Pune: The city has a saucer shape and was in news for all bad reasons for the past few years for thunderstorms and heavy to very heavy rainfall during pre and post-monsoon periods. In spite of having automatic weather stations which do predict events of high intensity in advance, the radar will help to get accurate and in-time information about extreme weather events.
While talking to Free Press Journal, the head of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Pune KS Hosalikar said, “IMD falls under the Ministry of Earth Sciences and has various schemes owing to the geographical division of an area. Under Urban meteorology, for Pune, we had sent a proposal for a weather radar system to better understand the weather along with six other cities across the country."
How will weather radar help Punekars?
“Pune city from the past few years has been experiencing heavy to very heavy rainfall events in a short time period vis-à-vis thunderstorms. To understand these events better and to forecast them beforehand to minimise their economic, physical and other impacts, the weather radar will be an added advantage,” he informed.
The radar is expected to be installed by the 2025 monsoon, he said, adding that it will be X-band and cover a 100 km of radius. In the 100 km radius Nashik, Ahmednagar, Satara, western ghat region upto Raigad too can be covered,” he said.
How is Pune's weather different from Mumbai's?
“Mumbai has a radar system, but weather events in Mumbai are different from Pune. Mumbai has it for cyclone prediction, while Pune has thunderstorms, he said adding that with radar we will come to know about its intensity, the direction in which it will proceed, and the speed nearly three to four hours beforehand. This will be useful to reduce the losses and extreme impact on lives and property,” he said.
Pune IMD was trying to get it for the last five years. “We have two-three places but we need to find a place which will not be surrounded by sky-scrapers. We are trying to install it on a metallic tower. The plan is to make it operational by 2025,” he said.