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Opinion

The Union Territory of Ladakh has its own meteorological center

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A meteorological center was inaugurated in the Union Territory of Ladakh on Tuesday that would provide localized weather forecasts, thus strengthening the climate-related early warning system for the region.

At 3,500 meters, this meteorological center is the tallest facility of its kind in India, said Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan at the facility’s inauguration.

It said it will provide short-term (three days), medium-term (12 days) and long-term (one month) forecasts for the two districts, Leh and Kargil, of the Union Territory.

The region is unique in terms of climate, culture, topography with extreme temperatures, ranging from minus 40 degrees Celsius in Drass to a low average rainfall of 10 centimeters per year, making the region a distinct cold desert, he said.

Ladakh also experiences various types of extreme weather events such as cloud bursts, flash floods, glacial lake outbursts, avalanches, and droughts.

“To avoid losses due to such weather events in the future, the Government of India felt the need to establish a Meteorological Center in Leh to strengthen the weather-related early warning system in Ladakh. At 3,500 meters, the Leh Meteorological Center will be the highest meteorological center in India, ”said Vardhan.

The center will also give weather forecasts on tourist places like Nubra, Changthang, Pangong Lake, Zanskar, Kargil, Drass, Dha-Baima (Aryan Valley), Khalsi, he said.

Some important services are the road forecast, the forecast for mountaineering, trekking, agriculture, flash flood warning, information on gusty winds, low and high temperatures.

“Considering the geostrategic importance, the hostile environment, the changing climate and the vulnerabilities to various natural hazards and disasters that negatively affect the region, the government felt the need to open a state-of-the-art meteorological center in Leh,” added the Union minister.

IMD CEO Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the new center will help increase meteorological services. Ladakh has four Automatic Weather Stations (AWS), two in Leh and Kargil, of which one is in Drass, the coldest place in India.

To improve the observation network, IMD plans to install more AWS next year in the most remote locations such as Nubra, Zanskar, Changthang, Parkachik and others, thus covering the entirety of Ladakh, Mohapatra said.

To start with, the Indian Meteorological Department established a surface observatory in Leh to report daily weather parameters such as pressure, humidity, temperature, snowfall, etc. With the availability of quality data from Ladakh, IMD will generate city-specific forecasts based on numerical models. , sad the MeT department.

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