India designated as a nodal centre for preparing flash-flood forecasts to Asian nations by World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has designated India as a nodal centre for preparing flash-flood forecasts to Asian nations including Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. That means the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will have to develop a customized weather model that can issue advance warning of floods. Using a combination of satellite mapping and ground-based observation, this system — called the Flash Flood Guidance System — aims to provide forecasts six hours in advance. Like India, several south-east Asian countries depend on the monsoon and are prone to its vagaries. The proposed model will provide forecasts by computing the likelihood of rainfall and the soil moisture levels to warn of possible floods. The WMO has estimated that flash floods account for 85% of flooding incidents across the world, causing some 5,000 deaths each year.

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