Kerala to get 85 more automatic weather stations before 2022 monsoon

AWS will provide IMD officials with data on weather parameters at 15-minute intervals

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) hopes to install 87 more automatic weather stations (AWSs) in the region before the 2022 southwest monsoon.

Of this, 85 will be in Kerala, and one each in Mahe and Amini Divi. Of the 85 stations for Kerala, around 10 would be installed in Idukki district alone, said IMD officials.

The AWS will provide the IMD officials with data on weather parameters, including temperature, rainfall, wind and atmospheric pressure, at 15-minute intervals. The devices are expected to arrive in the State shortly.

In the aftermath of the 2018 flood catastrophe in the State, the IMD had announced that Kerala would get 100 new AWSs by the end of 2020. Of this, 15 were deployed by June 2020 in different districts. But, the COVID-19 pandemic had delayed the installation of the remaining units, although the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) had identified potential sites.

The 87 stations planned in the area are part of a nationwide project to increase the number of AWSs across the country by another 400.

“The emphasis is on locations that are thinly covered now. We have identified the locations for installing the AWSs, which include 62 locations recommended by the KSDMA. We hope to have them operational before the southwest monsoon next year,” said an IMD official at the Meteorological Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.

Following the 2018 floods, the Kerala Government had criticised the IMD forecasts as inadequate and asked the agency to ramp up weather forecasting infrastructure in the State.

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