Deployment of 15 of the new 100 Automated Weather Stations across Kerala before the onset of the south west monsoon in June, which was delayed by two months due to the lockdown, will be commissioned within a month, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.
IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, in a letter to the Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, V Venu, said the lockdown had delayed deployment of the 15 AWS before the onset of monsoon, expected on June 5, but that these would be commissioned in a month.
The IMD had last year offered to install 100 AWS in Kerala to improve forecast accuracy before the South West monsoon this year and handit over to the state government.
It had said that 15 AWS would be installed by March 2020 and the remaining 85, by June this year.
The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority had identified over 100 locations in consultation with district administrations, Kerala Water Authority, Kerala State Electricity Board and Irrigation Department in this regard.
Mohapatra said the AWS could not be deployed as some of the locations initially proposed did not satisfy the standard exposure conditions and also due to the COVID-19 induced lock down in the state, which came into effect from March 24.
Now that some lockdown restrictions have been eased, IMD has asked Hach DHR India Pvt Ltd. to complete all installation and commissioning of 15 AWS month within a month, he said.
Mohapatra said IMD has been providing KSDMA very high- resolution short and medium range (up to 10 km) Numerical Weather Prediction Model forecasts since 2017,
Thes high resolution images are being used by many countries in South Asia and other parts of the world for their weather service through regional activities of the World Meterological Organisation, he said and assured the "best weather services for the benefit of people in Kerala".
Mohapatra said two Doppler Weather Radars (DWR) were installed at Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi recently, to meet the requirements of central and south Kerala.
"One more X-band radar is being installed at Kannur airport on top priority.
Two more radars at Mangalore and Kavarati, are also planned by IMD for immediate future (next two years)," he said.
The Left government had sought more AWSs in the state after the two consecutive natural disasters--the floods of 2018 and landslides of 2019.
At present, IMD has only 14 AWSs in the State one per district.