Meteorological Centre in Ladakh

The Union Minister of Earth Science Dr Harsh Vardhan recently inaugurated a Meteorological centre in Union Territory of Ladakh. The Meteorological centre will provide weather forecasts for the region and strengthen the early warning system of weather forecasting in the region.

About the Meteorological Centre

  • This is the first Meteorological Centre in Ladakh.
  • The Meteorological Centre is the highest centre in India located at a height of 3,500 metres.
  • The Centre will provide short-range weather forecasts (three days), medium range weather forecasts (twelve days) and long-range weather forecasts (one month).
  • It will provide weather forecasts to two districts such as Kargil and Leh. Also, the centre will provide weather forecast to tourist places such as Nubra, Drass, Pangong Lake, Kargil, Khalsi, Changthang.
  • The major services to be provided by the centres are forecast for agriculture, mountaineering, trekking, flash flood warning, highway forecast, information low and high temperatures.

Significance

It is important to set up the centre in Ladakh due to its extreme climatic conditions. Ladakh experiences different extreme weather events such as cloud bursts, flash floods, glacial lake outbursts, avalanches and drought. There are four Automatic Weather Stations in Ladakh. Indian Meteorological Department plans to install more Automatic Weather Stations to improve network of observations in places such as Nubra, Zanskar, Parkachik, etc.

Meteorological Centres in India

The Indian Meteorological Department has six regional meteorological centres such as Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Nagpur.

The other IMD units such as Agrometeorological Advisory Service Centre, Forecasting offices, Hydro-Meteorological offices, area cyclone warning centres are usually co-located with various observatories.

Other Observational assets of IMD

  • Kalpana-1 was the first dedicated meteorological satellite launched by ISRO. INSAT series were also launched to fulfil meteorological requirements apart from other services such as telecommunications.
  • IMD also operates a network of hundred of glacial and surface observatories.

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