Doppler radar remains defunct
GS Paper - 1 (Geography)
THE DOPPLER radar—which surveys weather patterns, and forecasts— situated at Colaba continued to remain suspended. The radar installed in 2010 at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Colaba in South Mumbai has seen frequent breakdowns in the last four years and has remained defunct since July, the start of the monsoon season this year.
- It can carry out weather surveillance up to 450-500 km radius and is crucial for gauging the intensity of rainfall and impact area in the city in real-time.
- Surface rainfall intensity (SRI), a feature of the radar, helps to measure the speed of approaching clouds, height, the time in which the clouds will bring rain to the city, the amount of rainfall the approaching clouds hold and predict the precipitation accumulation.
- However, the IMD maintained that the forecast was not impacted by the defunct radar. “C-band DWR in Mumbai (Veravali) is already operational.
- Earlier, the radar was down a day before extremely severe cyclonic storm Taukate brushed Mumbai coast in May last year.
- It was also down a day before severe cyclonic storm Nisarga brushed past Mumbai on 2 June in 2020. During June and July 2019, when the city witnessed extremely heavy rain, the radar was dysfunctional on both occasions. It was also shut on 4 December 2017, when Cyclone ockhi brushed past the Mumbai coast.
- A Doppler radar is also efficient in tracking clouds that cause thunderstorms. Real-time forecasting helps give out accurate information on areas where it may rain heavily.