Central government approves Rs 2,135 crore to improve weather forecast services

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved Rs 2,135 crore for the continuation of a program that will further improve and upgrade the country’s weather and climate forecasting services, while providing latest IT capabilities and infrastructure.

The Cabinet Committee approved the continuation of the Atmospheric and Climate Research Observation and Modeling Systems and Services (ACROSS). Under this scheme, eight sub-schemes will be implemented, with financial support provided throughout the next funding cycle, from 2021 to 2026.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will implement all these sub-programmes mainly through various organizations – Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, Indian National Center for Environmental Services Information Center (INCOIS), Hyderabad, and the National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida.

The continuation of the ACROSS program is primarily aimed at improving the country’s weather, climate and ocean forecasts and services. For example, in recent years, IMD has undertaken the upgrade and digitization of many of its services and the results are evident in the form of near-accurate forecasts in a short period of time, forecasting in advance of cyclones and their paths, the expansion of meteorological services to health, electricity, energy, agriculture and other areas.

Over the next five years, IMD will mainly contribute to five sub-programs – Upgrading Forecasting Systems, Weather and Climate Services, Atmospheric Observations Network, Monsoon and Cloud Study​ ​and the commissioning of polarimetric Doppler weather radars in the country.

The four institutes will work on the third phase of the “monsoon mission”. This mission is led by the IITM, which is currently continuing the second phase of the mission. The Pune-based institute will also work on the High Performance Computing (HPC) system as it has previously leveraged Aditya and Pratush advanced HPCs for various weather modeling purposes.

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