Weather forecasts are issued for various spatial and temporal domains to meet demands of different users. Location specific forecasting of high impact weather events e.g. severe rainstorms, sudden dense fog, severe heat/cold spells, severe thunder storms etc for a very short time range still remains a challenge for the meteorological community worldwide. When any high impact weather event strikes any metro city or any other urban and rural pockets affecting lives of common people severely, we try to find out whether it could have been forecasted, atleast a few hours, if not days, in advance. It is common knowledge that manifestations of internal dynamics within a given boundary condition are extremely complex and vitiate the outcomes on the small spatial and temporal scale of extreme weather. Operational forecast procedures mostly fail to forecast exact timing and location of any high end weather event. Further research on various tools used for issuing such forecasts e.g. empirical and NWP Models and their ensembles, also have high limitation in predicting high variability at 12-24-hours time scales.
Modern observing and analytical systems now in place for use in real time operations are expected to improve the accuracies of monitoring and forecasting of high impact weather events. A technology driven system of 24X7 Monitoring and Nowcasting is the need of hour. It should be able to predict the time of start, minute by minute progression and final cessation of the event. Such a Monitoring and Nowcast System will minimize the loss of invaluable lives and also property
A number of Forecast Demonstration Projects (FDP) conducted in different parts around the world have demonstrated that the only way to improve the forecasting accuracies of “high impact very short period (0-6hours) events” are by introducing a range of monitoring strategies viz. developing a MESONET over the area, including a dense network of DWR coverage and high resolution satellite pictures/products etc. In addition, very high resolution NWP and autonowcast systems would also be required as was done during Oklohoma Mesonet and Nowcast system, Beijing Olympic 2008 Forecast Demonstration Project and Delhi Nowcast for 2010 Commonwealth Games.
India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India has organized a Training Workshop cum National Seminar on Challenges, Developments and Opportunities in Nowcasting (CDO-NOW-2012) during 27-31 January 2012 at New Delhi.. The main aim of organising this important event was to give a thrust for development and implementation of a 24x7 Monitoring and Nowcasting system in India especially with respect to high impact weather events.
The training workshop was inaugurated by AVM (Dr.) Ajit Tyagi, DGM at ARNAV Conference Hall, Prithvi Bhawan, New Delhi. The training programme was designed to impart theoretical as well as practical aspects of Nowcasting to the trainees. The focussed discussion were held on monitoring of high impact weather events with the help of conventional and automatic observations, satellite information, Numerical Weather Prediction Models and Doppler Weather Radar products and synergising all the available input and techniques for issuing operational Nowcast. The aim was to develop a sort of Standard Operating Procedure for issuing Nowcast of extreme weather events in mega Cities in the first phase. About 20 Resource Persons were drawn from IMD, ISRO (SHAR), IAF, NAVY, SASE, NCMRWF. About 50 Trainees were selected who are mainly involved in forecasting in various above organisations and also research scholars, There were about 12 hours of lectures time and about equal hours for hands on training/ practical exercises and case studies for demonstration of use of a particular technique in operational Nowcast.
The training workshop concluded on 29th January. The feed back recieved from trainees as well as resource persons was very encouraging. The training was very fruitful.
The National Seminar was inaugurated at the auditorium of India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi- 110 003 from 1000-1100 hrs. IST on 30th January 2012. AVM (Dr.) Ajit Tyagi, DGM delivered Welcome address and also presented the Training Workshop summary. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Chairman, Earth System Organisation & Secretary MoES in his address highlighted the importance of Nowcasting, capacity building and various modernization programmes of Ministry for further improving the accuracy of forecasts. The Keynote address ”Role of Nowcast in Disaster Management” was delivered by Hon’ble Shri T. Nanda Kumar, Member NDMA. Hon’ble Shri P.P. Shrivastav, IAS (Retd.) Member North Eastern Council who was the guest of Honour of the function gave the inaugural address. In this function Three publications namely (1)Extended Abstract of the Seminar, (2) Standard Operating Procedure Manual and (3) Monsoon Monograph Vol. II were also released. Shri B. P. Yadav who was the programme co-ordinator proposed the Vote of Thanks. About 200 participants, delegates, eminent scientists from various scientific organisations such as IMD, ISRO (SHAR), IAF, NAVY, SASE, NCMRWF, IIT etc., attended the inaugural function.
The technical sessions were held at Arnav Conference Hall, 3rd Floor, Prithvi Bhawan, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. There were in total 7 thematic sessions where various research papers on Nowcasting were presented.
A special session was arranged in the afternoon of 31st Jan. 2012 for interaction with various users, stakeholders and media to understand mutual requirements and develop delivery mechanism. It was attended by PIB, DD, AIR, FM, Central Water Commission, Traffic Police, NIDM and print media personnel.
The seminar concluded in the evening of 31st January 2012 and was chaired by Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Chairman, Earth System Organisation & Secretary MoES.