Meteorological Department in J&K will be utilising hi-tech Doppler radar system for the first time during this year’s AmarnathYatra to issue more ‘accurate and impact-based’ weather forecasts.
Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Director MeT, Sonam Lotus said it will be for the first time that ‘impact based’ weather forecasts will be issued for the smooth conduct of the Yatra.
“The impact based forecast will predict what exactly will happen in case of inclement weather. It will not just predict a wet spell but even its intensity which will be useful for the conduct of the Yatra,” Lotus said.
The annual AmarnathYatra often gets stalled due to heavy rainfall as the Yatris cannot move towards the cave shrine in inclement weather. Lotus said the main Doppler weather radar system for the Yatra will be installed at Banihal, apart from the one to be installed at Sonamarg.
“We will be installing an X-Band radar which is quite unique for determining accurate weather forecasts. It has a range of almost 100 kilometers up to which it forecasts weather,” Lotus said. He said the radar being installed at Banihal will be helpful in predicting the weather conditions on the 270-kilometer Srinagar-Jammu National Highway which is the key route for Yatris. “This radar will cover the entire Pir Panchal range and the weather activity on this side of the Banihal tunnel which is quite significant,” he said.
The need for accurate weather forecasting during the AmarnathYatra was also discussed recently during a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan. As per the minutes of the meeting, MeT department has been asked to install special weather forecasting system and 4-5 Automatic Weather Forecasting stations on both routes of the Yatra. Besides, two offices of the MeT Department will be established at Baltal and Pahalgam in which update of forecasting will be displayed for the convenience of the Yatris.
It may be mentioned that service of a hi-tech mobile forecast device was used on trail basis during last year’s AmarnathYatra. “The devotees and local administration organising the annual Yatra got more frequent and accurate weather updates and weather alerts with the help of the mobile forecast,” MeT officials said adding that they are expecting to issue ‘more accurate’ weather forecasts this year.