IMD Current Affairs - 2019

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Mrutyunjay Mohapatra appointed Director General of IMD

Renowned scientist, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra is appointed as Director-General the India Meteorological Department (IMD). His appointment order was issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

About Mrutyunjay Mohapatra

  • The 54-year-old cyclone warning specialist is Scientist ‘G’ (grade) in IMD. Prior to joining IMD, he worked at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory in Chandipur.
  • He is appointed as chief of IMD and will assume charge of the post on or after 1 August 2019 for a period of five years.
  • He leads the Cyclone Warning Division (CWD) of the IMD and is well known as ‘Cyclone Man‘ for his cyclone forecasts. In past six years, CWD has given accurate forecasts on cyclones such as Phailin (2013), Hudhud (2014) and Titli (2018) which hit the eastern coast.
  • Focus Areas: He seeks to strengthen the IMD’s infrastructure and improve dissemination of weather-related information with focus on sector-related forecast and giving impact-based prediction in all areas. By sector-related forecasts, IMD intends to give predictions on specific areas like information for transport systems (like trains). At present IMD gives impact-based predictions only for cyclones.

About India Meteorological Department

  • It is an agency of Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • It is responsible for meteorological observations, seismology and weather and climate related forecasts for the country.
  • It is mandated to warn against severe weather phenomenon like cold and heat-waves, dust storms, cyclones, heavy rain and snow and others.

IMD Predicts near Normal Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall for 2019

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts near-normal monsoon, at 96% of long period average. IMD in its first stage operational forecast for the southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall has made the following predictions:

  • The South-west monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal.
  • The monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.
  • The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 was 89 cm.
  • Even though weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season its intensity is expected to be reduced in the later part of the season.

IMD will issue the second stage Monsoon-2019 Forecast during the first week of June 2019.

Monsoon Predictions

Monsoon Predictions are made using a set of algorithms and climate models, both analytical and numerical. Monsoon Mission, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2017 has two state-of-the-art dynamical prediction systems for short range to medium, extended range and seasonal forecasts.

Meteorologists keep a track on five important parameters that can dictate the fate of India monsoon:

  • The gradient in the sea surface temperatures between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
  • The sea surface temperature over the Equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • Sea-level pressure in East Asia.
  • Air temperature of the land surface in Northwest Europe.
  • The heat content over Equatorial Pacific measured by its warm water volume.

Studies have proposed including various other indicators, such as surface pressure over the Arabian Sea, in such forecasting models to eliminate biases and to make the predictions accurate.