Srinagar: Meteorology Department has installed a state-of-the-art Doppler Weather Radar at Banihal in a bid to manage natural disasters by means of early warning systems in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the backdrop of the September 2014 floods, a Doppler Weather Radar was installed at the MET department, Barzulla in Srinagar. The radar system was put in place to give an accurate forecast and provide advance forecasts about heavy rains, cloud bursts, snowfalls, and avalanches.
However, the lone radar has not been able to provide an accurate weather forecast for the entire UT. Following this, the department identified three more places in J&K including Jammu, Banihal Top, and Leh for the setting up of the radar.
Deputy Director MET, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad told The Kashmir Monitor that the radar at Banihal has been installed and made operational.
“The radar is expected to provide accurate nowcasting (a weather forecast predicting the weather for a very short upcoming period, usually of a few hours) and high impact weather like cloud burst, flash floods, windstorms, and heavy rains.
He said it is installed at an altitude of 3000 meters and covers areas like National Highway J&K, Chenab Valley, and major parts of the valley including the Amarnath Yatra route,” Dr. Mukhtar said.
The weatherman said this will enable us to intimate agencies well in advance about the weather conditions in these areas. “It will especially be a boon for the trekkers and pilgrims on Amarnath Yatra. Also, the advance forecasts would ensure the safe travel for the commuters on Jammu-Srinagar national highway, which often remains closed owing to adverse weather conditions,” he said.
Moreover, the frequency of extreme weather conditions like cloudbursts and flash floods has shown an increase in Jammu and Kashmir.
Extreme events are occurrences of unusually severe weather or climate conditions that can cause devastating impacts on communities and agricultural and natural ecosystems
Official figures accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that Jammu and Kashmir have recorded nine adverse events including flash floods and cloudbursts in May, June, and July this year.