The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is embracing the digital age with the launch of its upgraded mobile app, ‘Mausam,’ as part of its significant push into the digital realm in its 150th year. This new app, available in 12 languages, aims to provide GIS-based weather forecasts for the entire country, including sub-city forecasts for 150 cities.
Director-General of Meteorology (DGM) Dr M Mohapatra expressed the department’s goal to connect with the common man, ensuring updated weather information for all locations at all times. The app covers all pin codes and offers sub-city forecasts for 150 cities, including Delhi. With a user-friendly interface, ‘Mausam’ brings the IMD’s forecasts up to global standards.
The app offers a 24-hour daily forecast for up to seven days, providing comprehensive weather updates. One unique feature is the ability for users to contribute current weather observations from their local areas, enhancing the IMD’s Nowcast issued every few hours.
In line with the increasing challenges posed by extreme weather events, the IMD plans to expand its observational network across the country. The year 2023, marked as the second-warmest on record for India, witnessed disastrous monsoon floods, record summer heatwaves, and rapidly-intensifying cyclones.
To address these challenges, the IMD is investing in research test-beds, such as one in Bhopal focusing on heavy rainfall events during the monsoon. Additionally, efforts are underway to improve the resolution of global weather prediction models from 12km to 5-6km. The department is procuring high-power computing systems, aiming to increase from 10 petaFLOPS to at least 30 petaFLOPS.
Dr Mohapatra highlighted the department’s commitment to improving forecast accuracy, with a notable 50% enhancement in 2023 compared to 2014 for all types of severe weather events.
The observational network, comprising Agro-Automated Weather Stations, automatic weather stations, rain gauges, lightning sensors, and satellite imagery, continues to expand to strengthen India’s resilience to changing weather patterns.