States and total rice production for the country as a whole from August to December as well as for wheat for 12 States and total wheat production for the country as a whole from January to May.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) commenced a Background Air Pollution Monitoring Network 'BAPMoN' Programme in 1972 (and under Global Atmosphere Watch GAW since 1989). India maintains a network of ten regional BAPMoN stations to monitor (I) Prediction Chemistry, and (ii) Atmospheric Turbidity, on long term basis, and (iii) Total Suspended Particulate Matter at Jodhpur. Environmental appraisal was undertaken of a number of industrial and power projects and manning proposals of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Ocean Research Cruise

IMD participated in ORV Sagar Kanya Cruises under the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) programme.

IMD also acted as the main coordination centre during the Bay of Bengal Monsoon Experiment (BOBMEX) project.

IMD Grant-in-Aid Programmes

India Meteorological Department is providing financial support for some selected research projects to research Institutes/Universities/Societies for encouraging the young scientists to keep up research work in the field of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences. A contribution of Rs.20,000/- was granted to the Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) for the National Seminar TROPMET-2001, 6-9 February, 2001. IMS New Delhi is also being funded for publication of its periodical research journal, 'Vayu Mandal'.

Technologies Transferred/Commercialised

IMD received an adhoc payment of Rs.12 crores (Rupees Twelve crores) only from Airports Authority of India towards cost of meteorological services rendered for aviation.

An amount of Rs.29,73,608/- has been collected from private agencies on account of the calibration and certification of surface meteorological instruments by the Instruments Division, Pune.

Meteorological observations recorded by the observatories all over India are scrutinised, processed and archived by National Data Centre (NDC), Pune, and used for various purposes like construction, transport, irrigation, agriculture, industry, aviation, development schemes, public safety measures, railways, research etc., by various Governmental and private agencies. The Meteorological data are also exchanged internationally as per WMO commitment.

NDC, Pune also supplies various types of meteorological data demanded by the users in India and abroad. About 132 lakh records were retrieved and supplied to the users as shown below:

                             Commercial                Non-Commercial
Foreign Parties           1                                  -
Indian Parties           102                              101
Departmental             -                                 105

An amount of Rs.5,82,096/- has been collected towards the supply of above data.

Climatic Diagnostic Bulletins of India for the months of February 2000 to September 2000, and for the winter season (January-February) and for pre-monsoon season (March-May) have been published. Technical assistance is rendered to various Agricultural Departments, Agricultural Universities, Research Institutes for installation of soil moisture and ET observatories and their establishment, logistics, maintenance, inspection and smooth running. Processed Agro-Climatic data are supplied to end users like Ministry of Agriculture, State Department of Agriculture, Scientists of Agricultural Universities/ Institutes for planning agricultural strategy and research work. Development and manufacture of seismological instruments and accessories is undertaken in the Departmental workshop. Besides, catering to the needs of the National Observatories, the Organisation also makes a limited supply of seismological instruments to other Institutions.

Technology Demonstration Projects Undertaken in the Area of Socio-economic Development

250 Cyclone Warning Dissemination Systems (CWDS) are operational for near real time dissemination of cyclone warnings through satellite directly to the areas likely to be affected. CWDS receivers have been installed along both East and West coasts of the country. The service is unique in the world and helps public in general and the local administration during the cyclone season to take preventive measures for disasters mitigation. A scheme to upgrade existing CWDS technology, based on latest digital technology, is also likely to be introduced soon.

Pre-harvest Crop Yield Forecast for Wheat crop for 5 States for April and 2 States for May and total Wheat production for the country as a whole were prepared and issued for April and May 2000. Pre-harvest Crop Yield Forecast for Kharif Rice for 15 States and total Rice production for the country as a whole were prepared and issued for August to November 2000.

Agromet Advisory Service (AAS) bulletins are prepared weekly/biweekly in consultation with State Agricultural experts and various specialists for the benefit of farmers at 17 Agromet centres in the country. These advisories are broadcast by AIR stations in the respective regions in regional languages and also telecast wherever the facilities exist.

Crop weather calendars for different crops are prepared to use as a guiding tool for the preparation of Farmers' Weather Bulletin issued daily by the different meteorological Centres of the country.

Seven Pilot Balloon-cum-Micromet observatories are functioning in West Rajasthan and adjoining areas to study the meteorological aspects about the movements of desert locust swarms. Special forecast of rainfall and upper wind and also locust sighting observations are taken in Rajasthan and adjoining areas during swarm incidence for anti-locust operation to be adopted by the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage (PPQ&S), Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.

Dhubri II.b observatory has been upgraded to Class II.a observatory with effect from 23.6.2000.

Research Highlights

For the last 13 years, long range forecast of monsoon rainfall have been issued using 16 parameter Power Regression and Parametric models. Other models based on Dynamic Stochastic Transfer (DST), Multiple Regression, Neural Network and Principal Component Regression also have been used.

Long Range Forecast (LRF) issued by IMD in May 2000 indicated normal monsoon for the year 2000 (Quantitatively 99% of LPA +4% EME). For the country as a whole, the total rainfall during monsoon season (June-September) was 92% of LPA making the year 13th normal monsoon year in succession.

Long Range Forecasts have been reintroduced for 3 homogeneous regions of India, viz., NW India, Peninsula and NE India.

Research in the fundamental and applied seismology is undertaken by the Seismological Division. Special studies are also conducted for important earthquakes occurring in and near India. Use of Broad-band Digital data has improved such studies. The design seismic coefficients for large and small dams are supplied to the project authorities.

IMD team members of the 19th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica are wintering at Maitri since December 1999 in order to carry out the on-going Meteorological Programme. Brewer Spectrophotometer has been installed for the measurement of total ozone, NO2 and SO2 at Maitri, Antarctica.

Gujarat Earthquake of 26 January, 2001

A devastating earthquake of magnitude 6.9 on Richter scale occurred on January 26, 2001 at 08 hours 46 minutes (IST) in the Kutch area of Gujarat. The epicentre of the earthquake was located at Lat. 23.6° N, Long. 69.8° E near Bhuj.

The earthquake was felt widely over many parts of the country and caused extensive damage to property and loss of life in Bhuj, Ahmedabad and other areas in Gujarat.

A number of aftershocks of lesser magnitude followed the main shock. The largest aftershock of magnitude 5.9 occurred on 28th January 2001, at 06 hours 32 minutes IST. By 31st January 2001 more than 100 aftershocks have occurred.

A team of IMD scientists led by Dr. S.N. Bhattacharya, Deputy Director General of Meteorology (Seismology), left for Bhuj on the evening of 26th January for Bhuj and they set up three temporary field observatories at Bhuj and one each at locations 60 km north of Bhuj and 40 km east of Bhuj. These observatories are for the purpose of recording aftershock activity in the area.

Cyclonic Storms

During the pre-monsoon season, one cyclonic storm formed in the Bay of Bengal on 30th March and was located about 750 km south of Kolkata. The system moved in a north-north-easterly direction and weakened in situ over the sea.

During the post-monsoon season, four cyclonic storms formed in the Bay of Bengal. The first one formed on 16th October over west central Bay at a distance of 500 km east-south-east of Machilipatnam. The system moved in a westerly direction and gradually weakened into a low pressure area in the sea itself (off Andhra Pradesh coast) on 19th and became unimportant thereafter.

The second disturbance formed over east central Bay and intensified into a cyclonic storm in the early morning of 28th October. The storm moved in a north-easterly direction and crossed West Bengal coast, east of Sagar Islands and weakened into a depression over Bangladesh on the same day. It subsequently weakened over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoam & Tripura (NMMT).

The third system, initially formed in southeast Bay of Bengal on 26 November, and attained the intensity of cyclonic storm on 27th. Moving in a westerly direction, it intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm on 28th and crossed Tamil Nadu coast close to Cuddalore and became unimportant later on.

The last cyclonic storm formed in southwest Bay of Bengal in the morning of 25 December. The system intensified into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm on 26th. It crossed the coast of Sri Lanka and emerged into the Gulf of Mannar on 27th. Moving in a westerly direction the system finally crossed south Tamil Nadu coast near Tuticorin on 28th and gradually weakened subsequently.

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