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Weather information network and data system (WINDS) UPSC NOTE

 Weather information network and data system

  • Weather forecasting plays a pivotal role in the country’s functioning

  • Accurately predicting rain, cyclones, heatwaves and drought are critical to inform decision making on disaster management. 

  • In India the Indian Meteorology Department is the principal government agency in all matters relating to meteorology and it specialises in the incredibly complex science of predicting weather patterns by observing, modelling and interpreting a multitude of variables.

  • In tropical countries like India, weather variability is inherently higher. 

  • IMD’s forecasts have improved vastly in the last few years as it has upgraded to technologies similar to the ones used by the U.S., the U.K. and Japan, which are known to produce accurate forecasts

  • Yet, there are still many days and geographies for which Indian forecasts go wrong, especially during winter and summer monsoon.

  • One of the major hurdles is the lack of weather monitoring ground stations. 

  • Currently, IMD operates around 800 automatic weather stations (AWS), 1,500 automatic rain gauges (ARG) and 37 doppler weather radars (DWR). 

  • This is against the total requirements of more than 3,00,000 ground stations (AWS/ARG) and around 70 DWRs. 

  • It’s interesting to note that several IndianState governments and private companies operate a significant network of ground stations (more than 20,000), many of which are not currently used by IMD

  • The factors range from the inaccessibility of the data to their reliability

  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare introduces the WINDS.

Importance of weather forecasting

  • Weather forecasting plays a crucial role in various aspects of our lives, making it incredibly important for multiple reasons:

Safety and preparedness:

  • Early warnings: Accurate forecasts help anticipate severe weather events like storms, floods, heatwaves, and blizzards, allowing individuals and communities to take preventative measures to protect themselves and their property.

  • Disaster mitigation: Information on potential weather hazards enables authorities to issue timely warnings and implement disaster response plans, minimizing loss of life.

Economic benefits:

  • Informed decision-making: Businesses across various sectors, from agriculture and energy to construction and transportation, rely on weather forecasts to optimize operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

  • Resource management: Utilities can anticipate energy demand based on temperature forecasts, while farmers can plan irrigation and planting schedules based on precipitation predictions.

  • Risk management: Financial institutions and commodity traders use weather forecasts to assess risks and make informed investment decisions.

Societal impact:

  • Public health: Weather forecasts help predict the spread of airborne diseases like allergies and flu, allowing people to take necessary precautions.

  • Outdoor activities: Individuals can plan their leisure activities based on weather conditions, avoiding potential dangers and maximizing enjoyment

  • Environmental protection: Precise weather forecasting helps monitor and predict climate change patterns, aiding in environmental conservation efforts.

Scientific advancement:

  • Improved models: The constant development and refinement of weather prediction models contribute to advancements in atmospheric science and our understanding of climate systems.

  • Early detection: Accurate forecasts facilitate the early detection of extreme weather events, allowing for further research and analysis.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Weather information network and data system (WINDS) UPSC NOTE
Weather information network and data system (WINDS) UPSC NOTE
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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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