The crowd-sourcing initiative by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), through which weather phenomena like rain, thundershower, fog, gusty winds, etc can be reported by locals, has now been coined as 'Weather Ambassador' by IMD, also the website which earlier had only two languages - English and Hindi, has now been upgraded with 10 new regional languages for making it more accessible to the locals of remote areas in the country.
If any citizen from a city, town or village throughout the country, happens to observe a weather phenomenon like rain, thunder/ lightning, hail storm, snow, gusty wind, dust storm or fog, can directly report it to the IMD through their website in 12 different languages namely - English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Odiya, Assamese, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bangla. They can also report the associated damage caused by these weather phenomena with detailed descriptions and pictures.
IMD Mumbai head, Jayanta Sarkar said, "The crowd sourcing forum on our website is called 'Weather Ambassador' as it is an initiative which is taken by local people who send in the weather reports of their regions which helps IMD to reach remote places and villages where we do not have an IMD observatory. Some of the main Indian languages which have been introduced will help the website become more accessible and easy to use for most citizens in the country."
"The weather reports sent by the locals help in collating new data of the various regions throughout the country and it also helps in initiating weather warnings. If a weather phenomenon like a hail storm has not occurred over an IMD observatory, it reports it as zero, no occurrence; whereas from a crowd-sourcing report, the IMD gets the entire picture for the country for various occurrences and this helps it gradually build up a pattern. This feature can be found in the Public Observation section of the Mausam website, also, the citizens do not need to register, they can directly send in the information," added the official.
The 'Weather Ambassador' website interface includes various checklists like - State, district, date and time of weather event and GPS location.