New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday inaugurated an advanced data processing system that experts say will make India self-sufficient in weather monitoring and forecasting. The new system will receive and process real-time data from INSAT 3D, an exclusive weather satellite launched last year from French Guiana, IMD said.

“We now have four times more image resolution, so that we can provide forecasting data for every district, and much better forecasting for fog, especially for aviation, coast guard and navy," said a senior scientist at National Satellite Meteorological Centre (NSMC).

The Met said data from INSAT 3D will lead to significant improvements in weather forecasting in areas such as onset of monsoon over Kerala, tracking and prediction of cyclones, night time fog and snow cover mapping. Image resolution is four times better than that of KALPANA-1, the satellite that presently gives data to IMD. The Met will now have image resolution to see weather data for every kilometre, and vertical profile of atmosphere for every 30 km. INSAT 3D will provide images to the Met every 30 minutes.

“Usually we take the assistance from other countries to develop data processing system, but this time the satellite and the software to process the data given by it was developed by Indian Space Research Organization (Isro)," said the NSMC scientist, declining to be named. “We are now self-sufficient in our weather monitoring, processing the data, and forecasting the weather."

The processing system was inaugurated by science minister Jaipal Reddy on the Met’s 139th foundation day. “India’s forecasting capabilities will now be comparable to elite countries," Reddy said. “Recent unprecedented weather events seen last year, the increase in frequency and intensity of adverse events, makes it critical to have better weather and climate services."

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