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“India has one of the best early warning system and weather forecasting models” says Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, DG IMD

The IMD's Pre-Cyclone Exercise underscores the nation's commitment to enhancing disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts.

Shivam Dwivedi
Weather Forecasting (Photo Source: IMD)
Weather Forecasting (Photo Source: IMD)

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recently conducted a Pre-Cyclone Exercise for the upcoming April-June 2024 season, led by Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, the Director General of IMD. The exercise, which took place in a hybrid mode at Mausam Bhavan in New Delhi, aimed to assess the preparedness of various stakeholders in disaster management.

Enhanced Early Warning Systems and Collaboration

Dr. Mohapatra emphasized India's robust early warning system and advanced weather forecasting models during the exercise. He highlighted recent achievements in cyclone forecasting and stressed the ongoing cooperation between IMD, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and the Indian armed forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

IMD has developed an indigenous 'Decision Support System' that boasts an increased accuracy rate of over 50% compared to predictions made in the last decade. Additionally, a Multimodal ensemble system is being utilized for continuous weather monitoring and issuing location-specific advisories. Dr. Mohapatra also noted the development of various mobile apps by IMD for issuing timely warnings and making Application Programming Interfaces (API) available to other organizations.

Success Stories and Risk Mitigation Initiatives

During the meeting, Dr. Mohapatra highlighted the successful outcome of cyclone preparedness, citing zero casualties during cyclone Biparjoy due to effective preparedness measures.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP), has developed a Web-based Dynamic Composite Risk Atlas (Web-DCRA) for location-specific forecasting, which is now available to district disaster managers.

Scaling New Heights in Weather Forecasting

As IMD celebrates its 150th year of service to the nation, Dr. Mohapatra expressed confidence in the organization's readiness to expand its reach and provide weather information to every household at any time and anywhere. He emphasized the integration of state-of-the-art technology and collaborations with academia, research institutes, public-private partnerships, and stakeholders.

Collaborative Efforts and Standard Operating Procedures

Mohsen Shahedi, DIG (Ops & Training) of NDRF, mentioned that Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are in place and continuously reviewed based on feedback. He acknowledged the efforts of IMD and expressed confidence in the cooperative efforts of NDMA, NDRF, and IMD.

R K Agarwal, (PA & AO) of NCRMP, highlighted the success achieved in the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project with IMD's cooperation.

Comprehensive Participation

The exercise saw participation from various disaster management agencies, including representatives from all Coastal states and union territories, senior officials from Director General Shipping, Director General of Lighthouses and Lightships, the National Hydrographic Office, Airport Authority of India, Port Authority, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Rural Development, All India Radio, Doordarshan News, and the Press Information Bureau.

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