New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will add 30 Doppler radars in the next two-three years across the country, of which several will be in the northeast, a senior IMD official said.

Doppler radars provide precise information about thunderstorms, dust storms, hailstorms, rainfall and wind patterns. With a radius of 250km, they help in issuing nowcasts 2-3 hours prior to severe weather events.

By the next year, Jammu and Kashmir will get four Doppler radars, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh three each, additional director general (ADG) Devendra Pradhan said.

“We plan to add 30 Doppler radars in the next two-three years. The plan is also to have a total number 14 radars in the north east region, including the existing three that are already installed," Pradhan said.

Right now, the IMD is working on selecting locations in hilly states to install these radars, Pradhan added.

The hilly states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir witness erratic patterns like thunderstorms and heavy rains and snowfall, so do the north eastern states. In 2013, a cloud burst that led to flash floods killed hundreds in Uttarakhand.

The first Doppler radar was installed in Chennai in 2002. Its need became more compelling after the 2005 Mumbai floods. There are currently 27 Doppler radars in the country.

The radar at Jaipur was non-operational during a freak thunderstorm that killed over 120 people in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan between 2-3 May.

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