Planning & Mitigation | VOL. 14, ISSUE 86, September-October 2014

Observational Network for Cyclones

The observational network for cyclone forecasting is aimed at continuous monitoring of the horizontal and vertical structure of the atmosphere. The latest advances in technology such as satellites, radar, and automated weather stations (AWS) provide invaluable support to the monitoring of tropical cyclones by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The observational system Land and ocean based observations: Surface data is the foundation on which the edifice of synoptic meteorology rests. Horizontal coverage is generally good over populated land, and marginal to poor over oceanic or desert areas. Although oceanic buoys and AWSs are being deployed, yet observational data from ocean regions continues to remain sparse. Presently, there are about 675 AWS all over India, in addition to 1100 automated rain gauge stations (ARG’s). Winds and sea surface temperatures (SST) measured from ships, buoys, and island stations are important parameters in cyclone monitoring and forecasting. Apart from the surface observations of voluntary observing fleet (VOF) ships, arrays of buoys and tide gauge network form an integral part of the ocean observing system. Upper air observations: Wind and temperature data from the upper atmosphere is collected using pilot balloons, radiosonde/radiowind (RS/RW), wind profiler, radar and aircraft reconnaissance. Observations for measurement of wind speed and direction alone are made two to four times a day at pilot balloon observatories (PBO), which use optical theodolites. In India, there are...

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